On Saturday June 8, 2013, the Kickapoo Woods Cooperative invites the public to the property of co-op members Don and Donna Justin to see their approach to land management, including goat grazing, selective use of fire, and mechanical controls to manage invasive vegetation and encourage natural tree regeneration in the forest. The Kickapoo Woods Cooperative’s mission is to provide forestry education, management and marketing services to residents of the Kickapoo valley and neighboring watersheds that will improve the forestry resource for the region.
Twice a year the Justin’s bring in goats, and use girdling and burning to reduce unwanted brush. The goats will be on-site on the day of the hike, June 8, and their owner, Ben Robel of Vegetation Management, will be on hand to talk about the goat grazing services he offers.
Don & Donna are re-establishing oak savannah, goat prairie, and woodland habitat with the help of a forestry mower partially funded by the Fish and Wildlife Service. LIP (Landowner Incentive Program) and WHIP (Wildlife Habitat Improvement Program) help support their burning regime, and an EQIP (Environmental Quality Incentive Program) grant helped them plant their steepest and most erosion-prone fields to non-warm season grasses and pollinator strips.
The Justin’s have used cost sharing grants from the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service and US Fish and Wildlife Service. They have also worked with Cindy and Charles Ranseyer of Nature’s Keepers Services LLC, who will lead the tour and discussions along with the landowners. The group will also see areas where woodland burning has led to a resurgence of native understory plants.
Coffee, tea, and light refreshments will be available before and after the hike. For more information, contact Lila Marmel at 608-624-5269; firstname.lastname@example.org. For help with directions, go to justintrails.com or call Don and Donna at 608-269-4521 or 800-488-4521.