2017 Science, Practice and Art of Restoring Native Ecosystems Conference Agenda

Conservation efforts often encounter resource availability issues due to project timeframes that do not align with traditional funding sources. The Nature Conservancy and partners are currently researching, developing, and/or testing alternative financing models that could better align conservation outcomes with needed long-term, sustainable resources. Examples discussed will include: 1) A study of the negative impact invasives species in coastal areas have on home values and the development of a mechanism to fund ongoing restoration efforts via an increase in property tax revenue following invasives management. 2) How performance drain assessments and alternative public drain financing could provide a new funding and delivery mechanism for the implementation of agricultural best management practices to improve water quality and ultimately riparian and coastal habitat. 3) An overview of stormwater runoff credits in Detroit that if modified may result in more equitable charges for users and a funding option for additional green infrastructure projects.

Presenter: Shaun Howard
Organization: The Nature Conservancy

Presenter 2: Randal Dell
Organization: The Nature Conservancy
Presenter 3: Valerie Strassberg
Organization: The Nature Conservancy

01/13/2017 - 10:45am to 11:40am Room: 106
The Michigan Sensitive Areas Identification System (SAIS) is an online mapping and reporting tool that assists producers in identifying ecologically sensitive areas that may be prone to soil erosion by wind or water, leaching of nutrients, or other risk factors. In about five minutes, a printable report can be created that includes results for the Manure Application Risk Index and Michigan Phosphorus Risk Assessment, several maps displaying sensitive area information, and a list of potential practices that could be implemented. The goal of the system is to improve natural resources by connecting producers with local conservation staff and available assistance programs. See a demonstration and explore SAIS yourself in this interactive session. Bringing your own computer or tablet is encouraged.

Presenter: Laura Young
Organization: Michigan State University Institute of Water Research

Presenter 2: Jason Piwarski
Organization: Michigan State University Institute of Water Research

01/13/2017 - 10:45am to 11:40am Room: 105AB
Land managers and conservation enthusiasts alike intuitively understand that knowledge of the flora and fauna at a property is vital to conserving biodiversity. However, most organizations don't have the necessary expertise or time to gather this critical data. It is also difficult to figure out how to make use of plant and animal observations once you have them or to justify why it is important to collect this data; it makes sense why most of our natural areas are vastly under-surveyed. A biodiversity catalogue tool, iNaturalist.org, opens the door to new possibilities for narrowing the gaps in our understanding of biodiversity distributions. Join Derek and Liana as they introduce and explain iNaturalist, explore its application as a tool to engage volunteers, and demonstrate its value in not only increasing our understanding of biodiversity but in translating that knowledge into useful information that directs and informs resource management.

Presenter: Derek Shiels
Organization: Little Traverse Conservancy

Presenter 2: Liana May, MSc
Organization: Borealis Consulting

01/13/2017 - 10:45am to 11:40am Room: 104AB
The Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge is 2,197 acres of natural areas, including another 3,910 acres cooperatively managed with partner organizations, all within Michigan's Lake Erie coastal area. The natural areas are diverse; coastal wetlands, wetland impoundments, former agricultural fields, forest, and even a former industrial brownfield exist within urban, suburban and rural landscapes. The Refuge's habitat management plan (HMP) identified specific "resources of concern", which included natural communities and individual species, that are the focal points for management. The HMP also established goals, quantitative objectives, and strategies for such stewardship issues as protecting rare natural communities, fallowing former agricultural land, using prescribed fire, dealing with invasive Phragmites, caring for degraded urban forests, landscape design and even aesthetics. Management outcomes are evaluated by simple quantitative metrics, yet the Refuge still needs a strong natural heritage inventory program to ensure unique features are not unintentionally lost in any one natural area.

Presenter: Greg Norwood
Organization: Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge

01/13/2017 - 10:45am to 11:40am Room: 103AB
Significant urbanization and decades of industrial activities have severely impacted the St. Clair River and its natural communities. In 2011, large scale restoration efforts were initiated within a portion of the river in Port Huron, Michigan. In total, nearly 5,000 linear feet of shoreline were restored and new wetland communities were created. Measures were taken to provide improved habitat conditions for target wildlife taxa including herpetofauna, avifauna, and aquatic macroinvertebrates. Long-term monitoring of bioindicator species revealed significant shifts in the presence of several wildlife groups. Aquatic salamanders were immediately observed using habitat structures and within the first two years the newly established wetlands supported breeding amphibians, birds, and invertebrates. The local community has also benefited from much needed opportunities to observe and enjoy nature in an otherwise urban landscape. The presentation will describe this novel work while highlighting restoration results, long-term monitoring data, and lessons learned.

Presenter: Maegan Stapleton
Organization: Herpetological Resource and Management

Presenter 2: David Mifsud
Organization: Herpetological Resource and Management

01/13/2017 - 10:45am to 11:40am Room: Riverside
Thermal imaging is a technology that lets you see the world in an entirely new way - in terms of hot and cold instead of light and dark, which lets you see things you can't see with the naked eye. The technology has been around for a long time but it is only now becoming more affordable and available to those with limited budgets. Presenter and Stewardship Network member Callan Loo works with the world's leader in thermal imaging technology and will show you how everyday people are using it in conservation efforts, show you first hand how it works, and get you thinking about how you might use it in the near future.

