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2017 Conference Presentations

2017 Conference Breakout Sessions

Wednesday, March 15

Understanding Conservation Planning Concepts, Conservation Planning Certification, and Ecological Sciences Job Approval Authority. What is the nine step process of planning and how does that assure quality resource protection? What does it mean to be planning certified and how do I reach that goal? What are Job Approvals for Resource Planners? Speaker: Judy Derricks, NRCS.

Food, Land, and Water Project Update. Join Jim VandenBrook and others for an update on this project, which looks beyond the present moment to see the big picture, and thinks about our shared resources in a more systematic and collaborative way. This will include updates on the four workgroups: surface water, groundwater quality, groundwater quantity, and the future of Wisconsin working lands, as well as what to expect at the October 2017 conference. 

Lower Fox River Watershed Water Quality Monitoring. Extensive research is being conducted in the Lower Fox River watershed in a collaborative effort between United States Geological Survey and University of Wisconsin Green Bay. Sites have been established in-stream, at the edge of field, at tile outlets, in a treatment wetland, and in paired watersheds. The paired watershed sites are examining the effect of cover crops verses traditional, stable concentrated flow channels and grazing verses traditional. The researchers from both USGS and UWGB will discuss the studies along with the data to date. Speakers: Jeremy Freund, Outagamie County LCD; Matt Komiskey and Paul Reneau, USGS; and Kevin Fermanich, UW-Green Bay.

Using water quality modeling tools (such as SnapPlus and EPA's STEPL model) for determining milestones for and tracking implementation of 9 Key Element Watershed Plans, TMDL reaches, and County Land and Water Plans. This session will provide some case studies of how counties, in consultation with DNR, can use models to develop watershed plans that reflect TMDL pollutant reduction goals and how this effort aligns with County Land and Water Plan requirements and annual reporting. Speaker: Andrew Craig, WDNR.

10,000 Years of Wisconsin History. Since the first Henschel homesteader settled in Sheboygan County in 1849, the family’s land has yielded evidence of 10,000 years of human occupation. This collection of artifacts is one of the most complete in Wisconsin. Gary Henschel will have a slideshow on their archeological digs and have artifacts on-hand. These items – chipped stone tools, projectile points, ground stone tools, bone tools, copper implements, and pottery – trace the lives and times of the original culture inhabiting the area.

Nutrient Management Where Food, Land, and Water Comes Together. Implementing a nutrient management (NM) plan is one of the best ways farmers can do to protect their soil and water while providing food for the masses. Learn how NM is changing. See SnapPlus 16 and how it provides farmers with a conservation plan that protects their soil while also managing fertilizer or manure for profitability and compliance. Speaker: Sue Porter, DATCP. 1 Nutrient Management CEU

County Presentations: (1) Grazing Public Grasslands To Improve Wildlife Habitat, Water Quality and Soil Health. William Kolodziej, Marathon County, and Erin Grossman, WDNR, will share how Rotational Grazing reduces the amount of chemical and mechanical treatments to manage grasslands. The second year results are amazing from both the wildlife and cattle perspectives. Graduate students have noticed increases in grassland wildlife and William has increased cattle performance in weight gain and reproduction. (2) Oneida County Roadside Pollinator Project. Michele Sadauskas, Oneida County LWCD, will present on how habitat loss and climate change have played large roles in the demise of native pollinators. In 2016, the Town of Three Lakes and Oneida County Land & Water partnered to restore pollinator habitat in the Three Lake, WI area. The project successfully restored 2,250 sq. ft. of pollinator habitat and began building connections within the community. 

Black Bear Management in Wisconsin. DNR’s David MacFarland will provide an overview of Wisconsin's black bear management program. The discussion will focus on bear range and population, harvest and conflict management, DNR research, and the future of the state's bear management program.

Stream Crossings. We will discuss the stream crossing standard and share many examples and field applications. Photos of before, during, and after construction will be shared with insights and lessons learned. Some time will be spent touching on the flood events in northern Wisconsin and the crossings affected in 2016. Speakers: Stacy Dehne, DATCP (Part 1 and Part 2); Travis Tulowitzky, Bayfield Co. LWCD; and Heather Palmquist, Iron Co. LWCD.

NRCS Soil Survey Updates. NRCS staff will present on the Major Land Resource Area (MLRA) approach to updating soil surveys. What changes are we seeing across Eastern Wisconsin? How does our work impact users of soil survey information? Why it is important to update your soil layers each and every fall? 

Thursday, March 16

Concrete: Forming, Placing, Consolidating, and Beyond. This session will focus on concrete construction and inspection according to the latest version of Wisconsin Construction Specification 4, Concrete. Construction and construction inspection requirements prior to, during, and following concrete placement will be discussed, including during special hot and cold weather conditions. Speakers: Travis Buckley and Ryan Glassmaker, DATCP. 

