Eric Tarman-Ramcheck has been on his new job as a Conservation Biologist with the Wisconsin DNR for over a year now and he is definitely making his impact felt. Eric works out of the Kettle Moraine State Forest — Southern Unit and he is as handy with a pen as he is with a chainsaw. He recently submitted a North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant proposal for the Scuppernong River Habitat Area and the Ottawa Lake Fen State Natural Area.
If you have been following the adventures of The Buckthorn Man, you will recall that I participated in the 2013 Phase IV NAWCA grant for the Scuppernong Springs Nature Preserve and the Scuppernong River Habitat Area. The Buckthorn Man was on the hook for $37,500 worth of labor at $15/hour and, along with help from my super friends, we actually contributed over $80,000 worth of labor over the 2 year grant period. I’m proud of our contribution and very excited that Ben Johnson and Lindsay Knudsvig have joined me in committing our labor to generate matching funds as part of Eric’s new NAWCA grant proposal. Visit the Volunteer page to learn more about how you too can make a contribution and subscribe to my iCalendar to get notified of all the upcoming volunteer workdays.
I recently published the Ottawa Lake Fen SNA Volunteer Project page on this site, so check it out for more details about the history of the land and the work done so far by volunteers and the Kettle Moraine Land Stewards, LLC.
You are probably wondering what’s up with the thick black line on the map above. Ben Johnson called me last week and said his brother, Abe, was in town and we should go investigate the NAWCA grant area. That was a brilliant idea, and just my speed, as I’m still healing from surgery on my right hand for Dupuytren’s Contracture. We headed due west from the dog trial grounds parking area and made a loop over to the western boundary and then south and around Ottawa Lake.
Deep in the buckthorn thicket.
I experienced a happy coincidence on November 10, when I drove out from Milwaukee to cut some brush (one of my last workdays before the surgery) on the north end of the loop trail at The Springs, and noticed a plume of smoke rising near the visitor entrance to the Ottawa Lake recreation area. Burn boss, Don Dane, and his DNR crew managed to execute a few prescribed burns this fall season, and I caught them doing one in area #2 marked in green on the map above. I took a series of 4 videos capturing the conflagration that you can watch via the youtube playlist below.
See you at The Fen!