News from Southwest Badger Resource Conservation and Development Council, Inc.

Conservation that Works!

Next Full Council Meeting to be Held on Friday, January 12, 2018

The 4th Quarterly Meeting for 2017 will be held on Friday, January 12, 2018 at 9:30 a.m. at the Phoenix Center, 100 S. Orange St., Richland Center, WI. Appetizers and a cash bar will be available during the Annual Social immediately following the meeting. Guest speakers Eric Allness,  Assistant State Conservationist,  Natural Resources Conservation Service,  and Hap Daus, Development Consultant will address the group. Please RSVP to no later than January 5, 2018.

Welcome Jeff Jackson: Stewardship Specialist/Aquatic Invasive Coordinator (southern region)

Jeff Jackson Stewardship Specialist_AIS Coordinator

Jeff Jackson was hired October 29, 2017 as the new Stewardship Specialist focusing on Aquatic Invasive Species Coordination for the southern region. Jeff brings a background in education and outreach to his role at Southwest Badger RC&D.  He was born in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, and grew up in the Twin Cities area.  He received a Bachelor's Degree in Biology from Humboldt State University, California and a Master of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences degree, and a Graduate Certificate in Aquaculture and Fish Health, from the University of Florida, Gainesville. 
Jeff's role at Southwest Badger RC&D enables him to blend an education and outreach role with conservation that he is passionate about.  He focuses on preserving the health and beauty of lakes and rivers in SW Wisconsin through the prevention of the spread of aquatic invasive species.  This work is accomplished through educating the public, pinpointing invasive species infestations, and finding ways to address them through joint projects with dedicated partners.  Jeff believes that when people understand that they can make a difference, they then will commit to a conservation program.  He is also enthusiastic about developing economic opportunities in the region, including aquaculture and renewable energy.
Contact Jeff: (608) 348 - 7110,or by e-mail to:


T'is the give!
Newman's Own Foundation Holiday Challenge

SW Badger RC&D has launched a giving campaign to support our work and provide assistance to landowners.  Don't miss this opportunity to support what you believe in - clean water, good, local jobs, healthy soils, pastures, and forests.  Click on this link to CROWDRISE to make a donation on-line to participate in (Paul) Newman's Own Foundation Holiday Challenge. 

Adaptive Management to Control Invasive Plants on the Kickapoo  

By Tyler Dvorak, Stewardship Specialist

Adapting our Efforts to Control Aquatic Invasive Species: That's the Plan........
Protecting the streams of the Driftless area from invasion by detrimental non-native species is a worthy endeavor, but in general can seem like an intractable situation. Yet, that doesn't mean that we should abandon all efforts to address the problem. Instead we need to choose our battles wisely and focus on high-priority species in high-priority areas, while addressing the problem at a reasonable scale, given our available resources.
The West Fork of the Kickapoo River Watershed within Vernon County is a somewhat large scale, but when compared to the entire Driftless area, is a piece of earth much easier to conceive . Within the West Fork watershed there are three invasive species which particularly threaten the stream resource and appear manageable: Japanese hops, Japanese knotweed, and Purple Loosestrife. Those will be our targets and we will survey for and control them from the upper reaches near Jersey Valley Lake, working our way downstream toward the confluence with the Kickapoo River. Taking form as a brief outline, that plan is actually not much more than one needs to have in order to start working. 

The work will have to be carried out over a number of years, and we will be looking for landowners to pledge to work with us for 3-5 years at a minimum. An interesting experiment occurred in Vernon County using goats and sheep  to eat unwanted weeds in areas where mowers and other equipment could not reach. SW Badger intends to continue exploring these types of innovative approaches wherever possible. 
Adaptive management is currently a buzz word in the natural resource conservation planning world. Simply, it is doing what appears to be best, given the current available information, continuing to gather information through time, and observing the outcome of past results. Update your strategy (or don't) within the context provided by these conditions, each time you make a management decision, and you're doing adaptive management. Sound familiar? Well, that's because it's basically how every rational being goes about their life (some more successfully than others). The more intuitive among you may have gotten ahead of me, so yes, a management plan is really only as good as those who are tasked with executing that plan, if the foundational strategy is for it to adapt over time.
I want to emphasize how valuable having a good team is when working on a problem.  Re gardless of how well thought out the initial plan is, success or failure usually depends upon those who are carrying out the plan. I am encouraged by the wonderful group of partners who have a stake in the West Fork, from the engaged private landowners, to the State and County professionals, along with our fellow non-profit conservation organizations in the region. We are well endowed to address a difficult issue like invasive species. I think we have a great team of people in the area, who will adapt and innovate and make progress going forward whichever way we can. That is what we will do, because there really isn't ever any better strategy. Contact Tyler at or call him at (920) 680-6277.