A Tale of Two Tracking Systems. This session will acquaint you with two different types of software used for tracking landowners, BMPs, and other LWCD projects. We'll discuss tracking DNR/DATCP reporting needs, landowner/project documentation/inspections, ease of use, etc. Burnett and Vernon Counties will demo RESPEC'S MapFeeder and Columbia Transcendant's Ascent. Speakers: Dave Ferris, Paul Cook, and Ann Lane, Burnett County LWCD; Kurt Calkins, Columbia County LCD; and Ben Wojahn, Vernon County LWCD.

Conservation and the State of Wisconsin 2017-19 Biennial Budget. Executive Director Jim VandenBrook; Dan Bahr, Government Affairs Associate from Wisconsin Counties Association; and Shawn Pfaff, Lobbyist for WI Land+Water will provide an update on what is and isn't in the proposed biennial budget for conservation. What is the Association's strategy to advocate for needed funding? What is your role the process?

What's going on in the DNR's Lakes and Rivers Program? The Department's Lakes and Rivers Section is home to a wide variety of programs benefitting the state’s water resources. Attendees will learn what is currently being worked on including grants, planning, aquatic invasive species and much more. Speaker: Bob Wakeman, DNR.

Can You Test That? An Introduction to Water Monitoring for Groundwater, Streams, Lakes and Runoff. In this session, we will explore how your monitoring objectives along with pollutant and water characteristics can be used to understand water sampling and testing. Bring your questions (and answers) for an informal exploration of the "how", "why" and "why nots" of monitoring groundwater, streams, lakes and runoff. Speaker: Paul McGinley, UW-Extension/UW-Stevens Point.

Erosion Control and Stormwater Management - Just the Facts! Get the inside scoop on construction site erosion control and post-construction stormwater management with regard to applicability, plan review and permit compliance. Speakers: Alan Barrows, Waukesha County LWC and David Nashold, Chippewa County LCFM.

Addressing Water Quality in a Community: Citizens Perspectives and Actions Taken. (It is recommended to also attend the afternoon farmers’ perspectives). Local citizens and Environmental Advocacy Groups have been playing a vital role in demanding water quality issues be addressed within their communities. The Uteschs- representing Kewaunee Cares, Jodi Parins Town of Lincoln- Kewaunee County, along with Sarah Geers and Tressie Kamp Midwest Environmental Advocates will discuss their views on water quality issues and how they have engaged their neighbors to become involved and make their voices heard.

Farm Enterprise Budgeting. "Should I Plant corn, Convert to Pastures or....?” "How much are you making per acre planting corn?" "Are you better off converting your cropland to pasture and grazing animals on it or do something else?" These are just some of questions Sauk County conservation staff started asking our producers in 2016 to get them really thinking about the decisions that affect their farm businesses, as well as our soil and water resources. A simple enterprise budget is extremely beneficial to help producers assess the financial viability of their cropping systems. Many continue to operate as "normal" even if they are losing money. We, as conservation staff, are ill-equipped to answer some of these very basic questions. Conservation and finances go hand-in-hand. The goal is not to perform an all-inclusive financial plan for the farm. That's not our charge. It's to help them make some basic, simple decisions regarding their various farm enterprises. If we can show them the numbers, and show how conservation can pay, it seems to go a long way towards us "selling" conservation. Speakers: Serge Koenig and Aaron Pape, Sauk County CPZ and Paul Dietmann, Badgerland Financial.

Social Media 101. Share, Like, Retweet, Hashtag … You no longer need to be lost when you hear these terms. Learn what they mean and how to use them to communicate directly to stakeholders in your county. Speakers: Ashley Reichert, Washington County Clerk and Paul Backhaus, Washington County LWCD.

Introduction to Conservation Engineering. This session will be jointly presented by Scott Mueller, NRCS, and Travis Buckley, DATCP, and will provide an overview of conservation engineering in Wisconsin. A variety of topics will be discussed including joint engineering job approval authority, practice standards, construction specifications, design tools, standard drawings, plans, and project construction. 

Addressing Water Quality in a Community: Farmers Perspectives and Actions Taken. Producer led initiative groups have been formed with assistance from agency sponsors to address water quality concerns in their communities. Rachel Rushmann, DATCP will explain the goals of the program, Don Niles Peninsula Pride (others to be named) will talk how the groups came about and what steps they are taking to achieve the water quality goals within their communities.

County Options for Protecting or Improving Groundwater Quality. We'll start with maps showing the prevalence of nitrate and pesticides in Wisconsin's drinking water. Then dive into health effects the research has uncovered, and opportunities for counties to improve groundwater quality. We'll wrap up with results from three WI Land+Water demo projects to reduce nitrate levels. Speakers: Lynn Markham, UW-Extension Center for Land Use Education and Christina Anderson, WI Land+Water.

County Presentations: (1) Using Your County Farm as a Demonstration Tool. Melissa Keenan, Sauk County CPZ, and John Sippl, NRCS, will present details on a 562 acre farm that is owned by Sauk County and leased out to local farmers for 3 years at a time. In 2014, Sauk County CPZ modified the lease agreement to establish a demonstration farm to highlight conservation practices. This session will highlight the current projects on the farm and the changes made to the lease agreement. (2) Non-Metallic Mining and Bankruptcy, Lessons Learned from Walworth County. In 2013 eight non-metallic mining sites were subject to a bankruptcy filing. Shannon Haydin and Fay Amerson will share how county staff got involved early and called in the bonds that had been issued for reclamation. By the end of 2015, all sites had been successfully reclaimed by new operators. Lessons were learned on how to successfully obtain reclamation for sites subject to bankruptcy.

