Thursday Concurrent Session 4
April 2, 2020 ~ 2:35-3:15 pm
Agenda subject to change.
Paddling Our Waters: A Hobby Gone Wild
"Paddling is an outward expression of an inward obsession" -- this is the mantra of the folks behind the popular paddling website milespaddled.com. In this session, the group’s “guidebook scribe” Timothy Bauer will talk about his love of paddling Wisconsin waters and documenting his experiences for the last ten years while overcoming the many obstacles in doing so, be they practical (work/life balances), circumstantial (poisonous plants, ticks, thunderstorms, floods, droughts), or philosophical (what even is the point of doing all of this?).
Engaging the Levers of Transformational Action
Lake and watershed rehabilitation too often flounders when community participation and investment cannot match the scope of the challenge. This reality is made worse given that opportunities and barriers to success are always changing, causing even the best-laid plans to fall short in delivering on promised outcomes. This presentation will review common impediments to meeting and sustaining water quality goals, and offer specific strategies for engaging a broader watershed community in developing, carrying out, and staying accountable to a shared action plan. We will also present major work being done through River Alliance to advance new water policy and strategy during this critical time for Wisconsin’s waters.
Paul Dearlove, Watershed Initiatives Senior Director, Clean Lakes Alliance
Bill Davis, Senior Legal Analyst, Wisconsin River Alliance
Studying the Secondary Effects of White-Nose Syndrome in Bats of the Upper Midwest
Cave-dwelling bat populations in North America are facing declines and the threat of regional extinction due to White-nose Syndrome (WNS), an invasive fungal disease. With the collapse of many bat species expected, management and conservation agencies must determine how best to restore populations from the colonies or individuals that survive fungal infection. Scientists with USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station are conducting several studies to determine bat population movement patterns between hibernating and breeding areas, habitat use around hibernacula, and assess if populations are showing an immune response to WNS disease. Gaining a better understanding of these relationships will improve conservation efforts to minimize activities that may be leading to additional stress on remaining populations and ensure adequate breeding among these populations. This presentation will provide an overview of these studies.
Presenter: Deahn Donner, Research Landscape Ecologist, US Forest Service Northern Research Station
*Two 20 minute presentations
Buffalo Lake Drawdown: Changes to Plant Community Composition and Lake Depth
Buffalo Lake, located in Marquette County, conducted an 18-month drawdown from 2012-2014. Pre and post monitoring was completed to determine changes to plant community composition and lake depth. We will present changes to plant community composition, species diversity and floristic quality including a major reduction in the EWM population. We also completed two different methods of GPS - lake bed elevation mapping, pre- and post- drawdown, to determine the minimum, average and maximum improvement in lake depth. From this, we measured the total change in storage volume. Drawdowns are often misunderstood and very controversial. It is hoped that by presenting this information people can better understand the utility of drawdowns as a viable management tool.
Presenter: Ted Johnson, Lakes Biologist, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Drought in a Lake Rich Region: Variability Predicted by Lake and Landscape Characteristics
Climate change is altering precipitation patterns, with implications for water levels. Because lakes are embedded in complex landscapes, we expect them to vary in how they respond to drought. We took advantage of a recent drought (~2005-2010) and estimated changes in lake area, water level and shoreline position on 47 lakes in northern Wisconsin using high-resolution satellite imagery. We developed a statistical model predicting water level response to drought, which allowed us to identify some characteristics of the most responsive lakes in the region. Our results indicated that low-conductivity seepage lakes found high in the landscape, with little surrounding wetland, and highly permeable soils showed the greatest water level declines. Understanding how lakes and lake districts respond to drought will further our understanding of how climate change may alter lake ecology via water level fluctuations.
Presenter: Martin Perales, Graduate Researcher, Center for Limnology, University of Wisconsin - Madison
*Two 20 minute presentations
Dibaginjigaadeg Anishinaabe Ezhitwaad: A Tribal Climate Adaptation Menu
Indigenous knowledge and perspective have only recently been recognized as planning resources for climate adaptation. This presentation will introduce a Tribal Climate Adaptation Menu designed to plan adaptation actions that recognize and incorporate indigenous perspectives. This menu, which was developed by a diverse group of collaborators representing tribal, academic, intertribal and government entities in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan provides a framework to integrate indigenous knowledge, culture, language and history into the climate adaptation planning process. Designed to work with the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science Adaptation Workbook, the menu and Guiding Principles section, which describes a general process for working with indigenous communities, can also be used as a stand-alone resource. The Tribal Adaptation Menu may be used as a tool to help bridge communication barriers for non-tribal persons or organizations interested in indigenous approaches to adaptation and the needs and values of diverse communities.
Presenter: Rob Croll, Policy Analyst, Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission
A Climate Adaptation Toolbox for Natural Resource Managers
Managers of land and water face significant challenges when faced with climate change. The Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICCI) Plants and Natural Communities Working Group has been building an ‘adaptation toolbox’ to help managers understand how the sites and resources that they manage are vulnerable to climate change, and what actions they can take to promote resilience, protect species, and retain ecosystem services. Four types of adaptation toolbox resources are currently offered: 1) climate change vulnerability assessments for the natural communities of Wisconsin, 2) a menu of climate adaptation options for wetlands, 3) general and property-specific adaptation workshops, and 4) adaptation demonstration sites.
Presenter: Amy Staffen, Ecologist, Natural Heritage Conservation Program, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
*Two 20 minute presentations
Sniffing for Science: How Conservation Dogs Support AIS Early Detection and Monitoring Efforts
Professional conservation detection teams can identify the absence or presence of zebra and quagga mussels with reliable accuracy. Their ability to detect an aquatic target diluted into the parts per trillion has enabled them to swiftly and efficiently lend a hand in aquatic conservation. This presentation will highlight how detection dogs are an innovative, emerging and non-invasive technology in early aquatic invasive species detection.
Presenter: Amy Wagnitz, Director of Programs, Midwest Conservation Dogs Incorporated
Monitoring Waterscapes From a Bird’s Eye: Exploring the Capacity of Drones
Wisconsin Lakes Partners have assisted water monitoring for decades using boats, rakes, nets and snorkeling. While these proven monitoring methods collected great data, there is a need to expand capacity. Pilot projects have been implemented to sample the peaks of Winnebago and search for needles in Winneconne and beyond. Come learn about projects that used drones to sample for emergent vegetation.
Maureen Ferry, Water Resource Management Specialist, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Chris Kolasinski, Regional Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources