Archive for August, 2011

Hart-Sheldon Wildlife Connectivity Project

Funding Favorite
Hart-Sheldon Wildlife Connectivity Project. The Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge in Oregon and the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge in Nevada encompass a sensitive high desert landscape that is critically important for yearly migrations and wintering of pronghorn antelope. It also is a key habitat stronghold for sage grouse.

Working together, the Oregon Natural Desert Association and Friends of Nevada Wilderness are creating a wildlife corridor between the Oregon and Nevada refuges to help pronghorn antelope adapt to climate change.

Both the Hart Mountain and Sheldon refuges were created for the conservation of pronghorn antelope the 1930′s. Management has since grown to include conservation of a wide variety of wildlife as well as the restoration of native ecosystems found within the refuges.

The Harte-Sheldon project will work to maintain the overall integrity of the critical wildlife habitat and migratory corridors in the region between and around the refuges, known as the Hart-Sheldon complex. Partners will work with state and federal agencies and other groups to complete a climate change and resource vulnerability assessment, organize restoration opportunities, and complete on-the-ground activities such as fence removal and restoration of degraded springs.

How you can help
Funding is still needed to purchase spring exclosure fence packages and spring monitoring kits, both necessary to protect vital water sources for habitat integrity and survival of migrating animals. In-kind donations: they are also looking for fence removal tools, such as pliers, fence post pullers, work gloves, fencing materials, GPS units and cameras.

Support this project
Email Devon Comstock, Hart-Sheldon Conservation Coordinator for the Oregon Natural Desert Association.

Read more about the Greater Hart-Sheldon Ecosystem.

Want to highlight your Registry project on Funding Favorites? Email Kassandra Kelly.

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Westport Drumlin

Funding Favorite
Westport Drumlin is situated on a glacially sculpted ridge twenty minutes from downtown Madison, Wisconsin. The 217 acre site has more than 100 native plant species. The managing organization, the Natural Heritage Land Trust, needs contributions to purchase native prairie grass and forb seeds and continue to enhance the already rich grassland ecosystem.

Why is the Westport Drumlin special?
Wisconsin’s ice age left many small ridges or “drumlins”. Drumlins were usually too steep-sided for farmers to plow, though they were often good for grazing cattle. The ancient prairie of Westport Drumlin survived in much of its original, pre-settlement state because it was just far enough away from the milking barn to avoid being heavily grazed by cattle.

The Westport Drumlin is home to the prairie bush clover (Lespedeza leptostachya), a federally threatened prairie plant found only in the tallgrass prairie region of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and Iowa. Discovering the presence of this plant helped to secure federal funding to buy the surrounding land. Some prairie plants are extremely sensitive to herbicide drift and buying nearby lands helped to keep agricultural herbicides off the remnant prairie.

Other special inhabitants include the Red-tailed leafhopper (Aflexia rubranura), a state endangered insect that subsists on the host plant Prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis). Developing grassland bird habitat is part of the next phase of restoration, where managers plan to remove tree lines that fragment habitat and create perch areas for predator birds.

Want to help? Contact Jim Welsh, executive director of the Natural Heritage Land Trust

Want to have your Registry project highlighted in Funding Favorites? Email Kassandra Kelly.

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Restoration at the Johnson Creek Watershed Council Office

Funding Favorite

Conservation Registry partner Johnson Creek Watershed Council has dozens of conservation projects all over Portland, Oregon’s Johnson Creek area, but undertaking a restoration project at their own office on Milport Road is very close to home.

The project on Milport Road in Milwaukie, Oregon was inspired by a 7 year old boy who donated the $108 he collected for his birthday to the Johnson Creek Watershed Council. Blackberries growing by the council office were cleared and native plants and trees were purchased with the boy’s donation. He and seven friends and their parents planted 50 native trees and shrubs on Earth Day 2011.

The City of Portland donated a few more trees and interns from Mt. Hood Community College will water the new plantings throughout the summer.

Funding is needed to support this project into another year. The watershed council hopes to install bioswales in unused portions of the parking lot in order to capture and filter runoff from the parking lot and provide additional habitat.

Want to help? Email executive director Matt Clark.

Want to have your Registry project highlighted in Funding Favorites? Email Kassandra Kelly.

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Wild Watch MacDonald Pass

Funding Favorite this week is Wild Watch MacDonald Pass, a climate change adaptation project from the Upper Missouri River in Montana, home of the wolverine and Canada lynx. The best tool we have for protecting our natural heritage against climate change is to learn as much as possible about the habits and habitats of the elusive creatures that share our ecosystem. And that’s exactly what partners in Montana are setting out to do.

Wild Watch’s project goal is to collect scientific information and build local support by organizing long-term wildlife monitoring projects in three important linkage areas in the Northern Rockies: Monida Pass west of Yellowstone National Park, the Bondurant Corridor south of Jackson, Wyoming, and MacDonald Pass west of Helena, Montana.

Partners include Defenders of Wildlife, Wild Things Unlimited, Winter Wildlands Alliance and Montana Wilderness Association. But more is needed!

Help wildlife by supporting the efforts of local communities to monitor and maintain their wildlife values. Contact Kylie Paul, Northern Rockies representative of Defenders of Wildlife.

Watch a wild wolverine video.

Want to have your Registry project highlighted in Funding Favorites? Email Kassandra Kelly.

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Waccamaw River Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Project

Funding Favorite
Each week in August the Conservation Registry blog will highlight a great project that needs funding. To start off, we’ll go to South Carolina, home of the Waccamaw River Volunteer Monitoring Program. This program started as a student project in the 1980′s but has since grown to dozens of monitoring sites along the Waccamaw River, with over 75 volunteers who believe in watching over the waterways of Georgetown County, Horry County and the City of Conway, South Carolina. Recently the program stimulated expansion upstream into North Carolina, creating an interstate watershed monitoring program.

Volunteers monitor the Waccamaw River twice a month, all year long, collecting data on water temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, turbidity, conductivity, nutrients and bacteria (E. coli and total coliforms). This data is used to supplement the activities of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and the United States Geological Survey.

Waccamaw Watershed Academy and the Waccamaw RIVERKEEPER Program of Winyah Rivers Foundation, the program has received support from partners Lake Waccamaw State Park, Southeastern Community College, North Carolina Coastal Land Trust.

But more is needed
From the project detail page: “We have received funding support to purchase water quality monitoring equipment to help launch the NC project and to conduct initial training; however, we need funding support for future equipment replacement and ongoing activities including volunteer support, plan development, data conferences for the public and community engagement.”

Want to help? Email Christine Ellis at Waccamaw RIVERKEEPER

Want to have your Registry project highlighted in Funding Favorites? Email Kassandra Kelly.

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