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Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

April 1996

Going afield

Join the people who work in our wetlands, prairies, parks and forests on their daily rounds.

Barb Barzen

Surely you've had the experience of reading about a person, a place or an event and then wishing you could be there, to see and hear and witness what sparked your curiosity on paper. Wish no more, adventurer! Strike out for the goat prairies, dip your paddle in Wisconsin River history, scan the Lake Superior skies for broad-tailed hawks and scour the forest floor for fungi. What you've read about in the pages of Wisconsin Natural Resources will come to life during the annual Field Trips offered by the Natural Resources Foundation.

On a field trip, you'll help DNR biologists, park managers, foresters and other natural resource professionals in the ongoing quest to understand and protect our natural heritage. You'll see firsthand how trout streams are reconstructed, take water samples from the Mississippi River, "cruise timber" in a northern pine stand, or watch prairie chickens booming at Buena Vista Marsh just before dawn. How about brushing up on your wildflower identification skills, or clambering across the geologic eons at Devil's Lake in the company of someone who knows strata like the back of her hand?

From April to October, DNR staff will lead 32 field trips across the state. Sign up for one, or several, and learn about the people and the places that make Wisconsin a naturally fascinating state. But please register soon – trip rosters fill up fast and some trips have limits on the number of visitors who can be accommodated on buses and in blinds.

Reserve space for your group by sending us a letter. Include the trip number and date, and please tell us how many people are in your party. Registering for trips which list a fee, and those enclosing a donation, should include a check payable to the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin. All costs listed are per-person fees.

Return your reservations to: Field Trips, Natural Resources Foundation, P.O. Box 129, Madison, WI 53701. Enclose a stamped, self-addressed return envelope so we can confirm your trip, forward directions and suggest any special gear you may want to bring with you. Also, please include phone numbers so we can contact you with questions about your reservation.

If you have questions about these trips, contact the Natural Resources Foundation office, (608) 266-1430 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. (CST) Monday through Friday.

See you in the field!

1. Wetland Mitigation at Shiocton Marsh Learn about the administrative and biological aspects of a wetland mitigation project at prime time for migration of waterfowl, shorebirds, and early songbirds. WHEN: April 20, 10:00 a.m. - noon WHERE: Shiocton, Outagamie Co. LEADER: Kelley O'Connor LIMIT: none

2. Fish, Algae, Invertebrates, and Wastewater - Testing for Water Quality See how biologists use aquatic organisms to monitor the quality of water discharged from industrial and municipal wastewater treatment facilities. Tour the state's Biomonitoring Laboratory. WHEN: April 20, 10:00 a.m. - noon WHERE: Madison LEADER: Steve Geis LIMIT: 20

3. Prairie Chicken Booming at Buena Vista Marsh Friday evening presentation on prairie chicken behavior/ecology. Saturday pre-dawn observation of prairie chicken mating dance, followed by breakfast and discussion. WHEN: April 26, 7:00 p.m. - April 27, 11:00 a.m. WHERE: Central Wisconsin Environmental Station, Amherst Junction LEADER: Todd Knepfel LIMIT: 20 COST: $40

4. Paddle Through Industrial Manitowoc: A Canoe Tour of Pollution and Prevention Learn the history and basics of air and water pollution, observe current conditions, and learn about pollution reduction efforts. WHEN: April 27, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. WHERE: Manitowoc LEADER: Jim Crawford LIMIT: 30 COST: $10/party with own canoe; $35 per canoe rental

5. Pheasant Rearing at State Game Farm, Tour of MacKenzie Environmental Center Slide presentations and tours at each facility, including pheasant rearing facilities for breeder flocks and wild pheasant production, demonstration of new energy cycle, and Wisconsin wildlife exhibit. WHEN: May 11, 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. WHERE: Poynette, Columbia Co. LEADERS: Don Bates, Derek Duane LIMIT: 25

6. Spring Wildflowers at McGilvra Woods This State Natural Area in the Baraboo Hills is the stage for a spectacular display of spring wildflowers. Take a leisurely stroll through a maple-basswood forest to see trillium, hepatica, spring beauty, and much more. WHEN: May 11, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. WHERE: Baraboo, Sauk Co. LEADER: Thomas Meyer LIMIT: 20

7. A Birder's Tour of the Garbage Industry - Wisconsin Point Learn about waste management issues and technology at one of Wisconsin's best birdwatching sites. Tour old and new landfills on/near Wisconsin Point, visit a waste facility, and lunch at the tip of Wisconsin Point. WHEN: May 11, 7:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. WHERE: Superior LEADER: Steve LaValley LIMIT: none