Presenter: Callan Loo
Organization: Intentional Legacies and FLIR Systems

01/13/2017 - 10:45am to 11:40am Room: Michigamme
Although species have shifted ranges during past climate changes, this may not be possible under current climate change. Restorationists must choose species to add to sites which is difficult when current conditions deviate from the past. At two tallgrass prairie restoration sites in central IL, we tested whether northern species (Agastache foeniculum, Oligoneuron ohioense, and Heuchera richardsonii) were more difficult to establish through seedling additions than southern species (Conoclinium coelestinum, Eryngium yuccifolium, and Parthenium integrifolium). Seedling grids (5m spacing, 216 seedlings each) were established spring 2015 and survival, growth, and flowering were measured through September 2016. In 2015, one site was partially flooded and we measured seedling flooding depth. Differences were found in survival among species, and between sites, but these were not related to southern/northern status. Flooding negatively affected survival for all species. However, Conoclinium coelestinum had higher overall survival at the partially flooded site despite seedling loss from flooding. Low survival rates for all species suggest increasing diversity using seedling plugs is difficult.

Presenter: Amy McEuen
Organization: University of Illinois Springfield

01/13/2017 - 10:45am to 11:40am Room: 102

Since the first Stewardship Network Conference was held amphibians and reptiles have maintained a presence at each year’s conference. Topics from reintroduction and headstarting, best management practices and timing, importance of native herpetofauna for controlling pest species, and how to create and enhance habitat have been covered. This presentation will look back on topics covered and what we have learned, address updates to our current knowledge on various subjects including updates to species status, and offer insight into our progression toward improved conservation and best management of amphibians and reptiles in Michigan and the Great Lakes over the last decade. This presentation will also include opportunities for participants to ask questions on pertinent material not covered in the presentation. Attendees will get a crash course in what has been achieved in the last decade and the role the Stewardship Network has played in helping make this all possible.

Presenter: David A. Mifsud
Organization: Herpetological Resource and Management

01/13/2017 - 1:15pm to 2:15pm Room: 105AB
Non-native Phragmites australis is a large-scale problem that requires a collaborative regional approach. The Great Lakes Phragmites Collaborative (GLPC) was established in 2012 to improve communication and lead to more coordinated, efficient approaches to Phragmites management, restoration and research across the region. The GLPC is a partnership between the U.S. Geological Survey and Great Lakes Commission which uses the model of Collective Impact to address the large-scale, complex issues resulting from non-native Phragmites, and guide the efforts of stakeholders engaged in management and research. We present the objectives of the GLPC; review the communication tools created to support effective management and restoration; and discuss research and adaptive management tools under development to address knowledge gaps, improve coordination among and between scientists and managers, and ultimately advance a regional approach to managing non-native Phragmites in the Great Lakes.

Presenter: Elaine Ferrier
Organization: Great Lakes Commission

01/13/2017 - 1:15pm to 2:15pm Room: 103AB
Dismayed at the decline of ducks in the late 1800s due in part to unregulated hunting and wetland destruction, hunters began planting Manoomin all over Michigan trying to attract waterfowl. The effort continued into the 1930s with little to no success. Here is the story of tossing rice and hoping it grows.

Presenter: Barb Barton
Organization: Endangered Species Consulting

01/13/2017 - 1:15pm to 2:15pm Room: 102
The Kiwanis Trail is a paved, eight-mile walk/run/bike trail in Lenawee County occupying the former Detroit-Toledo-Ironton rail line and managed by the City of Adrian. The trail crosses springs and creeks that drain into the River Raisin and thus runs through a gradient of wet to dry habitats. Historically, railroad trails have hosted rich collections of native plants. The Kiwanis Trail provides viewing of wet-mesic, dry-mesic, and dry forest, as well as wet-mesic prairie. However, disturbance along the trail may be favoring invasive species that threaten the growth of native plant species. The present study is a three-season record of plant species visible along the trail. Information on native and invasive plant presence is intended to be used in education efforts to promote conservation/restoration by public users, private land owners, and municipal managers of the trail.

Presenter: Janet Salzwedel
Organization: Adrian College

01/13/2017 - 1:15pm to 1:45pm Room: Michigamme
This session will introduce participants to the Great Lakes Clean Communities Network (GLCCN), an online platform designed to help facilitate networking, group discussions, and sharing of information that may benefit and improve environmental practitioners efforts for addressing environmental issues. A demonstration of the online networking hub will be provided with an in-depth look at an Ecological Scorecard for gauging environmental health.

Presenter: Jeremiah Asher
Organization: Institute of Water Research, MSU

01/13/2017 - 1:15pm to 2:15pm Room: 104AB
In the spring of 2013, 2014, and 2015, The Greening of Detroit planted over 7,000 trees on eight different Brownfield sites throughout Detroit. The primary purpose of this project, funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), is to remediate contaminated soil using dendroremediation while providing additional benefits including the reduction of storm-water runoff and blight on/around the sites. This project attempts to find a cost effective, low maintenance alternative to soil remediation strategies. For this project, six tree species from the Populus and Salix genus were used in site specific experimental designs testing tree survivability and total soil contaminant removal. Soil sampling on each experimental plot occurred before tree implementation and tissue/soil sampling will occur at the five and ten year mark. These measurements along with yearly growth and health measurements will help determine the effectiveness of this project in relation to soil conditions, contaminants, and tree species chosen.

