Eastern Region News Roundup Feb. 19 - Mar. 2, 2018

Release Date: Mar 5, 2018  



Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie

Nearly 100 people heard Volunteer Keith Graham talk about the Galaxy at Midewin

Midewin volunteer Keith Graham gave a talk about the galaxy on Thursday, March 1. Graham is a local retired Geology and Astronomy teacher. Nearly 100 people attended from the communities around Midewin and from as far away as Lockport, Illinois. Graham talked about binoculars, telescopes, cameras and other optical instruments that help us see the many different types of celestial objects in the night sky. One visitor was overheard saying: “The night sky above Midewin is as profound as the land here!” The program was part of the annual Midewin Winter Lecture Series. The next talk will be held on March 15. Midewin Archaeologist, Heritage Program Manager and Tribal Liaison Joe Wheeler will present “The Land before Lincoln: Midewin in 1818.” This program has been endorsed by the State of Illinois as an official @Illinois200 Bicentennial event. To reserve a seat, rsvp to Midewin_RSVP@fs.fed.us.

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Shawnee National Forest

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Hoosier National Forest

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Huron-Manistee National Forests

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Chippewa National Forest

Eagles Journey Began on the Chippewa [photo]

The remains of an American bald eagle was found near Baudette, Minn. This bird began its journey on the Chippewa National Forest many years prior.

In January, the Minnesota DNR notified the Forest that a banded American bald eagle had been found dead. Joe Jordan, Forest wildlife biologist, took the information he was given and searched for more information on eagle number 629-13139.

According to Matt Rogosky with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Bird Banding Laboratory in Laurel, Md., the eagle was banded on June 20, 1984, near Winnibigoshish Lake, Minn., on the Chippewa National Forest.

“That's a very old eagle at about 33 years, the oldest longevity on record is 38 years old,” said Rogosky.

Bird banding is a universal and indispensable technique for studying the movement, survival and behavior of birds. The North American Bird Banding Program is jointly administered by the USGS and the Canadian Wildlife Service. Their respective banding offices have similar functions and policies and use the same bands, reporting forms and data formats. Joint coordination of the program dates back to 1923. As of Jan. 29, 2018 and since 1960, the USGS Bird Banding Laboratory (BBL) has received more than 64 million banding records.

Since the inception of the North American Bird Banding Program, the BBL has received more than four million encounter records. Band reports must be submitted through the mobile-friendly website, reportband.gov. A report requires only around five minutes to complete online. After a report is submitted, the date and location where the bird was originally banded are provided and a certificate of appreciation along with additional banding details (date, banding location) are sent via email. Capturing and banding birds requires considerable effort, and documenting recovery or re-sighting of banded birds is essential to profit from that effort. Band recovery data are the basis for improving the conservation and knowledge of bird populations in North America.

Stewardship Contracts Provide Needed Fuelwood [photo]

The Chippewa National Forest timber staff continues to work on providing fuelwood opportunities for Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe (LLBO) members. All three of the Chippewa National Forest ranger districts are utilizing stewardship contracting as a tool of restoration, while at the same time providing a critical fuelwood resource to LLBO members.

The salvaged hardwood from harvests will be transported to delivery sites for use by the local LLBO members for fuelwood. This program helps generate an important source of fuel for heating local homes of tribal members on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation.

Last year the Forest developed a contract on the Blackduck district that included the harvesting of 17 acres of hardwood and aspen blowdown. The Forest is offering two stewardship contracts in 2018 that will provide fuelwood, including the Shell stewardship contract on the Walker district and the Holland stewardship contract on the Deer River district. The Holland project includes the removal of ash through gap creation over 60 acres that will also provide benefits through the increased diversification of black ash stands.

“Stewardship contracting has been a great tool that has benefited the Forest and the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, said Jim Gubbels, Deer River acting district ranger. “We look forward to working on mutually beneficial stewardship contracts in the future.”



Wayne National Forest

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Allegheny National Forest

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Urban Connections - Milwaukee

Move Outside Milwaukee Partner Summit [photo]

A “Let’s Move Outside Milwaukee” partner summit was held February 5, at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center in Milwaukee, to develop new partnerships and opportunities that connect urban youth and families with nature. Attendees, representing numerous conservation, education, health, wellness, and outdoor recreation organizations, focused their discussions around the topics of leveraging partnerships, increasing volunteerism, and attracting new audiences to the outdoors.  The Let’s Move Outside Milwaukee Committee, formed in 2017 as part of the national Let’s Move Campaign, currently includes representatives from Milwaukee Public Schools, YMCA, Urban Ecology Center, Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, Cream City Conservation, Bureau of Land Management, and USDA Forest Service Urban Connections.  Last year the group coordinated National Get Outdoors Day events at four Milwaukee locations, and this year continues to work together to connect Milwaukee residents to the outdoors.