Monthly Archives: February 2015

A journey through Wisconsin’s rabbit hole

By Lindsay Renick Mayer I’m not quite prepared for the eccentricity of Kettle Moraine Oak Opening State Natural Area, where oak trees grow out, instead of up, straining to reach for the sun. Trees and invasive plants alike sprout new stems from their roots, multiplying, when other plants would instead succumb to fire. The terrain rolls up the moraine and down into kettles, up and down and up and down, disorienting even the most stalwart...

Goats in the forest: A different kind of land management

By Caitlin Williamson, Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin The Riveredge Nature Center in Ozaukee County wanted to try a different approach to land management. A goat approach. Using a local company, Riveredge hired 32 hungry goats (and their herder) to remove dense undergrowth vegetation and eat invasive plants, such as autumn olive and buckthorn, on the nearly 400 acres of forest and prairies in southeastern Wisconsin. The project was supported by a $1,000 grant from...

In search of snowy owls

By Lindsay Renick Mayer, Natural Resources Foundation “You’ve got to be really observant looking for these owls,” Mark Martin says to me as he slows the car down to a stop. “You can’t be looking at me.” We’ve been driving around Madison Audubon Society’s Goose Pond Sanctuary for about 30 minutes now, trying to spot a female snowy owl, which Mark and his wife Sue Foote-Martin (who co-manage the sanctuary together) tell me are a...

The birds, the bees and the Badger state

By Brooke Hemze It’s February, the month of love. With springtime around the corner, love will soon be in the air for many species. In honor of Valentine’s Day, staff here at the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin consulted with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and other references to take a look at the quirky courting rituals of some of our favorite Wisconsin critters. American Woodcock   Hold me closer sky dancer. The American woodcock’s...

Dispatches from Belize

By Ruth Oppedahl, Natural Resources Foundation Foundation Executive Director Ruth Oppedahl and a group of WisConservationists are this week visiting Belize as part of the Foundation’s international field trip program. The field trip participants are exploring the country’s birding hotspots, learning about conservation efforts and delving into the country’s myriad habitats, including wetlands, Caribbean cayes, primary rainforest and pine savannah. Check back this week as Ruth reports from the field! February 11, 2015 Floating down the...

Foundation member visits 500 State Natural Areas…and counting

By Josh Mayer, Foundation member and guest blogger The last few years have been an eye-opening experience for me. Wisconsin-born and bred, I had learned from an early age that our great state’s landscape consisted of forests and fields with many lakes scattered here and there. But there is so much more! And so it remained as I went off to college and graduate school, the latter of which was rewarded with a digital camera (which...