Presenter: Diane Nelson
Organization: The Greening of Detroit

01/13/2017 - 1:15pm to 2:15pm Room: Riverside
Saving nature will require sustainable new organizations, and the sustainable transformation of the institutions and organizations that are destroying nature. But how do we know what sustainability looks like, and what it requires on a rapidly changing planet? One way to address this uncertainty is to find working examples of sustainable systems, and use them as a model for designing our institutions and organizations. Natural systems--such as ecosystems and natural communities--have a clear track record of highly complex and very sustainable groupings. We will discuss what a model based upon natural systems seems to suggest about sustainable human institutions and organizations, including topics such as successional development, cooperation, wealth accumulation, group cohesion, decision-making, resilience, and management.

Presenter: Steve Thomas
Organization: Author, Ecologist

01/13/2017 - 1:15pm to 2:15pm Room: 106
We conducted a floristic survey of the plants present at Walden West Biological Station, a newly acquired property for Adrian College, during the 2016 growing season. The survey provides a baseline of the species present and their status as native or non-native, as well as the habitats in which they grow. This analysis considers which habitats have the highest percentage of native and non-native species present to help us guide our invasive species management efforts. Because this is a floristic survey, we did not include species abundance data, but rather that of occurrence within each habitat.

Presenter: Samantha Silvers
Organization: Adrian College

Presenter 2: Jeffrey Lake
Organization: Adrian College

01/13/2017 - 1:45pm to 2:15pm Room: Michigamme
The Mackinac Straits Oil Pipeline: Lessons for Advocacy and Policy

Presenter: Mike Shriberg
Organization: National Wildlife Federation

01/13/2017 - 2:35pm to 3:35pm Room: 105AB
On September 30, 2016 the Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake was officially listed as Federally Threatened under the United States Fish and Wildlife Service Endangered Species Act. This designation was the work of dedicated individuals and organizations working for nearly two decades to help protect this cryptic and charismatic species. This protected status has implications at multiple levels in how we work in areas where this species is known or may occur and our approach to conservation and management. The workshop will help provide attendees a basic understanding of this species' natural history, their range, and what are the treats and management needs. In addition a large component of the workshop will focus on what this designation means in terms of permitting requirements from State and Federal agencies, what are potential permitted or regulated activates, and how this species can influence restoration and grant opportunities.

Presenter: David A. Mifsud
Organization: Herpetological Resource and Management

01/13/2017 - 2:35pm to 3:35pm Room: 104AB
Land managers in the Great Lakes basin invest substantial resources treating non-native Phragmites australis. However, responses to treatments vary given application approach, site-specific environmental conditions, and other factors - ultimately leaving managers uncertain about the most effective treatment for their land. To help reduce this uncertainty, the Phragmites Adaptive Management Framework (http://greatlakesphragmites.net/pamf/) is being developed by the Great Lakes Phragmites Collaborative. This presentation focuses on the development of the framework's three structural components, which are 1) a standardized monitoring protocol, scalable by Phragmites patch size and tiered to allow broad utilization, 2) predictive models that are regularly updated and learn from the effectiveness of each treatment to provide continually improved site-specific guidance, and 3) an online data management system that stores and delivers information on all involved patches. With time, this long-term shift in management strategy will yield optimal, data-driven approaches to help managers achieve their objectives.

Presenter: Abram DaSilva
Organization: U.S. Geological Survey

Presenter 2: Karen Alexander
Organization: Great Lakes Commission

01/13/2017 - 2:35pm to 3:35pm Room: 103AB
Cooper--Skinner Woods, owned by Ball State University, is a woodland complex located in northwest Muncie, Delaware County, Indiana. The study site is primarily woodlands. An inventory of the vascular flora, conducted in the 2015 growing season, indicated that the 42 hectare site harbors significant regional plant diversity with 355 taxa representing 226 genera in 85 families. The ten families containing ~52% of the documented species were Poaceae (44 spp.), Asteraceae (38), Cyperaceae (29), Rosaceae (20), Fabaceae (12), Fagaceae (9), Brassicaceae (9), Lamiaceae (9), Polygonaceae (7), and Ranunculaceae (7). Of the documented flora, 275 (77.5%) were native, 80 (22.5%) non-native. A detailed physiognomic analysis revealed that of the 275 native species, 63 were woody, 156 were herbaceous vines or forbs, 53 were graminoids, and three ferns and fern allies. Of the 80 non-native species, 14 were woody, 45 were herbaceous vines or forbs, and 21 were grasses. The Floristic Quality Index (FQI) for native species is 54.6 and the mean Coefficient of Conservatism (mean C) is 3.3. The native FQI indicates that the site is of nature preserve quality. The FQI for all species is 48.0 and the mean C is 2.5. The latter numbers indicate that the exotics are having a negative impact on the native flora.

Presenter: Ahmed Hubini
Organization: Ball State University

01/13/2017 - 2:35pm to 3:05pm Room: Michigamme

Now more than ever, people are identifying where they want to live or work based on quality of life. Parks and natural features are critically important infrastructure and are increasingly important to the success of community placemaking and economic development efforts. Successful Michigan communities are attractive places with access to natural resources, parks and outdoor recreation.
Michigan’s land conservancies, parks agencies and environmental organizations are uniquely positioned to help create sustainable, vibrant communities. We need to learn to speak the language of the fast-changing world of outdoor recreation and community development, and partner together in creating great places.

Join Heart of the Lakes and the Michigan Environmental Council in us in exploring the nexus of outdoor recreation, placemaking and conservation, where we find a unique opportunity to understand the value of the natural world and make community development projects more authentic and successful.

