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2016 Annual Conference Breakout Sessions

2016 Conference Sessions and Descriptions



Soil Health. Details TBA.  Speaker: Ray Archuleta, USDA NRCS.

Demo Farm & TMDL Implementation Conservation Practices and Farm Demo Update. This session is jointly presented by Brown and Outagamie County Land Conservation Departments. Brown County will present on the Demo Farms Conservation Practices project. The presentation will include an overview of the program, successes, failures and what's up for next year. Outagamie County will discuss how they are utilizing a 9-key element plan to secure funding, implement innovative conservation practices and lessons learned along the way. Speakers: Jeremy Freund, Outagamie County and Brent Peterson, Brown County

Implementation of Kewaunee County's Public Health & Groundwater Protection Ordinance. In April 2015 voters passed Kewaunee County's Public Health & Groundwater Protection Ordinance which states "Wastes shall not be mechanically applied to land, or allowed to directly drain to, landscapes likely having twenty (20) feet or less in soil depth to carbonate bedrock during the time period of January 1st through April 15th.” Come join a detailed discussion led by County Conservationist Davina Bonness regarding the ordinance and how the Kewaunee County LWCD has been working with impacted landowners.

Status and Trends of the Lake Superior Fish Community, 1978-2015. The presentation provides an overview of the U.S. Geological Survey Lake Superior monitoring and research program, beginning in 1957. Data presented will focus on the annual lake-wide spring bottom trawl survey, which began in 1978. The Lake Superior fish community has undergone massive changes in composition and abundance over the past 37 years linked to the recovery of wild Lake Trout and native ciscoes and whitefish stocks. Speaker: Owen Gorman, USGS. 



EPA 9 Key Element Watershed Plans. Andrew Craig (WDNR) will discuss methods and processes used to develop a watershed restoration and protection plan that reflects EPA's 9 Elements. Greg Cleereman (Marinette County) will share his experiences in developing a 9 Key Element Plan

Designing Gravity Flow Transfer Systems. The course will be an overview of the design of gravity flow transfer systems. Various bedding types including sand and chopped beddings materials have their unique characteristics and each will be discussed. The do's and don'ts of gravity flow transfer systems will be covered along with various methods used to clear plugged transfer pipes. Speaker: Ralph Hemling, DATCP. 

Construction Documentation: When, Why and How. This session will be a presentation by three old inspector/designers on construction and construction documentation. The following questions will be explored during the presentation; Why do we document the construction of our conservation practices? What are we really after when we observe and document construction? Which methods of documentation work best and when should we do it? What do we really need in the file for future reference? Should private consultants do anything differently that public servants? Speakers: Brian Schuh and Mark Steinfest, NRCS and Peter Wurzer, DATCP. 

Hot Topics in Conservation: Basic Overviews of Geology and a Phosphorus Management Perspective from a Clean Water Utility. First, Ken Bradbury from the Wisconsin Geological Natural Historical Survey (WGNHS) will provide an overview of geoscience resources available from the WGNHS. Next, Thomas Sigmund from NEW Water discusses how NR 217 provides point source dischargers (municipal and industrial wastewater treatment facilities) an option to meet responsibilities for phosphorus reductions by working with non-point sources to obtain similar or greater reductions from non-point activity that will achieve water quality criteria in streams and rivers. NEW Water is beginning the 3rd year of the Silver Creek Adaptive Management pilot project designed to evaluate the Adaptive Management option for our utility. This presentation will summarize the pilot project status, findings, needs, and opportunities for agriculture producers and Land and Water Conservation Departments to participate in what is envisioned to be a benefit for all parties. 

Forestry Programs and Issues. This session will be an overview of federal and state forestry programs available to assist landowners with the management of their woods. Speaker: Julie Peltier, WDNR. Please contact Julie at Julie.Peltier [at] wisconsin.gov if you have any questions regarding the MFL program or the Wisconsin Forest Landowner Grant Program (WFLGP). 


Manure Irrigation Work Group Update. Ken Genskow from UW-Extension will present the results of this group’s multi-year effort to evaluate the impacts of manure irrigation and suggest management approaches to limit impacts. The work group included farmers, crop advisors, local and state health professionals, UW science specialists as well as DNR, DATCP and WI Land+Water representatives. Presentations: Joe Baeten WDNR, more coming soon.

Soil Investigation Using Munsell Color Techniques: Soil Evaluation for Storm Water Infiltration and Manure Storage. Certified Soil Tester Jeffrey Hammes will cover proper soil evaluation methods including soil morphology and site analysis pertaining to storm water infiltration with instruction on use of Munsell Soil Color Charts. Next, Tim Weisbrod, NRCS, will focus on the use of Munsell Soil Color Charts for describing soil and sediment color. This will include some background information about how variations in water table can induce soil color to vary across a site. Tim will also discuss how to interpret these variations in soil color for manure storage applications. 

