Community Conservation catalyzes, facilitates, trains and provides resources to empower people from all walks of life to engage in caring for the natural world around them. Hence, diverse aspects of Community Conservation are represented in our morning plenary session: people, plants, animals, water. Many professionals focus on a particular aspect of Community Conservation while others aim to take the broadest scope possible. These speakers will represent both the broad view in talking about community conservation, sustainability and resilience as well as the more focused view of plant and animal interactions.
In “The Land Ethic,” Aldo Leopold
argued that our ethical framework
must expand to include the land “as
a community to which we belong.”
He further stated that “nothing
so important as an ethic is ever
written... It evolves in the minds
of a thinking community.” In this
presentation, conservation biologist
and environmental historian Dr. Curt
Meine will discuss the continuing
relevance and evolution of the land ethic in today’s
society, and how it helps to understand the sustaining
connections we must build into our landscapes and lives.
So maybe you’re not a Prescribed Fire Professional, but you ARE a landowner interested in using fire as a management tool on your property. Is this something you can do yourself, or should you hire a contractor to do it? If you want to attempt it yourself, you should have a burn plan put together to take to your local Fire Department when you seek a burn permit from them. But how do you write a burn plan? What goes into it? What are the things you should think about BEFORE you light a match, and before you go to the Fire Department, and even before you decide whether or not to attempt this on your own. In this webcast, we’ll provide you with a checklist of basic information that should go into a burn plan, and offer suggestions on where you could go if you wanted to get additional firsthand experience with prescribed fire.
Despite the rabbit’s reputation for prolific breeding, the New England cottontail is being considered for federal protection under the Endangered Species Act, and is listed as state-endangered in Maine and New Hampshire. This rare rabbit requires dense, shrubby thickets for protection from predators. These habitats, often referred to as early-successional habitats, are becoming increasingly rare in New England. Concern over the decline in New England cottontail populations has sparked a range-wide, multi-state collaboration to help recover the species and preclude federal listing. In this presentation we’ll introduce you to the biology and habitat requirements of the New England cottontail. We’ll also discuss the challenges we’ve faced (and some lessons learned) in recruiting interested landowners, funding habitat management on private and public lands, and working collaboratively across local and state boundaries.
Many plants that are highly invasive in natural areas are still sold at nurseries throughout the Midwest. Consumers often buy these plants without realizing the impacts that these species have on native ecosystems. In 2007, the Midwest Invasive Plant Network (MIPN) created a brochure called, “Landscape Alternatives for Invasive Plants of the Midwest,” which has been popular with master gardeners, county Extension staff, native wildflower societies, and homeowners across the region. With help from the University of Georgia’s Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health, MIPN has created a new smart phone application that will allow users to access information on alternatives to invasive plants while they are shopping. The app will make it easier for consumers to make good choices and avoid bad ones when selecting plants for their property.
Recruiting and working with volunteers can be as easy as 1-2-3... as long as your volunteer program is looking for problems and resolving them. A series of volunteer engagement best management practices will be highlighted as we learn a framework for creating and improving volunteer programming. The main focus of this of this session will be on recruitment, but will also touch on other aspects of volunteer management. Time will be allocated for you to work on your own volunteer recruitment and retention needs, while learning from others.
Isle Royale is a remote wilderness island, isolated by the frigid waters of Lake Superior, and home to populations of wolves and moose. As predator and prey, their lives and deaths are linked in a drama that is timeless and historic. Their lives are historic because we have been documenting their lives for more than five decades. This research project is the longest continuous study of any predator-prey system in the world. The purposes of this project are to better understand the ecology of predation and what that knowledge can teach us about our relationship with nature. Much of what we have learned is associated with having been patient enough to observe and study the fluctuations in wolf and moose abundances. John will present an overview of over 5 decades of research.
The topic of this month’s webinar is on mute swans in Michigan. It includes the history of mute swans in the state, their impacts on native birds, the environment, and people, and the management strategy of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR). The MDNR has a policy in place to allow landowners to manage the mute swan populations on their property by obtaining a permit. The application process will be discussed. Also, a stakeholder who has gone through the process of obtaining a permit for his lake, will be online to provide a perspective from the landowner’s point of view.