Presenter: Brad Garmon
Organization: Michigan Environmental Council

Presenter 2: Jonathan Jarosz
Organization: Heart of the Lakes Center for Land Conservation Policy

01/13/2017 - 2:35pm to 3:35pm Room: 106
We are developing guidance to improve the hydrologic performance of rain gardens and bioretention basins. This guidance will be based on field evaluation of local rain gardens and research on how plants, shrubs and trees improve soil infiltration capacity. Twenty rain gardens in Washtenaw County have been assessed. These gardens have soils that range from clay loam and sand clay to hard clay. In our first set of paired, digitally-filmed rain events, we found that the native plant rain garden was draining more than 1-inch/hour and the turf grass rain garden (same sandy clay soil) was drawing down at roughly half that rate. In fact, over a two-month monitoring period and seven separate events, the native plant rain garden only accumulated water in one of seven and the grass garden in two of the seven events. Monitoring and guidance development will be on-going for at least another year.

Presenter: Scott Dierks
Organization: GEI Consultants, Inc

01/13/2017 - 2:35pm to 3:35pm Room: 102
In July 2016, The Nature Conservancy, in collaboration with Greening of Detroit and Issue Media Group, kicked off Phase I of a two-phase project to create a Green Infrastructure Project Tracking and Communications Knowledgebase for the City of Detroit, funded by the Erb Family Foundation. This consortium seeks to increase awareness of current green infrastructure practices in the City of Detroit, build community support around green infrastructure, and advance coordination and implementation of green infrastructure practices throughout the city. Phase I of this will result in a prototype website and project plan for Phase II implementation. This presentation will focus on the need that sparked this project, the resulting prototype, and what could materialize following the launch of a green infrastructure knowledgebase for the City of Detroit.

Presenter: Lesley Rivera
Organization: The Nature Conservancy

01/13/2017 - 2:35pm to 3:35pm Room: Riverside
Successful germination of native seed is critical for supplying seedlings for restorations. Prior research has demonstrated acid scarification as a useful means to overcome prairie seed dormancy. Both acid and alkaline scarification were utilized in three Baptisia species (B. alba, B. australis, and B. bracteata). Seeds were scarified in concentrated 98% sulfuric acid or 1M NaOH for different time intervals (20, 40, 60, and 90 min) and germination measured after 21 days. Scarification time influenced germination rates within the test period. However, optimal scarification exposure varied among the three species and suggested higher seed recalcitrance in B. alba and bracteata compared to B. australis. Results indicated acid scarification was superior (p 35%) germination in the three species.

Presenter: Jack Zinnen
Organization: University of Illinois Springfield

01/13/2017 - 3:05pm to 3:35pm Room: Michigamme
Foreshadowing- Endangered & Threatened Plant Species is a project in which I photograph the shadows of endangered plants and transfer the images onto paper made from invasive plant species. Since 2013, I have photographed 48 native plants and experimented with making paper from 11 invasive plant species. The presentation will include the following: 1) the process of how to responsibly collect non-native, invasive plant species such as phragmites, garlic mustard, and reed canarygrass. 2) the steps for turning plant biomass into pulp. 3) a demonstration on how to make (or "pull") a sheet of paper. 4) my process for selecting, locating, and photographing the shadows of endangered plants. 5) a demonstration of an alcohol gel transfer onto invasive plant paper. 6) how similar paper-making projects could be implemented in a community and/or school setting to raise awareness of Michigan's native plants and the invasive plants that threaten them.

Presenter: Jane Kramer
Organization: Photographer

01/13/2017 - 3:55pm to 4:55pm Room: 106
Natural systems can perform many functions, sometimes more efficiently than built systems. Resource planners recognize the importance of natural systems in urban settings. In turn, planning and design in urban areas is expanding to include an emphasis on natural systems restoration and the unique experiences that it provides. A critical component of natural systems restoration is the understanding that systems serve roles from the microbial to the global scale and understanding this scale is a critical element in developing restoration actions. This presentation will describe the importance of planning for natural systems restoration in enhancing the urban environment, promoting economic growth and serving as a differentiator when competing for limited funding. This presentation will focus on several key aspects for successful planning of natural systems restoration. Case studies will provide an overview of the process, community benefits, regulatory hurdles and funding sources associated with natural system restoration

Presenter: Andrew McDowell
Organization: SmithGroupJJR

Presenter 2: Neal Billetdeaux
Organization: SmithGroupJJR

01/13/2017 - 3:55pm to 4:55pm Room: Riverside
Asian citrus psyllid attacks all varieties of citrus and very closely related ornamental plants in the family Rutaceae (mock orange, Indian curry leaf, orange jasmine and other Murraya species). This pest attacks new citrus leaf growth and, because of the salivary toxin that it injects, causes the new leaf tips to twist or burn back. However, the more serious damage that it causes is due to the psyllid vectoring the bacterium (Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus) that causes Huanglongbing (HLB or citrus greening) disease. Huanglongbing causes shoots to yellow, asymmetrically (blotchy mottle), and results in asymmetrically shaped fruit with aborted seeds and bitter juice. The disease can kill a citrus tree within 5 to 8 years, and there is no known cure for the disease. This session will examine the life cycle of the psyllid and the different remediation models as well as understanding technology to develop a framework for tracking the effectiveness of the remediation strategies and its impact on the environment.