Online Tools for Endangered Resources Information. Information will be presented by members of the Department of Natural Resources’ Endangered Resources Review Program. Topics to be covered include background on endangered species laws and Natural Heritage Inventory (NHI) data, the Broad Incidental Take Permit for No and Low Impact Activities, the NHI Public Portal, and additional online tools for accessing NHI data. Speakers: Melissa Tumbleson and Angela White, WDNR. 

Aquatic Invasive Species Session: (1) Reservoir Drawdowns for Lake Management. Lake water level management and/or drawdowns are an important tool for managing habitat and controlling aquatic invasive species (AIS). WDNR’s Jim Kreitlow will cover case studies on two Price County reservoirs that required winter drawdowns for needed dam repair work. First we will delve into the results of a two-year study on curly leaf pondweed (CLP), including CLP turion and native plant response to a drawdown on Musser Lake. Next we cover the results of a three-year study on Eurasian watermilfoil (EWM) and native plant response to a drawdown on Lac Sault Dore. We will also cover other resource issues that need to be considered when planning drawdown work, and strategies to deal with concerned citizens and the associated municipalities. (2) Starry Stonewort DASH Removal in Silver Lake, Washington County. Starry Stonewort is an aquatic invasive species found in only a few lakes in Wisconsin. On Silver Lake, a rapid response effort used Diver Assisted Suction Harvesting (DASH) to remove the invasive algae. Washington County's AIS Coordinator Brad Steckart describes the short history of Starry Stonewort and the removal efforts that took place on Silver Lake. 


Reinforced Concrete Wall Design Basics Session. NRCS’s Mike O’Shea and DATCP’s Weiping Wu will provide a general overview of the structural design of reinforced concrete walls for Agricultural Waste Storage Facilities. This session will cover such items as rebar location and quantity, lateral wall loadings, footing sizing, and other items that go into reinforced concrete design. 

DNR's New Wetland Screening and Delineation Procedure. The DNR has new wetland screening and wetland delineation requirements to apply for a wetland, stormwater or CAFO permit. This session will help you find out what those requirements are and when they will go into effect to ensure your permitting process is a smooth one. Speaker: Cami Peterson, WDNR. 

Clean Water Act - Safe Drinking Water Act Collaboration. Nitrogen and phosphorus both need management to protect lakes, streams and the water we drink. Chemically they're different...laws and programs aren't set up to automatically do both - but we certainly can meet this challenge. Let's talk about how to have our cake and eat it too! Speaker: Mary Ellen Vollbrecht, WDNR

WI Land+Water Committees Overview. Committees are an important aspect of working towards our mission. Executive Director Jim VandenBrook will provide an overview of the work done by WI Land+Water Committees: Great Lakes, Legislative/Administrative, Public Outreach, Technical, Professional Improvement, and Youth Education. Then you’ll hear from committee chairs who will present on the key activities their committee does.


Stormwater Management for Expanding Ag Facilities. More and more counties are having to implement an urban storm water ordinance on agricultural lands.  For the past decade we have tried to find the common ground that works with the agriculture community and satisfies ordinance requirements. Let’s face it, farm expansions are happening more frequently and on much larger scales than ever before.  Farm expansions increase peak flows, erode soil and threaten surface water quality the same way as does a subdivision or commercial development. With minimal guidance from the state and requirements like uniform state standards, this issue has become even more blurred. Listen to how four different counties in eastern Wisconsin are tackling this issue, implementing storm water management on agricultural projects and what BMPs have been working best. A DNR storm water specialist will also share what requirements the state imposes on agriculture expansions. Speakers: Eric Hyde, Washington County; Paul Tollard and Melanie Boone, Fond du Lac County; Brent Jalonen, Calumet County; Jeremy Freund, Outagamie County; and Brooke Yanke, WDNR. 

Modeling for Prioritizing Conservation Efforts: WDNR & County Case Studies. Conservation planning requires prioritization of areas where land management changes will result in the greatest improvement to soil health and water quality. Understanding this need to prioritize, the WDNR developed the EVAAL (Erosion Vulnerability Assessment for Agricultural Lands) model. This session will give a brief overview of EVAAL and show how it is being used by counties to assist in the development of conservation plans including 9 key element, LWRM, RCCP and TMDL implementation plans. Speakers: Theresa Nelson, WDNR; Sarah Francart and Greg Baneck, Outagamie County LCD; Amber Converse, MSA; and Serge Koenig, Sauk Co. Conservation, Planning and Zoning Dept. 

