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Chicago Wilderness: An Ecosystem Management Plan Katy Berlin Shelly Charron Lisa DuRussel NRE 317 April 11, 2001.

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Presentation on theme: "Chicago Wilderness: An Ecosystem Management Plan Katy Berlin Shelly Charron Lisa DuRussel NRE 317 April 11, 2001."— Presentation transcript:


2 Chicago Wilderness: An Ecosystem Management Plan Katy Berlin Shelly Charron Lisa DuRussel NRE 317 April 11, 2001

3 Introduction 200,000 acres preserved Covers southeastern Wisconsin, 6 counties in the Chicago region, and northwestern Indiana Ecosystems include woodlands, forest, prairie, streams, and wetlands 124 public and private organizations involved

4 Protected Land in the Chicago Wilderness Region

5 Why Is Ecological Management of the Chicago Region Important? High concentration of globally significant natural communities – Contains almost 200 endangered or threatened species – Contains rare tallgrass prairies and open oak woodlands

6 Major Threats to the Chicago Area Habitat fragmentation and loss Exotic species Fire suppression

7 Goals of the Plan To restore natural communities Promote sustainable development Increase citizen involvement Prevent the ongoing loss of critical habitat

8 Ecological Management, Research, and Monitoring Plan Objectives Continuing research and monitoring is important to improve management techniques Ongoing adaptive management is essential for all of the natural communities Ecological management of the region’s natural communities must increase substantially Management plans developed for each site using management practices adapted to site conditions and appropriate to the goals of the site Inform the public of what can be expected, and where possible, use practices that include both short term and long term results

9 Land Management Practices Prescribed burning Restoration and management of hydrology Re-establishment of native species Control of invasive plant species Management of problem wildlife Management plans

10 Examples of the Plan in Action Private business owners agree to landscape with native plants During bird migration periods, most downtown businesses turn their lights off Public highway authorities control salt use and retain storm water Large and small scale burning of public lands to control invasive plant species

11 Key Players in the Plan Government agencies –local, state, and intergovernmental organizations Private sector –NGO’s, business, industry, farmland owners, and private land owners Volunteers

12 Plan Evaluation: The Chicago Wilderness Report Card

13 Hierarchical Context Integrates both local and regional planning Plan is used at both the ecosystem and landscape level Concern for genetic variability and population size B

14 Ecological Boundaries Works across political boundaries by incorporating portions of Wisconsin and Indiana Key players include: –Federal and Local Governmental Agencies –Private Sectors B-

15 Ecological Integrity Conservation of viable populations of native species –Invasive species control Maintaining natural disturbance regimes –Prescribed burns Reintroduction of native species –Native seed bank A

16 Data Collection Ecological inventory used to establish a baseline in which to measure change over time C

17 Monitoring A central focus of the plan Monitoring methods: –Choose indicators –Set thresholds –Design sampling protocols Use a region-wide monitoring program to detect change at three levels: –Landscape –Natural and human communities –Species Used to evaluate and improve management techniques A-

18 Adaptive Management Another central focus of the plan Conservation design is site-based from a single natural area to an entire region Includes a flexible 100 year plan A

19 Interagency Cooperation 124 public and private organizations involved Education across political boundaries B+

20 Humans Embedded in Nature Objectives of the plan include citizen involvement and sustainable development Organizations provide educational programs and nature walks free of charge Volunteer stewardship days held at over 200 sites A-

21 Values As Determinants of Behavior Plan identifies human values and threats to these values through a series of questions: –What do we want to protect and enhance within this site? –What do we want these targets to look like in x years? –What could prevent us from achieving this vision of our targets? B-

22 Final Report Card Chicago Wilderness GPA: 3.23

23 Mayor Richard M. Daley “The Chicago Wilderness Management Plan is Grrrrrreat!”

24 Information Taken from:

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