Presenter: Sophia Matthews
Organization: Ecotek Lab Program

Presenter 2: John Scharff
Organization: Ecotek Lab Program

01/13/2017 - 3:55pm to 4:55pm Room: Michigamme
Over the past few decades, hybrid cattail (Typha x glauca) has become an increasingly common sight across wetlands in the Great Lakes region. Despite its tendency to outcompete native wetland plants, terrestrialize wetlands, and degrade habitats that are vital for birds, insects, amphibians, and spawning fish, hybrid cattail is often overlooked due to the perception that cattails are indicators of a healthy marsh. Our lab at Loyola University Chicago has been studying cattail invasion and novel restoration methods for more than ten years. We are currently conducting large-scale restoration research that investigates the effect mechanical removal of cattail biomass has on plant and animal diversity and nutrient cycling. We are also using multi-spectral drone imagery for early detection of invasive wetland species in Great Lakes coastal wetlands. Through adaptive management incorporates research, outreach, collaboration, and on-the-ground restoration, we are working to improve the health of Great Lakes coastal wetlands.

Presenter: Brendan Carson
Organization: Loyola University Chicago

01/13/2017 - 3:55pm to 4:55pm Room: 103AB
Curbing non-point source nutrient pollution is one of the most urgent challenges facing society. Pay for Performance is proving to be a viable approach to achieving the nutrient management efforts of agricultural lands, a leading source of non-point source pollution. The Pay for Performance pilot project in the western basin of Lake Erie is an example of an approach known internationally as "payments for ecosystem services". In this case, it offers compensation for implementation of targeted nutrient management practices. The initiative offers a tangible way to reduce nutrient loads. Its success is in part attributed to its timing. It arrived on the heels of six years of unique watershed education opportunities for the agriculture sector in the River Raisin Watershed. This session will provide attendees with information about the "Fields to the Great Lakes" and peer-to-peer education efforts that led to launching Pay for Performance. It will walk attendees through the field-based nutrient management modelling tool that combines the Great Lakes Watershed Management System with SWAT modeling. Finally, sample contracts will be shown to demystify the approach. For those wishing to replicate this approach elsewhere, speakers will highlight key elements for success and suggest pitfalls to avoid. A can't miss program for anyone serious about reducing nutrient loads to rivers or lakes from agricultural landscapes.

Presenter: Amy Gilhouse
Organization: Lenawee Conservation District

Presenter 2: Monica Day
Organization: Michigan State University Extension

01/13/2017 - 3:55pm to 4:55pm Room: 105AB
Panel Discussion on the conservation and management of the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus catenatus), that was recently listed as a threatened species under the US Endangered Species Act.

Presenter: Amy Derosier
Organization: Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Presenter 2: Carrie Tansy
Organization: US Fish and Wildlife Service
Presenter 3: Keto Gyekis
Organization: Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
Presenter 4 Name: Terry Heatlie
Presenter 4 Organization: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

01/13/2017 - 3:55pm to 4:55pm Room: 104AB
We will explore the structure and function of human feet and how shoes and boots inhibit the proper use of our lowest appendages. Walking barefoot or with moccasins enhances Life in every dimension and we'll explore the details of this. We will also examine the environmental impact of moccasins vs. shoes/hiking boots as well as the physiological benefits of having strong, flexible and fully functioning feet.

Presenter: Marsha Reeves
Organization: MinOde Makazinankejig (The Good Heart Moccasin Society)

01/13/2017 - 3:55pm to 4:55pm Room: 102
Many Stewards long to transform their personal landscapes with pollinator gardens, rain gardens, and meadow areas to replace traditional landscapes. Most can't afford to hire a professional. In this workshop, explore methods of propagating and planting natives that are cheap, easy and highly successful. We will touch on native seed collection and storage, site preparation, winter sowing and making seedballs. All of these techniques can be adapted to schools or church groups that want to make a difference on their own land.

Presenter: Sarah Pregitzer
Organization: Newaygo Invasive Plant Project

01/14/2017 - 10:00am to 10:50am Room: 105AB

Knotweed Breaks Through Roads, and Gives You A Vehicle - Hannah Hudson

Japanese knotweed breaks through roads and foundations, but it gives local organizations a vehicle to start the conversation about other invasive species with people who otherwise might not care. A principle of Interpretation is that if something affects YOU, you'll pay more attention to it. The extensive damage JK is doing in the UK and here at home is catching the attention of homeowners and municipal staff alike because it comes with a hefty price tag and personal threat. "This could happen to you." Ultimately, the question of, "How did it get here?!" is asked, which opens the door to understanding concepts that apply to ALL of these invading organisms. Our newly formed CISMA is using the threat that Japanese knotweed poses to City Infrastructure as a tool to bring awareness of invasive species to new corners of the population. I would like to share pictures/findings/prevention measures from the UK.

Knotweed? Not here... - Mike Bald

Japanese knotweed infestations present a dilemma to landowners and treatment program managers- how to accomplish successful eradication despite strained budgets, limited labor, short time horizons, and constant risk of re-infestation. Early detection and watershed-wide coordination are vital to successful management, but innovative local governments can also look to economic positives to fund knotweed removal programs and generate community interest. This presentation highlights courses of action open to municipalities wishing to improve habitat, property values, soil conditions, and biodiversity. Non-toxic treatment methods allow land stewards to control Japanese knotweed while feeding the vegetative material into the local economy, the art scene, and even the food system. The goal of eradication, as with common buckthorn, is achieved via economic benefits supporting managed transition of the landscape. Communities direct connected actions in a loosely centralized, but safe and programmatic manner (a stewardship network) that binds people more closely with their valued landscapes.

