Young forest management for grouse to be addressed


08/22/14

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RGS in the News

The original story at http://lacrossetribune.com/young-forest-management-for-grouse-to-be-addressed/article_860831d6-33dc-5aa7-8374-8f7bd18766c5.html omits mention of RGS' role and Coordinating Biologist Gary Zimmer will be one of the main speakers. The text as of 8/21/14 am follows.

Ruffed grouse were hunted commonly in southwest Wisconsin 50 years ago, but their numbers have declined in recent decades. An event on Saturday, Sept. 6, will offer informational presentations in the morning, a complimentary lunch, and a hike in the afternoon with several stations where the landowner has worked to improve habitat and resources for grouse.

The event is co-sponsored by the Kickapoo Woods Cooperative, Pheasants Forever, Driftless Forest Network, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Wisconsin DNR, and will take place at the Erica and Scott Walter farm, 16885 Co. Hwy. U, rural Viola. The event is free, but pre-registration is needed by Aug. 30. Contact Erin Holmes at erin.holmes@wi.usda.gov or 608-935-2791, Extension 141 to preregister.

Presentations begin at 10:30 a.m. and will include discussions of the ruffed grouse ecology and habitat, a general history of habitat niches in the Driftless Area, and on the Walter farm, and a brief presentation on the tax implications of forest land ownership. Scott Walter grew up on this farm and remembers a time of abundant grouse in the region. He has been proactive in managing the property to provide habitat for ruffed grouse, Eastern wild turkey, red-headed woodpecker, whip-poor-will and worm-eating warbler.

The hike in the afternoon includes some steep areas on a well-groomed trail and will give participants an opportunity to see what the Walters have done, including a shelterwood harvest, aspen clone management, shrub plantings, and savanna and grassland restoration.

To find the Walters’ place, take Hwy. 131 two miles south from Viola, or three miles north from Readstown, and go east on Co. IU. Co. I quickly turns off to the left, stay to the right on Co. U for five miles and look for a sign at the driveway on the left.

Landowners can help to re-establish wildlife diversity of native species such as grouse, and this event will provide information on how to do that, and what government cost-sharing is available to help landowners take the necessary actions to help provide habitat and food for grouse and other native birds.

Mission Statement

Established in 1961, the Ruffed Grouse Society is North America's foremost conservation organization dedicated to preserving our sporting traditions by creating healthy forest habitat for ruffed grouse, American woodcock and other wildlife. RGS works with landowners and government agencies to develop critical habitat utilizing scientific management practices.

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