All Things 590 and Nutrient Management: Updates and Discussion. Presenters Sara Walling (DATCP) and Judy Derricks (NRCS) will walk through the main changes to the 590 NM Standard and the revisions made to ATCP 50 to implement the new 590 Standard. Time will be allowed for questions, comments, and audience/presenter discussions to take place. 

Youth Education: Getting the ball and keeping it rolling! The WI Land+Water Youth Education Committee will briefly describe our current statewide programs: Poster and Speaking Contest, WI Envirothon, and both Conservation Camps. Two counties will go in depth about their successful contests and reveal tricks to increase participation. As a group we'll share struggles, successes and program ideas. View the presentation on promoting youth education on social media.

Shoreland Zoning Updates: Acts 55, 167 and 391. Shoreland zoning standards were changed by the state budget bill in July 2015 and additional statutory revisions again in 2016. State law now says counties cannot have shoreland standards more protective or restrictive than state standards. DNR’s Kay Lutze will discuss the specifics as well as the impact to shoreland zoning ordinances.

Designing Roof Systems – Daniel Pederson, Randy Robideaux, and Caynen Klessig, Walters Buildings.

Adaptive Management Pilot Watershed Project in Silver Creek. NEW Water is conducting a pilot project to evaluate the cost effectiveness of working with the agricultural community to reduce sediment and phosphorus in Silver Creek. This project will help guide NEW Water in the development of a future full scale Adaptive Management program to achieve continued permit compliance. Speakers: Jeff Smudde, NEW Water and Nikki Truyman, Outagamie County LCD. 

Friday, March 17

Primer on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Drones). Rich Wolosyn, Florence Co. LCD, will discuss equipment options and needs, as well as county policy and insurance considerations. Then, Derek Kavanaugh, Green Lake Co. LCD, will share information on training, licensing, and practical use in field operations and sample flights. 

Understanding Agricultural Anaerobic Digestion (AD) Systems. Dr. Larson will cover the basic principles of ADs, general operation, benefits, and limitations, as well as the potential and limitations for integration into agricultural systems. Speaker: Rebecca Larson, UW-Madison.

Primer on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Drones). Rich Wolosyn, Florence County LCD, will discuss equipment options and needs, as well as county policy and insurance considerations. Next Derek Kavanaugh, Green County LCD, will share information on training, licensing, and practical use in field operations and sample flights (video and stills).

The WI Breeding Bird Atlas II - What We've Learned and How YOU Can Help. William Mueller, Director for the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory, will share information on the WI Breeding Bird Atlas II - what it is and how it works; results from years 1 and 2 and what we hope for in years 3, 4, 5; and how you can participate.

Zoning 101. Marathon County staff will share their knowledge on what you need to know to get projects installed. Speaker: Lane Loveland and Amanda Schultz, Marathon County Conservation, Planning and Zoning Dept.

Working with Wisconsin Farmers Union. Learn how WFU engages on local and state issues and hear about positive collaborations between WFU members and LCCs.

Moving Into Implementation - Adaptive Management and Trading: A new attempt at connecting Point and Non-Point Sources. First you’ll hear how for the past four years Dane County has been assisting the Madison Metropolitan Sewage District with pilot testing the adaptive management permit compliance option. Efforts are currently underway to move into full scale implementation. Information on the counties role in assisting with adaptive management as well as the types of practices that are being implemented and credited towards adaptive management will be presented. Next Monroe County will speak to the implementation side of P-trading and the LCD’s role. The talk will center around P-trading with the Sparta WTF which has been on-going since 2014. They are also working with other municipalities who are interested in P-trading with implementation likely in 2017. Then Columbia County will discuss the implementation of the City of Lodi’s approach to its new 5-year permit cycle that starts in 2017 and how the county is involved. Speakers: Kurt Calkins, Columbia County LWCD; Kyle Minks, Dane County LWRD and Bob Micheel, Monroe County LCD. 

NRCS Spreadsheets - Tools to assist in the design of typical engineering practices. NRCS’ Scott Mueller will walk through the NRCS Engineering Spreadsheets, demonstrate their use, and answer questions. 

Cover Crops and Soil Health Let’s Get on Board! There is a great deal of excitement around the state surrounding cover crops and soil health. Jamie Patton, UW-Extension Shawano County, and Heidi Johnson, UW-Extension Dane County, will discuss why this is and the role cover crops play in soil conservation and water quality. The development and use of the new UW-Extension cover crop website will be discussed. 

Fish Sticks - From Science to Implementation. WDNR’s Scott Toshner will present on the science of wood habitat in littoral zones of lakes. Implementation and discussion of permitting, best practices manual, and example projects ranging large to small. Frequently asked questions will be covered and there will be time for discussion.