Presenter: Hannah Hudson
Organization: City of Kalamazoo

Presenter 2: Michael Bald
Organization: Got Weeds?

01/14/2017 - 10:00am to 12:00pm Room: Michigamme

In many cases, the idea of ecological restoration and agriculture are believed to be at odds. Farmer, author, and agroforestry consultant, Mark Shepard, will explain how we can restore natural ecosystems while farming the land in a way that benefits farmers, pollinators, and wildlife habitat. This session will be about managing ecological succession and how restoration agriculture can be used to produce an agricultural yield and restore ecosystem services. This session is for practicing ecosystem restorationists, students, conservationists, farmers, gardeners, and more

Presenter: Mark Shepard
Organization: Forest Agriculture Enterprises

01/14/2017 - 10:00am to 10:50am Room: Riverside
Longleaf pine savannas in the American Southeast are a biodiversity hotspot with only 3% of their original area left intact. Degraded longleaf pine savannas with a history of tillage agriculture have the potential to be restored, but the barriers to biodiversity recovery in these habitats are poorly understood. We monitored ground-layer plant communities in Remnants (no agricultural history) and Post-agricultural (agriculture abandoned >60 years ago) areas, half of which were restored by thinning trees to reinstate open savanna conditions. We found dozens of plant species that grow primarily only in remnant habitats. Restoration greatly increased diversity but did not overcome the legacy of agriculture on plant communities. Many other factors also shaped diversity including leaf litter, soils, and fire history. This research builds on our understanding of the ecological factors that shape biodiversity and informs restoration practices in this endangered ecosystem.

Presenter: Nash Turley
Organization: Michigan State University

Presenter 2: Lars Brudvig
Organization: Michigan State University

01/14/2017 - 10:00am to 10:50am Room: 104A
Join the discussion on the water contamination crisis that has devastated one of Michigan's largest cities.

Presenter: Simone Lightfoot
Organization: National Wildlife Federation
Presenter 2: San Juan Olivares
Organization: President of Genesee County Hispanic Latino Collaborative, Inc
Presenter 3: Michael Harris
Organization: Flint Development Group
Presenter 4 Name: Mark Brush
Presenter 4 Organization: Michigan Radio

01/14/2017 - 10:00am to 10:50am Room: 102
Deer are native to Michigan but considered overabundant in parts of Michigan. While research through the northeastern U.S. has shown that deer can lead to decreased vegetation density and diversity, and declines in forest regeneration, debates over deer management in urban and suburban areas often demand local data on deer impacts. I will present data from various research (including exclosure studies, vegetation and browse damage surveys, and sentinel seedling tracking) in southeast Michigan parks and preserves over the past 20 years to outline deer impacts on various native plants, including trees and wildflowers. I will discuss implications for forest regeneration, pollinator interactions, and other community processes.

Presenter: Jacqueline Courteau
Organization: NatureWrite LLC

01/14/2017 - 10:00am to 10:50am Room: 103AB
Muskegon Lake, a Lake Michigan lacustrine estuary, was designated a United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Great Lakes Area of Concern in 1987 because of water quality and habitat impairments associated with the historical discharge of pollutants into the AOC. Private and public stakeholders worked together to design and implement numerous restoration projects along the lakeshore, including hardened shoreline and fill removal, bioengineering, native planting, vegetative buffer establishment, fish and wildlife habitat structures, invasive species control, marine debris removal, and hydrologic reconnection. To date more than 66 acres of wetland and 13,000 linear feet of shoreline have been restored. This presentation will discuss various projects that have been completed to restore the fish and wildlife habitat around the late, along with the complexities and challenges that arise when public and private entities collaborate to establish restoration targets and implement restoration projects.

Presenter: Brian Majka
Organization: GEI Consultants

01/14/2017 - 10:00am to 10:50am Room: 104B
Ecological restoration can be prone to unpredictable outcomes, but what leads to this variation? For plant communities, conditions during the first year of restoration may influence germination and seedling survival; this, in turn, may impact the community that develops. We tested this hypothesis, with a focus on the amount of precipitation received by newly sown prairie plantings, with an experiment that manipulates water for the first nine weeks in spring-sown tallgrass prairie plots, across three establishment years. We found large differences in germination among the three planting years of this study as well as across precipitation treatments. The earliest plantings are now in their third year after sowing, and we found that plots that experienced planting-year drought showed some recovery in subsequent years (i.e. more germination by sown species), yet did not recover to match the levels of establishment of plots that had received adequate rainfall.

Presenter: Anna Groves
Organization: Department of Plant Biology, Michigan State University

Presenter 2: Lars Brudvig
Organization: Department of Plant Biology, Michigan State University

01/14/2017 - 11:10am to 12:00pm Room: 104B
Originally acquired for the protection of the Greater Sandhill Crane, this Michigan Audubon sanctuary has grown to over one thousand acres plus and so has the way it now is managed. Simple "leave it alone and let nature take its course" has become a mosaic of management units all with special problem and fixes. Management has grown from handsaws and clippers to Hydro-hoes with cutting heads and helicopter spraying. Join Gary Siegrist as he explains the trials and tribulations managing a nature preserve.

