Field Trip : Hudson Park Land Management

Led by Steve Thomforde, M.S., local ecologist 
Stephen Thomforde <stevethomforde@gmail.com>
Land Management Field Trip  
Announcement An alternative Land Management field trip is scheduled for Sunday, February 5th, at 2:00 pm, and again on Tuesday February 7th at 12:00 noon at Hudson Park walking eastward towards Olbrich Hill.  The field trip offers novel land management options to satisfy multiple objectives across many Midwest parkland acres. Concepts are designed to significantly lower management costs (indeed, potentially generate income for park departments) while increasing ecological integrity, ecosystem function, and ecosystem services.
Start:  What can the past inform us about the future?  Temperate savanna ecoregions were the most advanced and productive terrestrial ecosystems on earth, composed of the most advanced plant species to ever inhabit our planet.  So why dont we employ this model in our current management regime, both for high human use areas and conservation parks?   â€œ
Concepts:  Land Management options discussed are based on leading ecological principles including: Catastrophic Regime Shift & Alternative Stable State models, ecosystem phenomenology, transformity, ecosystem function, functional diversity and disturbance theory, to name a few.
·       What is ecosystem function
·       What is functional diversity
·       What are the biotic communities associated with our historic landscape
·       How can we restore management regimes to target desirable plant communities
·       How can we assign species as low quality or high quality
·       How can we benefit from this type of management
o   Soil stabilization
o   Maximize diversity
o   Regulate nutrients (Nitrogen and Phosphorus)
o   Sequester C02
o   Profitable management
o   Food and fiber production and recreational activities
o   Reduced input of chemicals and ridiculous labor
A New Restoration Paradigm: Question: How does the “Invasive Species” framework inform strategic land management planning?  Answer: It doesnt. In fact, the very concept of “invasion” is working against our efforts to improve our ecosystems.  You come away from this experience understanding how we could manage our lands in ways that reduce fossil fuel inputs, increase biodiversity, ecosystem function, ecosystem service, employment opportunities, while off-setting management costs; a win, win, win proposal.
Let’s have fun,
Steve Thomforde

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