8. Spring Wildflowers at Newport State Park See an array of rare and beautiful wildflowers of the northern boreal forest and spectacular Lake Michigan shoreline. WHEN: May 18, 1:00 - 3:30 p.m. WHERE: Newport State Park, Door Co. LEADER: Coggin Heeringa LIMIT: none COST: Sticker or entrance fee at state park

9. Trout Management and Stream Shocking Demonstration Wisconsin's rolling coulee region has beautiful trout streams and a colorful history. Visit regional trout streams, discuss programs to improve stream habitat, and see the shocking truth of how trout populations are estimated. WHEN: May 18, 10:00 a.m. - noon. WHERE: Coon Valley, Vernon Co. LEADER: David Vetrano LIMIT: 40

10. Mitigation of a Trout Stream: The Case of Allenton Creek and Highway 41 Learn about the process of moving streams and wetlands to make room for roads. DNR and UW-Milwaukee experts will conduct an on-site recounting of the mitigation of Allenton Creek, a high-quality trout stream. WHEN: May 18, 9:00 a.m. - noon WHERE: Allenton, Washington Co. LEADER: Vic Pappas LIMIT: 30

11. Tour of Rocky Run Oak Opening State Natural Area Hike through this 300-acre natural area and learn about the ecology and management of prairies and oak openings. Picnic lunch on scenic bluff. WHEN: May 25, 9:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. WHERE: Wyocena, Columbia Co. LEADER: Mark Martin LIMIT: 25

12. Patrick Marsh: A Glorious Wetland Restoration Explore this 160-acre marsh, which was drained in the early 1960s, farmed for nearly 30 years and restored in 1992. Search for birds, nests, tadpoles, aquatic insects, plants and much more. WHEN: June 1, 10:00 a.m. - noon. WHERE: Sun Prairie, Dane Co. LEADER: Alan Crossley LIMIT: 30

13. Renewable Energy: A Modern Residential Application See a slide presentation on the DNR's involvement in renewable energy development, along with examples of solar, wind, and energy efficient technology in use at a house that is "off the grid." WHEN: June 1, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. WHERE: Brooklyn, Green Co. LEADERS: Cheryl Rezabek, Bob Strous LIMIT: 40

14. Geology for Children at Devil's Lake State Park Spend a day getting into and onto rocks at one of the state's most beautiful parks. After a brief indoor session of slides and activities, hike the bluffs above Devil's Lake and explore the rich geologic history of the area. WHEN: June 8, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. WHERE: Baraboo, Sauk Co. LEADER: Heidi Conde LIMIT: 20 (at least one adult per two children; for children ages 9-13) COST: Sticker or entrance fee at state park

15. Twilight Stroll at Havenwoods State Forest Learn about the unique history of this urban state forest and the programs offered there. Take a twilight walk to discover what animals are active at dusk. WHEN: June 12, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. WHERE: Milwaukee LEADER: Jackie Scharfenberg LIMIT: 30

16. Tours of Roche-A-Cri and Buckhorn State Parks Tour one or both of these picturesque central Wisconsin parks with specialists in archaeology and fisheries. See petroglyphs, pictographs, the Castle Rock Flowage, and recreational highlights. WHEN: June 15, 9:00-11:00 a.m. at Roche-A-Cri and 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. at Buckhorn WHERE: Adams & Juneau counties. LEADERS: Joe Stecker-Kochanski, Bob Birmingham, Scot Ironside LIMIT: 30 COST: Sticker or entrance fee at state park

17. Plants, People, and Places Along the Lower Wisconsin Mark to the day the 323rd anniversary of Marquette and Joliet's passage along the Lower Wisconsin River by following their route from Gotham to Muscoda. The five- mile canoe trip will focus on natural and human history, with stops at Avoca Prairie, riverbottom forests, and islands, plus a Lower Wisconsin State Riverway update. WHEN: June 16, 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. WHERE: Gotham, Richland Co. LEADER: David Kopitzke LIMIT: 20 COST: $10/person, if renting canoe

18. Creek Walk at Whitefish Dunes State Park Take a family hike to a small creek and wade right in to explore life on the creek bottom. WHEN: June 22, 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. WHERE: Whitefish Dunes State Park, Door Co. LEADER: Ginny Haen LIMIT: 24 COST: Sticker or entrance fee at state park

19. Tour of Hayward State Forest Nursery Tour nursery facility to see how trees and shrubs are grown for forestry plantings, from seed extraction to shipping. WHEN: July 13, 10:00 a.m. - noon WHERE: Hayward LEADER: Gordon Christians LIMIT: none

20. Jon-boating the Mississippi Backwaters and Sampling the River Join biologists in exploring sloughs, wetlands, the main channel, dredge spoil sites, and habitat projects on the Mississippi River. See demonstrations of methods used to monitor the health of the river. Learn about river history, issues, wildlife, mussels, fish, and plants. Spectacular scenery! WHEN: July 13, 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. (Group A) or 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (Group B) WHERE: La Crosse LEADERS: Jeff Janvrin, Terry Dukerschein LIMIT: 48