Presenter: Gary Siegrist
Organization: Michigan Audubon - Haehnle Sanctuary

01/14/2017 - 11:10am to 12:00pm Room: 104A
The invasive phenotype of Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. Ex Steud. continues to spread and invade new areas, having numerous and diverse deleterious effects on extensive areas of Great Lakes shorelines, coastal marsh habitats, inland wetlands and even transportation/transmission corridors used as vectors of invasion. Management approaches by natural area land managers vary dramatically, depending site size and many factors. There may be ongoing treatment on specific sites. There may be treated areas with uncoordinated follow-up on efficacy. Other sites - high priority sites - may be intensely surveyed for biotic response. In a recent survey of land managers, they have reported spending more than $80 million on management of Phragmites in a five-year period (Martin 2011) while no data have been published justifying the effectiveness of the management efforts to restore these native ecosystems (Hazelton et al. 2013). In this presentation, a representative from a cross-disciplinary team of natural resource professionals will share insights on new technology, field management techniques and ecological responses on ecological restoration sites. Based on years of experience and data collection, the presentation will feature methods and results of restoration-centered adaptive management (prioritization, logistics, treatment and monitoring) on Phragmites infestations. Also to be discussed will be new aerial imaging technology and remote sensing approaches that are contributing to efficiencies of Phragmites monitoring in Lake Michigan's Green Bay, Lake Huron's Saginaw Bay, and elsewhere, with significant agency, academic and NGO collaboration.

Presenter: Jason Carlson
Organization: Applied Ecological Services

01/14/2017 - 11:10am to 12:00pm Room: 103AB
Hardy Kiwi vine (Actinidia arguta) is one of the newest species to be reviewed by the Massachusetts Invasive Plant Advisory Group and listed as Likely Invasive. Hardy Kiwi vine can grow over 20-35 feet/year and forms dense mats of intertwining vines that can overwhelm other vegetation, including trees. The weight of the vines during the growing season in addition to snow and ice loading on the vines breaks down the tree canopy, creating "amphitheaters" of only kiwi vine. One of the largest known infestations in New England is found on two adjacent properties in Lenox, Massachusetts. Kennedy Park is a 360-acre property owned and managed by the Town of Lenox and Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is a 1,140-acre property owned and managed by MassAudubon. A large-scale control project was initiated through partnership of the Town of Lenox, MassAudubon and the Mass Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program in 2015 focusing treatment of 100 acres of patches of kiwi vine across 450 acres. Native Habitat Restoration will present the approach for control and Initial results from the treatment efforts as well as considerations for future management of this species.

Presenter: Jessica Toro
Organization: Native Habitat Restoration

01/14/2017 - 11:10am to 12:00pm Room: Michigamme
Continuing the restoration agriculture conversations from the previous two conferences, this presentation will provide an update on Brines Farm's continuing understanding and integration of restoration agriculture techniques including notes on beginning to start our own perennial plant nursery stock. Brines Farm expanded to 80 acres of historical farmland in 2012. Previous use of the land had abused the soil and sped water off site. We began trying keyline techniques to aerate the soil and to keep water on site, and we began to plant perennials. With five seasons of thousands of plantings done, we decided it was time to start our own nursery and teamed with a plant ecologist. We will share notes on our experiences so far and discuss with workshop attendees on their experiences and the need for other local native plant nurseries across the region.

Presenter: Shannon J. Brines
Organization: Brines Farm LLC

Presenter 2: Ben Connor Barrie
Organization: Ben Connor Barrie, Plant Ecologist

01/14/2017 - 11:10am to 12:00pm Room: 105AB

The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians has developed a unique, hands-on approach to Lake Sturgeon restoration. This session will view the 30-minute film titled “Manistee 'Nme, a Lake Sturgeon Success Story” with discussion after. The film follows the tribal community and biologists as they work to restore the native Great Lakes fish. It features the first underwater footage of lake sturgeon in the Big Manistee River. The Little River Band operates an innovative rearing facility on the Manistee River, which was the first-ever portable stream-side rearing facility for lake sturgeon in the Great Lakes when it started in 2004. More than 300 sturgeon have been raised and released there. A sturgeon stewardship plan for the Manistee River — aimed at protecting and sustaining the prehistoric fish over the next seven generations — was developed by the tribe. This program offers a message of hope for sturgeon restoration efforts.

Presenter: Shirley Brauker
Organization: Little River Band of Ottawa Indians

01/14/2017 - 12:15pm to 1:05pm Room: Riverside
New opportunities for volunteer development abound through renewed local partnerships between TSN clusters and the Michigan Conservation Stewards Program (CSP). This Panel Discussion will include presenters from southern Michigan who have been involved with both clusters and the CSP. Panelists include cluster representatives, conservancies, agencies, and other non-profits. In Washtenaw County and Southwest Michigan, the CSP is hosted by active leaders in local clusters. The CSP features 40+ hours of ecosystem learning in on-line, field and expert-led sessions. Local conservation organizations serve as program hosts; MSU Extension provides core content in the on-line curriculum and facilitative support. Local conservation leaders, convened by the host organizations, provide CSP presentations and field expertise. This Panel Discussion will include ideas for offering a CSP volunteer training program co-hosted with a cluster and other conservation partners. Evaluation and case studies of program impacts demonstrate the value of this capacity-building initiative for conservation.

