Spring finally feels like it's on its way - the weather is warming up, the songbirds are back, and the garlic mustard is showing its green little leaves. On April 10th, we'll be kicking off our 2013 Garlic Mustard Challenge with this webcast. We'll cover a bit of the science behind the plant, and then we'll be joined by people leading the charge against this invasive in different places around Michigan! We'll hear about their work and success protecting the special places where they live. Tune in, and get pumped up for the 2013 Challenge!
The Kirtland’s Warbler is a conservation-reliant and emblematic species of Michigan that has battled back from low population numbers to become an endangered species success story. The key to that success has been intensive, human-led management strategies to reduce predation threats from the non-native Brown-headed cowbird and provide specific habitat needs once naturally provided by wildfire. Having surpassed recovery goals the Kirtland’s warbler now stands at a crossroads – how to move beyond recovery to a place of strong, sustained existence. What are the key ingredients to ensure this unique species thrives into the future? As agencies begin to reassess the warbler’s endangered species status, what will the next chapter of the human-Kirtland’s warbler relationship look like? Join Abigail Ertel of Huron Pines and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Christie Deloria to learn more about how the new Kirtland’s Warbler Initiative is working to answer these questions and the implications this work has for other conservation-reliant species.
Hugh Brown, Field Station Director at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute, will cover basic soil properties such as texture, structure and color and relate soil characteristics to management. He will discuss the soil forming factors (parent material, topography, climate, organisms, and time) and explain how they interact with plant communities. He will investigate the relationship between the soil microbial community and plant growth. He will relate carbon and nutrient cycles to restoration activities. The webcast will provide an overview of the relationship between soil information and land management practices.
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.