Stewardship

It’s what we practice and share to protect our area’s land and water.

Youth Activities

Because it’s never too early to create a love of nature.

Water Quality Research

Measuring the effectiveness of stewardship practices.

Connecting with nature.

Low-impact recreation supports our region’s economy and health.

Season II of Conservation on Tap is Underway

 

Valley Stewardship Network (VSN) is pleased announce our second season of Conservation on Tap. This fun, casual and informative program series will be a five-part, monthly series of talks and discussions on local conservation topics given by regional experts. This event will be an opportunity for folks to hear engaging presentations about regional conservation topics in a relaxed setting while also getting to sample local brews and beverages.

All events are held at The Rooted Spoon, 219 South Main Street in Viroqua, from 7:00 pm to    9:00 pm.  A cash bar will be available.  Sponsorship of this second season is generously provided by The Rooted Spoon, shopdriftless.com, Kickapoo Coffee Roasters, WiscoPop, and Organic Valley.

Tuesday, December 10th:  Trout in the Driftless: It’s Not Just About Fishing

Kirk Olson, WI-DNR Fisheries Biologist

Many of us are aware of the effect the presence of prolific trout populations have on our local economy, but are you also aware that the presence of healthy trout populations are an indicator of ecosystem health?

Wednesday, January 8: Savanna Pastures – Regenerating Earth’s Ultimate Ecosystems

Peter Allen, Mastodon Valley Farm

Oak savannas were the dominant ecosystems across much of North America including the Driftless for millions of years.  Although they are now the most rare and endangered ecosystem in North America, oak savannas offer the ultimate model for productive and profitable agro-ecosystems.  

Ctrl click on link to see a video of the presentation:  https://youtu.be/vRnzs7bNuho

Wednesday, February 12:  Changing Landscapes and Pre-European Native Americans in the Driftless Area: A Brief Overview

Dr. James Theler, Professor Emeritus, UW-Wisconsin La Crosse at the Mississipppi Valley Archeology Center

Jim’s talk will cover highlights of human culture and environmental change from the arrival of native peoples at the end of the ice age 13,000 years ago to the EuroAmerican period in the Driftless Area of western Wisconsin. Human adaptation and surviving “relict” plant communities and animal species from past climatic episodes will be discussed.

Wednesday, March 11:  Driftless Prairie, Savanna, and Woodlands-A Journey of Discovery

Armund D. Bartz, Driftless Area Ecologist-Natural Heritage Conservation, WI- DNR

Take a journey through SW WI to see and discover what remnant prairie and associated savanna/woodland really is.  Although uncommon plants dominate these sites, learn how and why reptiles, butterflies and moths, other invertebrates, and some birds largely depend on these sites for their survival and future existence.  This talk will get you up close and personal to the unique critters, crawlers, and plants that make up these rare natural communities.  The journey will start at the beginning of European settlement and describe what took place up to modern times that left these remaining sites globally rare to imperiled, and among the most decimated on planet earth.  Learn what you can do to help retain these critical sites including management, volunteering, and/or supporting organizations that carry out protection and management of these beautiful remnants of our Natural Heritage.

Armund is the Driftless Area Ecologist for the Wisconsin DNR’s Natural Heritage Conservation Program.  The focus of his career for the last 21 years has been the inventory, management, and protection of Wisconsin’s rare species and natural communities with a focus on remnant prairie and savanna.  Stationed in La Crosse, he is responsible for the management of 12 DNR owned State Natural Areas in a 7-county area.  Armund is very familiar with Driftless Area biodiversity and is excited to share his passion and enthusiasm.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020:  Taking Stock of Tweety – The State of our Birds

Craig Thompson, WI- DNR

There are now 3 billion fewer birds than in the 1970’s. This informative presentation will identify the reasons for widespread bird declines and describe conservation efforts underway to address the losses. The presentation will also highlight things all of us can do to help our beloved birds.

Craig Thompson is a recovering birder. For the past 30 years, he has held various positions with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, specializing in migratory bird conservation and landscape scale protection efforts. He holds adjunct faculty appointments in the Biology Departments of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and Viterbo University and provides technical support for conservation initiatives in Costa Rica and Peru. He’s never met a motmot he didn’t like.

For questions, please call 608-637-3615 or email info@valleystewardshipnetwork.org

Explore your watershed

Our interactive map lets you explore satellite and map views of the Kickapoo and neighboring watersheds. For maps of specific land parcels, contact us about custom GIS mapping services.