Presenter: Bindu Bhakta
Organization: MSU Extension Oakland County

Presenter 2: Shari Dann
Organization: MSU Department of Community Sustainability
Presenter 3: Monica Day
Organization: MSU Extension
Presenter 4 Name: Jason Frenzel
Presenter 4 Organization: Huron River Watershed Council

01/14/2017 - 12:15pm to 1:05pm Room: 104B

How do two people equipped with English degrees and a dream find the right supportive resources within the existing fabric of mid-Michigan stewardship coalitions? This presentation will trace the learning curve that characterizes the research and outreach needed to actualize a place-specific vision that emphasizes Conservation, Restoration, and Education. How can we best utilize a non-profit certification that has been slumbering for 5 years? Is a non-profit indeed the best way to begin the journey toward becoming a functional stewardship resource able to enhance the common cause of ecological care? Focused on a considerable swath of undeveloped acreage that has been in my husband's family for decades, guided by my indigenous heritage, and grounded in my husband's lifelong love for and familiarity with the particular character and wild inhabitants of these lands. I will present on the process of translating these inspirational aspects into a practical, integrated plan that will support our vision for conserving and restoring the ecological diversity of a beloved place: ultimately to nurture creative arts-based educational experiences that encourage affection for the many inhabitants of the land. So, where to begin?

Presenter: Nichole Biber
Organization: Elemeno

01/14/2017 - 12:15pm to 1:05pm Room: 104A
John will hold this space open for attendees to ask questions, make comments, and process what they heard in his keynote presentation. This is the time to further discuss and explore the ideas, lessons, and challenges of John's experiences, and reach a deeper understanding of his journey of as a planetwalker. I wrote that, so feel free to edit if needed.

Keynote Address - "Approaching Sustainability" - now on YouTube!

Presenter: Dr. John Francis
Organization: Keynote Speaker

01/14/2017 - 12:15pm to 1:05pm Room: 105AB
Most people involved in habitat restoration use backpack sprayers. They are familiar with the type they use and maybe one or two others but have only a vague awareness of the others. This presentation will discuss the different types, a 19 sprayer evaluation done by Rutgers University, modifications that can be made to improve sprayer function and ergonomics, and accessories. Many organizations just discard their sprayers when they stop working. My presentation will conclude with a demonstration of how easy it is to rebuild a sprayer.

Presenter: Chuck Pearson
Organization: The Nature Conservancy

01/14/2017 - 12:15pm to 1:05pm Room: 102
By now we have all heard about the benefits of prescribed fire for our natural areas. But as a small non-profit, how do you get fire on the ground? Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy (SWMLC) uses a blend of volunteers, staff and professional burn crews to conduct 3-10 burns a year. A series of case studies will illustrate the challenges and successes that go into developing a Rx burn program. We often learn more from our mistakes, so examples will make use of 20-20 hindsight to review choices made that led to increased costs, disgruntled volunteers, irritated neighbors, and unfortunate ecological results. There will also be discussion about funding sources, insurance, and equipment needs.

Presenter: Nate Fuller
Organization: Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy

01/14/2017 - 12:15pm to 1:05pm Room: 103AB
Renee Dillard will be demonstrating weaving with bulrushes and basswood fiber. She will share some techniques that have been passed down for many generations that have created beautiful mats. These mats were and are used during ceremony gatherings. You will learn Indigenous harvesting practices that include respect for the surrounding area and the plants themselves. Included throughout the presentation you will hear Renee speak some native language that best describes what your eyes will witness. Renee will be weaving a basswood and bulrush fiber bag during the presentation. This art is rare since the boarding school era. You are invited to come and learn about how the first people of this land lived in balance with their environment.

Presenter: Renee "Wasson" Dillard
Organization: Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians

01/14/2017 - 2:30pm to 5:30pm Room: 104AB
The Forest Stewardship Program connects private forest landowners with 170 natural resource professionals to help them develop a Forest Stewardship Plan to manage, protect, and enjoy their forest land. More than 5,700 landowners in Michigan have developed their own unique Forest Stewardship Plan in the past 25 years. This workshop will explain the Forest Stewardship Program, train and certify natural resource professionals on how to write a simple yet comprehensive Forest Stewardship Plan, and explore additional forestry programs for private landowners. A forestry degree is not required, but related education and professional experience with forest ecosystems is required for certification. Natural resource professionals who wish to become certified Forest Stewardship Plan Writers should bring their resume and an unofficial college transcript to document their natural resource credentials. The Stewardship Network is developing 6 "Landscape Stewardship Plans" in 2017, and this workshop will also explain that partnership between TSN and the Forest Stewardship Program.

Presenter: Mike Smalligan
Organization: Michigan Department of Natural Resources

01/14/2017 - 2:30pm to 5:30pm Room: 105AB
Integrating weather and climate parameters with habitat condition and burn objectives into a prescription for getting the desired fire effects while minimizing risk and uncertainty. Characterizing the prescription in ways to easily identify windows of opportunity with a forecast. Making the Go-No Go decision once on-site and once the burn is begun.

Presenter: Robert "Zeke" Ziel
Organization: Alaska Fire Science Consortium

01/14/2017 - 2:30pm to 5:30pm Room: 103AB
You're doing important and hard work improving the natural areas in your community, but how do you get the word out about what you're doing? What's the best way to tell your story and who should you try to reach? Michigan Radio reporter and Digital Media Director Mark Brush leads a workshop on effective ways to spread your message. Learn how to go beyond simple press releases and Facebook posts, and how to hone the story you want to tell about the work you do.

Presenter: Mark Brush
Organization: Michigan Radio

01/14/2017 - 2:30pm to 5:30pm Room: 106