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A Manager’s Perspective Property- & Citizen-Based Monitoring… A Manager’s Perspective Jeff Bode Lakes, Wetlands & Aquatic Invasive Species WI Department.

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Presentation on theme: "A Manager’s Perspective Property- & Citizen-Based Monitoring… A Manager’s Perspective Jeff Bode Lakes, Wetlands & Aquatic Invasive Species WI Department."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Manager’s Perspective Property- & Citizen-Based Monitoring… A Manager’s Perspective Jeff Bode Lakes, Wetlands & Aquatic Invasive Species WI Department of Natural Resources

2 Ask the managers Carmen Wagner – Forestry, Best Management Practice Monitoring Craig Thompson – Land Leader, West Central Region Laura Herman – Citizen Lake Monitoring Network, UWSP (Island Watch) Ricky Lien, Dale Katsma & Missy Sparrow – Wildlife Managers, Southeast Region

3 1. What are the monitoring needs of managers on public and private properties? Inventory Native & Invasive Species for Trends and Flags "Most people think wildlife biologists know every animal that crawls on their properties, but we're so busy with deer registration, meetings, responding to the public, cutting up deer heads, and all the other things we're too short- staffed to do, that we don't get out to our own properties to do real surveys.” Dale Katsma – Wildlife Property Manager

4 Monitoring Needs “First and foremost, baseline inventories are needed for virtually all taxa (plants, bugs, birds, herps, mammals). Species distribution and relative abundance are important for a given property. Same can be said for properties adjacent to those owned and managed by DNR.” – Craig Thompson

5 Monitoring Needs Measure & Report Conditions – Water Quality Today: over 1200 lakes & more than 2500 volunteers!

6 Monitoring Needs Foresters and Property Managers need to know what is going on - track changes or lack of changes. Are the trees growing back? Is the stream crossing working? Is there erosion from the road/trail?

7 Management Needs Island Watch –Look for situations that would be a danger to the island itself, the wildlife, its natural vegetation or to those who visit it –Look for lost signs & posts -- Replace as needed –Trash and litter cleanup on the island and its shoreline Monitoring recreational use (what kind, by whom, where) may also be helpful, especially for heavily visited properties – Craig Thompson

8 2. From recreation to enforcement: Where do citizen monitors fit in? Can’t see citizens in enforcement roles for a variety of reasons. At this point, seems like having citizens involved in the nitty-gritty of baseline data collection is the most pressing need (appropriate use of their abilities). Over time, I suspect both the need and collective abilities will evolve. – Craig Thompson

9 2. From recreation to enforcement: Where do citizen monitors fit in? Island Watch (Recreational Use) Clean Boats/Clean Waters Volunteers advise boaters to remove plants before launching. If they do not, document and call enforcement Volunteers noted which islands had “parties” and/or people who were staying overnight on day use islands Noted if users were disturbing the loons, etc. Document abuses and passed that information on to the forest staff or conservation wardens

10 3.What can volunteers do to ensure that their efforts are incorporated into management decisions? Follow an agreed protocol. Make sure they are gathering data correctly. Ask what data is needed. Carmen Wagner (Forestry) Volunteers met with the property managers and DNR crew to go over what was expected. There is a Volunteer Stewardship form that explained everyone’s roles. It also defined abuse, trespass and law enforcement roles. It is very complete. There is even an equipment list and forms that the volunteers filled out. Laura Herman (Island Watch)

11 4. How do we ensure quality data? Is certification the right answer? Tough one. Seems this is largely dependent on the kind of information needed... Training to collect standardized (quality) data is a must - certification would be appropriate and beneficial in that it would provide volunteers something to hang their hat on. (I recall Missouri has a certification program for volunteer naturalists that has become rather popular). Craig Thompson Staff met with and worked with the volunteers until they were comfortable with what was expected. Staff did “spot checks” to see how things were going. Laura Herman (Island Watch)

12 How do we ensure quality data? STEP 5. When the Secchi disc barely disappears from your view, mark the rope at the water level with a clothespin.

13 How do we ensure quality data? Each year we focus on a different landowner category - state, county, federal, industrial and non- industrial private. We have a training session in July (2-3 days) and monitor in the fall (3-4 days). When monitoring, a group of 6 people with varied interests and expertise visit timber sales and determine, what effects, if any, the timber sale had on water quality in lakes, rivers and wetlands. We share that information with the forester for the sale and use that information to see how effective our BMPs are and what training is needed. Carmen Wagner (Forestry BMP Monitoring)

14 5. How do we engage citizens in property-based monitoring? Training educated people about the issues & make decision based on their data. Use the data citizen monitors and other people collect. Carmen Wagner

15 How do we engage citizens? Tapping into citizen scientist holds promise if we can find a way to support the volunteer groups in the field… it boils down to relationships. - Craig Thompson Be very precise in identification of information needs, as well as clear about how that information will be used. Focus on discrete geographic areas. Working within too large an area will result in the dilution of the effort and rapid disinterest from volunteers. Engage partners with tangibles right out of the starting block. To much planning and yakking and you'll lose them. Offer resources to help support their efforts. Nothing is more valuable than their time.

16 How do we engage citizens? They need to be "stand-alone" as far as not needing a lot of support from the wildlife staff. If the wildlife manager has to meet the volunteers at the property everyday to get them pointed in the right direction or oversee their work, that's just one more duty for the manager. – Ricky Lien

17 How do we engage citizens? Someone has to be in charge - the "go to person" for volunteers. This is a significant challenge as I am not aware of property managers who are looking for additional work, regardless of the potential benefits. The question of who will coordinate and manage volunteers is central to this effort. We have the potential to use citizen scientists, but generally speaking, do not have the manpower to manage them. No easy answers. Craig Thompson

18 6.How do we support the full breadth of citizen needs as volunteers and as citizen-scientists? Oh boy. I'm not sure what citizen needs there are. We need to answer their questions, help them understand what the data can show us and how it can be used. Maybe enable them to start asking questions beyond ours and work with them to answer them. The trick is time and money in our agency. More ideas than time and money and figuring out how to prioritize and allocate. - Carmen Wagner No response, as I'm not familiar with their needs. - Craig Thompson Wish I had the answer to this one…. - Laura Herman

19 Manager’s Perspective… 1.Managers needs far exceed our ability to capture- Baseline and condition data a priority 2.Most don’t see enforcement role; everything else goes 3.To ensure data is used meet with property manager, follow protocol & enter data 4.Training, equipment & forms for quality data; maybe certification 5.Train educated people and use their data in management decisions to engage citizens 6.No clue what citizen monitoring needs are; willing to listen

20 Thanks for listening to a manager’s perspective!

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