Do You Have a Wildlife Plan for Your Woods?

Do You Have a Wildlife Plan for Your Woods?

December 12, 2012

Do you have a wildlife plan for your woods?

Most of the OWLS members know where they are headed with their savannah, prairie restorations, and timber production all within an aesthetic and economic context, but how much planning have we done for wildlife?

OWLS members Greg Beirne and Derrick Gee have both participated in the Coverts project which aims to educate woodlot owners about these wildlife considerations. They would like to pass on what they have learned. On Sunday, January 27, 2013, Derrick will present materials to help with the wildlife planning process at the Spring Green Library in the Community Room at 3:30 p.m. Greg will talk about his own activities in relation to wildlife management. Cake and coffee will follow the program.

2013 Annual OWLS Winter Pot Luck, Sunday February 24, 2013 @ 4:00 pm

The main purpose of the POT LUCK is to give the OWLS members a chance to socialize with fellow OWLS and share in what they have accomplished, and are planning for the near future. It is a great time to share ideas, and ask questions. Our hosts are Gigi La Budde and Michael Whaley. Please bring a dish to pass. Cider and coffee will be provided. BYO beer or wine. Their address is: S11793 Hazelnut Road, Spring Green, WI. Please RSVP Gigi at or 608-588-2048.


A survey was included in the last newsletter. The intent was to give all the OWLS members a chance to communicate their interests and ideas for future educational programs, and direction for the organization. Kent presented many of the findings at the last POT LUCK but so everyone can have the results; they are being summarized here.

24 percent of the surveys were returned, which is pretty normal. Most people do not fill out surveys! Of those who answered, the average acres owned is 67 acres. Half of those acres are woodland. The rest of the acres were pretty evenly distributed between old field, prairie, or agricultural. Only two OWLS members have wetland acres.

The OWLS interests are in this order: prairie restoration at 35%, savannah restoration at 31%, and forestry at 30%. Wetland restoration was a distant last, at 4%, very likely due to the lack of wetland acres within the membership.

Sixty percent of the OWLS members who returned their surveys feel they are knowledgeable to very knowledgeable with specific plans, and feel comfortable in executing those plans. They are also interested in conducting a “Walk-About” on their properties. This is very exciting because pretty much everyone stated they would benefit from a “Walk-About” program, and would like to see 2 or 3 held every year.

Every member answering the survey would like to see a list of outside services that are available for land management projects. They are willing to share information about those services they have used, as well as suppliers and products they have used with either positive or negative results. They would like to see this kind of information in a basic “OWLS Land Management Manual”, with how to tips that help get the job done efficiently.

Every member returning the survey liked the idea of a seed exchange, and they all collect their own seeds, as well as purchase them. Eighty percent of the members that returned the survey would allow fellow OWLS members to collect seed on their property.

Eighty percent of the OWLS members returning the survey would be willing to sell surplus herbicides to fellow members. This could lower the cost, and reduce the need to have surplus chemicals laying around.

The creation of an OWLS website had mixed results. The majority favored the idea, but 46% said no, or didn’t answer the question. One person suggested a Facebook site, which could be a consideration.

There were a good number of educational program ideas suggested. All of them had merit, and many could be handled in the “Walk-About” format.


The survey results clearly point out the potential of an organization like the OWLS can have on land management. The question that is left unanswered is, is the organization up to the task? Can it grow to its potential? The OWLS will need volunteers to take on the management of those tasks talked about in the survey. Some will require a committee. Others can be handled by individuals that will simply keep records of who has what.

The OWLS need to hear from those members who would like to hold a “Walk-About” to show their property, and share ideas and knowledge while walking the property in a show and tell format. Volunteer today by calling or emailing any of your leadership ad hoc group.


Peggy Timmerman 608-583-3056

Gigi LaBudde 608-588-2048

Kent Prather 608-588-7778

Derrick Gee 608-588-3942

Dean Lesser 608-924-2396

Jim Spredemann 608-588-3660