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No Limitations
Midwest Region, February 5, 2019
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Private landowner in Waushara County, Wisconsin does not allow his disability to get in the way of helping restore habitat for the federally endangered Karner blue butterfly.
Private landowner in Waushara County, Wisconsin does not allow his disability to get in the way of helping restore habitat for the federally endangered Karner blue butterfly. - Photo Credit: Brendan Woodall
The Wisconsin Private Lands Office took advantage of the winter weather to accomplish active forest management that will benefit Karner blue butterflies.
The Wisconsin Private Lands Office took advantage of the winter weather to accomplish active forest management that will benefit Karner blue butterflies. - Photo Credit: Ken Erickson
A Karner blue butterfly spotted during the 1st flight of 2018. The data collected will be used to help focus efforts of habitat restoration near occupied locations.
A Karner blue butterfly spotted during the 1st flight of 2018. The data collected will be used to help focus efforts of habitat restoration near occupied locations. - Photo Credit: Brendan Woodall

Forwarded by Brendan Woodall

“Accidents happen and most are preventable with the right personal protective equipment. Ken was 22 years old when he was working on a vehicle that he used for off-road racing. As Ken was working on the vehicle it tragically rolled off the jack and pinned him underneath the 4,000-pound vehicle. As a result, Ken was paralyzed from the waist down, and requires a wheelchair for mobility. Even with his disability, Ken contributes more to restoring habitat through physical work than some that are able. The message from this story can remind everyone to add additional safety measures no matter what task you are about to do and never stop chasing your dreams.”


In late March of 2018, I was very fortunate to meet Brendan Woodall at my newly acquired property in Waushara County. I contacted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service after learning from my local Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources biologist that my land might be a candidate for habitat restoration and or re-establishment to help the federally endangered Karner blue butterfly. My excitement was high as I anticipated meeting Brendan at the 56 acres that I recently purchased. The property had formerly been used as a Christmas tree plantation up until the late 1990’s and sat neglected until my purchase in early 2017. I was even more excited after our meeting as I found WoodallBrendan to have a real passion for his job and about a possible oak savanna habitat restoration project. I was also impressed with Woodall’s acceptance of working with a landowner that has mobility limitations as more burdens might be placed on him and his department. Woodall also asked me a very important question.


When Woodall asked What is your goal for your property? My answer was, “that I wanted to leave the property in better shape than when I found it." A simplistic answer to be sure, but one I have a firm commitment too. We are only temporary stewards of land regardless of what the deed says. It is important for me, long after I am no longer of this earth, that all critters, from the tiny Karner blue butterfly to black bears, have a chance of life as nature intended.


The spring and summer of 2018 was an exciting time for me. Woodall worked up a plan that involved forestry mulching 28 acres of irregular shapes, working with existing clearings and land contours. The forestry mulching was completed in July 2018 and has allowed me to access much more of the property than I had up to this point. We then applied a round of herbicide to control invasive species including spotted knapweed and oak re-sprouts with a planned seeding of native forbs and grasses scheduled for the early spring of 2019. As there is some wild lupine growing in an area, Woodall performed a Karner blue butterfly survey during the Karner blue’s first flight of 2018 and was successful! Documenting a small population of Karner blue’s on the property was exciting and a huge morale booster, as we knew that the project was on the right track.


A project of this magnitude involves many partners including but not limited to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Waupaca County Health and Human services, Flint Hills Resources (Koch Pipeline) and neighboring landowners.


Brendan Woodall

Wisconsin Private Lands Office

 

and

 

Ken Erickson

Private Landowner



Contact Info: Brendan Woodall, 608-444-1689, brendan_woodall@fws.gov
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