Farmer-Led Watersheds: A Civic Engagement Tool for Better Water Quality and Beyond. The Wisconsin Farmer-Led Watershed Council Project is a pilot project aimed at improving water quality by engaging farmers as conservation leaders and innovators in their local watersheds and communities. This session will report on the successes and challenges of our first two years of work, as well as focus on using a civic engagement model for addressing agriculture-related water quality issues. Speakers: Julia Olmstead, UW-Extension; Rod Webb and Dan Sitz, Pierce County LCD. 

"Selling" Nutrient Management Planning Using SEG Cost-Sharing: Why Does it Seem So Challenging? (View the notes from this session.) Nutrient management planning is state law, and SEG cost-sharing is intended to help sell it to farmers. But why does it seem increasingly challenging for counties to utilize their SEG allocations to increase adoption of nutrient management planning? This session will be a round table style meeting for all attendees to openly share and discuss their successes and challenges and to brainstorm ways to utilize the full potential of SEG cost-sharing to increase nutrient management planning in Wisconsin. Discussion led by Kirk Langfoss, Marathon County Conservation, Planning and Zoning. 



County Presentations: Vernon and DaneMark Erickson from Vernon County LWCD will present on the Runge Hollow Dam Repair, summarizing the aspects and challenges of a multi-million dollar dam repair project. This project included initial planning a geotechnical investigation, subsurface grouting, substantial excavation, building a new concrete auxiliary spillway, and voluntary property acquisitions. It was made possible by the efforts of different organizations to achieve a successful dam rehabilitation. Next, John Reimer and Kyle Minks from Dane County LCD will share an assessment of legacy phosphorus in stream sediments within Dorn Creek

WI CREP Update, Opportunities & Moving Forward. An overview of the WI Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, a review at what CREP partners have accomplished for Wisconsin in 15 years, a look at upcoming trends, and a discussion of opportunities moving forward. Speakers: Brian Loeffelholz, DATCP; Serge Koenig, Sauk County; Lisa Richardson and Dan Masterpole, Chippewa County

Experiences with NRCS’s Emergency Watershed Protection Program. John Ramsden, NRCS; Christine Ostern, Douglas County LCD; and Michael Goehring, Jackson County LCD will share their experiences with this program which is designed to help people and conserve natural resources by relieving imminent hazards to life and property caused by floods, fires, drought, windstorms, and other natural occurrences.  

Producer Led Watershed Protection Grants. An update will be given on the new Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection grant program:  Producer Led Watershed Protection, including the rule making process (both emergency and permanent), Request for Proposals, and project reporting requirements.  Speaker: Rachel Rushmann, DATCP.

Reaching Stakeholders Through a "Virtual Town Hall" Forum. Five counties and various partners set out to learn what local individuals and stakeholder groups thought about the current and future management of the Lake Winnebago System. The partnership deployed MindMixer, a "virtual town hall" meeting that allowed local stakeholder groups and individuals to share ideas and discuss issues within an online forum. Along with 8 public meetings, the engagement strategy allowed approximately 1000 individuals to provide input to the partnership over a 3 month period. Speaker: Dani Santry, Calumet County LWCD. 


Urban Stormwater Management. Each year Waukesha County issues over 50 stormwater permits for new large construction projects and have implemented a number of strategies to improve permit accountability and the processes of constructing stormwater management best management practices (“BMPs”). Erosion control and stormwater management plans are not always followed in the field. There are a number of reasons why this may happen and strategies to prevent this will be reviewed in this presentation. Changes in MS4 permitting requirements will also be covered. Speakers: Alan Barrows, Waukesha County and Mary Anne Lowndes, WDNR

UAVs (Drones) for Conservation Work. DMZ Aerial’s Zach Fiene will discuss the technology surrounding the use of UAVs in conservation work, as well as complementary technologies that can be utilized along with UAVs. These technologies include tools such as software, sensors, and imagery data. 

Updating Manure Storage Ordinances. More than half of the county manure storage ordinances are outdated with some of them having been adopted in the 90’s and never been revised. Staff from DATCP will go over options counties may want to consider in updating their current ordinances. Ideas and guidance for incorporating new and revised standards and rules. Speaker: Lisa Trumble, DATCP

Running Effective Meetings. Understanding parliamentary procedure is one of the keys to running an effective meeting. Learn more about motions, common misconceptions and rules of decorum. Following rules of order will lead to a more civil and productive debate. Speaker: J. Michael Blaska, WI Counties Association