21. Hike at Trenton Bluff and Morgan Coulee Prairie State Natural Areas Visit two of the highest quality dry "goat" prairies in western Wisconsin. Let the Natural Areas Management Crew show you work they have done to help restore these prairies and the surrounding cliff, oak savanna, and forest habitats. WHEN: July 20, 9:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. WHERE: Hager City, Pierce Co. LEADERS: Jim Buchholz, Ron Lichtie LIMIT: 25

22. Trumpeter Swan Recovery Program - Crex Meadows See wild trumpeter swans with cygnets on a beautiful marshland. Learn about trumpeter swan ecology and efforts to restore swans in Wisconsin. WHEN: July 20, 9:00 a.m.-noon WHERE: Crex Meadows Wildlife Area, Burnett Co. LEADER: Mike Mossman LIMIT: 30

23. Tour of Wisconsin Heights Battle Site Take a walking tour through historic battle site, oak savanna restoration, pre-historic mound site, and hilltop where Black Hawk directed the 1832 battle. WHEN: July 27, 1:00 4:00 p.m. WHERE: Sauk City, Sauk Co. LEADER: Wayne Schutte LIMIT: 30

24. Exploring Mississippi River Natural Resources Venture onto the Mississippi River by boat and learn about the history, fish, birds, mussels, plants, and habitats of the Father of Waters. WHEN: July 27, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. WHERE: Merrick State Park, Buffalo Co. LEADER: Brian Brecka LIMIT: 16 COST: Sticker or fee for state park entrance

25. Management of Old Growth White Pine in Black River State Forest Take a bus tour through the Black River State Forest and hike through managed and unmanaged old growth white pine stands. Learn the pros and cons of different forestry practices. WHEN: July 27, 9:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. WHERE: Black River Falls, Jackson Co. LEADER: Ed Vlach LIMIT: 40 COST: $2/person

26. Canoe the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway Learn about the management and history of the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway while canoeing from Mazomanie to Arena. WHEN: August 3, 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. WHERE: Mazomanie, Dane Co. LEADER: Wayne Schutte LIMIT: 30 COST: $10/person, if renting canoe

27. Timber Harvest Workshop – Northern Highlands-American Legion State Forest Tour timber harvest projects, observe equipment in operation, learn how and why trees are thinned, and participate in cruising and marking a timber harvest project. WHEN: August 24, 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. WHERE: Woodruff, Vilas Co. LEADER: Ralph Hewett LIMIT: 28

28. Mushroom Foray at Whitefish Dunes State Park Join a mycology expert for a fungi foray in one of Wisconsin's most scenic state parks. In case of bad weather or lack of mushrooms, Ms. Lukes will show a sampling of slides of the 470+ mushrooms she has found in Door County. WHEN: August 31, 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. WHERE: Whitefish Dunes State Park, Door Co. LEADER: Charlotte Lukes LIMIT: 24 COST: Sticker or entrance fee for state park

29. 140 Years of Applied Forestry on the Menominee Indian Reservation See how reservation forests have been managed for diversity in species and size since the 1850s. Tour the reservation by bus to learn how the area's history and forestry practices set it apart from other northern forests. WHEN: September 21, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. WHERE: Keshena, Menominee Co. LEADER: Marshall Pecore LIMIT: 40 COST: $5

30. Geology of the Baraboo Hills Explore the rich geologic history of the Baraboo Hills by hiking the bluffs overlooking Devil's Lake, studying formations at Parfrey's Glen, and visiting Van Hide Rock and other geologic features near Rock Springs. WHEN: September 28, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. WHERE: Devil's Lake State Park, Sauk Co. LEADER: Philip Fauble LIMIT: 25

31. Bus Tour of Forest Management in Kettle Moraine State Forest Enjoy fall colors and learn tricks of the forestry trade – thinning, planting, harvesting, etc. – via a 50- mile trek by bus through the Southern Unit of Kettle Moraine State Forest. Several forestry experts will show results of various management techniques. WHEN: September 28, 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. WHERE: Eagle, Waukesha Co. LEADER: Michael Sieger LIMIT: 45 COST: $12/person

32. Lake Michigan Salmon Fisheries See the peak spawning run of Lake Michigan salmon and get a behind-the-scenes look at how eggs are collected for distribution to hatcheries. WHEN: October 7, 10:00 a.m. - noon WHERE: Kewaunee LEADER: Paul Peeters LIMIT: 30

Barb Barzen oversees staff services for the Natural Resources Foundation in Madison.