Natural Resource Management in Northern Wisconsin

Course Title:  Natural Resource Management in Northern Wisconsin

Course # 17F01

Dates:  Wednesdays, August 9, 16, 23, 30

Time:  Aug. 9, 16– 1:00 to 3:00 PM. Aug. 23, 30 -1:00-4:00 PM

Course fee: $35, with $5 discount if registered by July 26.

Required Reading: Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold

Outdoors activities will require students to sign a hold harmless disclaimer.

Location:  Aug 9 and 16, Mercer Library; Aug. 23-Mercer Library and Paulik forest. Aug. 30 Little Turtle Flowage Wildlife Area and Mercer Ranger Station

Objectives:  Students will learn about Wisconsin’s natural resource management from its beginning to the present. The need for management and best practices in fish and water management, forest management, and wildlife management.

Course structure:  The course will be given in _4__ sessions, each 2-3 hours long for a total of 10 hours, covering the following topics:

  1.      Wisconsin’s Conservation Legacy, Aug. 9. This first class will highlight the history of natural resources management in Wisconsin, from the historical work of Aldo Leopold and other conservation luminaries to an overview of the myriad agencies involved in keeping our state’s natural resources healthy and productive. Bruce Bacon and Terry Daulton. 1-3 PM
  2.      Fish and water management with Zach Lawson and shoreland management with Heather Palmquist. Aug. 16. 30 min in classroom will be followed by 1 ½ hour pontoon classroom on Echo Lake.  This session will cover fish habitat, shoreland development and impacts to fish populations.  Learn about research being done on Echo Lake analyzing littoral (in lake) and riparian (upland) habitat and shoreland development.  Collected data will help prioritize restoration work done to encourage fish reproduction.  We will also show projects installed to slow erosion and provide habitat.
  3.      Forestry including ecology and management techniques with Christine Paulik. Aug. 23. The dynamics of a forest will be covered including why certain trees grow where they do, what the different management techniques are that foresters use to sustainably manage forests, and some tree identification. Following an hour in the classroom, students will hike in a local forest. 1-4 PM.
  4.      Wildlife management, Aug. 30. Field trip to Little Turtle flowage with Bruce Bacon and Jenna Koznicki (2 hours) followed by course wrap up at the Mercer DNR station (1 hour). This session will cover typical wildlife management conducted by state and federal agencies in the Midwest. This will include wildlife surveys that monitor wildlife populations and how that directs management actions. Wetland, grassland and forest management for wildlife will be covered.  We will cover management for game species, non-game species and endangered species. Options will be somewhat different for management on private, county, state or federally owned lands. Funding options will be covered. We will use the LTFWA for examples when appropriate.

Requirements: Abillity to walk up to a mile and a half on flat trail. Supplemental reading assignments.

Wildlife: Read Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold.

Bruce Bacon

Instructors: Bruce Bacon: Retired Wisconsin DNR Wildlife Biologist (34 years) with Wildlife Management and Biology BS’s from UWSP. Ornithologist with Federal bird banding permit (35 years). Active in local (president of Northwoods Wildlife & Wetlands Club) and state conservation organizations, including Wisconsin Society of Ornithology.

Terry Daulton

Terry Daulton is an environmental educator and field biologist who has working in northern Wisconsin for over 30 years.  Her specialties include common loon research and ecology, nature trail and interpretive exhibit design, and environmental education.  She also coordinates the UW Madison Trout Lake Station Artist in Residence which brings artists and limnologists together for collaborative projects.


Heather Palmquist

Heather Palmquist has been with the Iron County Land & Water Conservation Department for 8 years.  She started with the department building an Aquatic Invasive Species program for the county, then she focused on shoreland restoration as the Lake Specialist, and in 2013 became the County Conservationist/Dept Head.  She works with landowners to address erosion problems and enhance habitat providing technical assistance through project design and financial assistance through the county cost-share program.


Zach Lawson

Zach Lawson is currently the inland fisheries biologist for Iron and Ashland counties at Wisconsin DNR in Mercer. Prior to working at WDNR, Zach both went to school and worked at UW-Madison conducting fisheries and lake research around Vilas County, Wisconsin.


Christine Paulik

Christine Paulik: worked for the Wisconsin DNR as a forester for 26 years, 24 of those here in Mercer.  As a DNR forester she worked for 6 years with private landowners advising them on forest management and writing management plans for their woodlands so that they could enter into the DNR’s tax law program.  For the remainder of her career, she did forestry work on public lands including the Iron County forest and several state owned properties including the Turtle Flambeau Scenic Waters Area. In 2015 she began private work as a forestry consultant preparing forest management plans for private land owners.


Jenna Kosnicki

Jenna Kosnicki, a UW-Stevens Point alumna, studied Wildlife Management – Research and Ecology, Biology and Soil Science. She has worked for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for almost 4 years as a fisheries, wildlife, and CWD technician, assistant furbearer specialist, statewide trapper education coordinator, and now the Iron County wildlife biologist based in Mercer.