A similar plan is being developed for the West Branch Pecatonica River watershed and efforts led by Jeff Jackson. Contact Jeff at

Japanese hops encapsulating hay bales

Board Member, Marci Hess on Rotational Grazing
"Is it easier to get more land or improve production of land you already have?" This is the first question Gene Schriefer at the Iowa County Extension office asks when talking with livestock owners. As I researched this article, the consensus is rotational grazing will reward those who apply it.
Since getting more land isn't always possible, improving production becomes the focus and rotational grazing is the solution. READ MORE...
In This Issue
Welcome Jeff Jackson
SW Badger joins Newman's Own
Adaptive Management for Invasives
2018 Urban Forestry Grant Awarded
Join Our Mailing List!
SMILE! We are on AmazonSmile!
AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon that allows you to enjoy the same selection of products, low prices, and shopping features as The difference is that when you use 
our AmazonSmile link, the AmazonSmile Foundation donates a portion of your purchase to Southwest Badger! Shop today!

Don't let deer, rodents, or severe weather ruin your reforestation efforts. Use tree shelters to give your trees a fighting chance.
Protect Your Trees, Leave a Legacy
For additional information or to order, email us at
or call (608) 348-7110.

Southwest Badger RC&D is your conservation partner - all sales fund resource conservation in southwest Wisconsin.

Got Land?

If you have land you'd like to rent for grazing,  contact SW Badger Grazing Broker, 
Robert Bauer at (608) 

For additional information,  email Robert at  robert.

Southwest Badger RC&D is your conservation partner .

Holy Cow Batman! What's Happening in Lafayette County?

Two Producer-led Watershed Groups, Pecatonica Pride and Lafayette Ag Stewardship Alliance, and one group called the Lafayette Environmental Action Group (LEAG) has formed during this very busy year in Lafayette County. These groups along with the Blanchardville Women's Club and the Soil Sisters (also in Green County) have really been busy promoting small farms, healthy water and soil and emphasizing the value of our natural resources for our own health and for the economic health of our communities.     
Soil Sisters Gathering 2017 Circle M Farm
Blandhardville, WI

We are seeing these activities (and supporting them) all over our region. So what gives?  Why so much interest?  Could it be people are feeling the need to be heard? To do things differently? Send me your thoughts and I will tally them up and report on your answers in the next newsletter.  Feel free to send your answers to

Call Today for an on-site Conservation Assessment and Management Plan

Tyler Dvorak, Stewardship 
Specialist, Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator
If you own property on the Kickapoo or the Pecatonica watershed, you may request an on-site invasive species, grazing, forestry or other conservation evaluation that may lead to the development of an individualized management plan. The plan will help you determine w hat action, if any, you should take to improve your land and experience greater returns on your investment. E-mail us at or call (608) 348-7110.    

Conservation that Works! 
About Us...

Southwest Badger Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Council, Inc. is a conservation and community development organization serving Crawford, Grant, Green, Iowa, LaCrosse, Lafayette, Richland, Sauk and Vernon counties. Our mission is to implement natural resource conservation, managed growth, and sustainable rural economic development in our area. We are a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization based out of Platteville, Wisconsin .

 Southwest Badger Receives 2018 Urban Forestry Grant 

Southwest Badger RC&D has received an award of $25,000 to continue to work with small communities who need help in managing the planning, workload and public relations related to the emergency management of the Emerald Ash Borer insect and the trees it will kill. 
Dying Ash on Municipal Streets
Southwest Badger Stewardship Forester, Brandon Bleuer works with communities to help them inventory their Ash trees, helping them to determine which to treat, which to replace and how to do the project in phases to reduce costs and manage the tragic Emerald Ash Borer infestation that will ultimately occur in every municipality in the state. Urban trees are an asset to any community, providing energy savings, stormwater filtration, shade, and beauty for those passing by. They also increase property values and the attractiveness of a community. So why wouldn't a town want to inventory their assets and develop a plan for treating or replacing the Ash trees that line the streets?  Brandon is also assisting communities to find alternative ways of using the Ash wood so they don't get tossed into the landfill and burned for no purpose. For more information contact Brandon at or go to the WI DNR website or the  DATCP website for more information. 

Help Southwest Badger Promote Conservation!
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Help support natural resource conservation and economic development in southwest Wisconsin.

Donations to Southwest Badger RC&D Council are welcome at any time.

You can donate online by clicking the button below


or mail your contribution to: Southwest Badger RC&D, PO Box 753, Platteville, WI 53818

All gifts are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.

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