Allison Welde is SFI Director, Conservation Partnerships and Communications, and identifies areas of potential collaboration with conservation groups and other SFI stakeholders.
The Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS) recently finished the second of six workshops, thanks to a grant from SFI’s Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program. Over the next three years, RGS plans to hold six Wisconsin Coverts workshops– A Woodland Wildlife Management Program for Private Landowners in the Great Lakes Region. The Wisconsin Coverts Project enlists and educates workshop attendees about management best practices for their land and the wildlife on it, so they can lead by example and help others better understand their role as land stewards. Since 1994, The Wisconsin Coverts Project has held 17 previous Coverts Workshops for 427 Coverts Cooperators (representing 375 properties). These Cooperators are responsible for managing 330,735 acres in Wisconsin and in outreach to other landowners, have impacted management on a over 700,000 acres.
One of the recent Wisconsin Coverts Workshops was conducted at the Kemp Natural Resources Station near Woodruff, Wisconsin with 23 attendees. As part of the grant from SFI, applicants who are chosen for the workshop attend it free of charge, which facilitates the participation of family forest landowners. The large number of applicants (70) for participating in a Coverts Workshop indicates the growing interest and demand for this type of training. Project staff did an outstanding job targeting forest landowners that have high potential to influence management on large tracts or work with other landowners in their areas. Anecdotal comments from workshop attendees indicate they found the workshops very beneficial.
SFI’s Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program fosters partnerships between organizations interested in improving forest management in the United States and Canada, and responsible procurement globally. SFI is committed to providing leadership and sharing best practices to improve forest management on both certified and uncertified lands. In May 2010, the program announced a commitment of $675,000 to support nine conservation initiatives. Through the involvement of partners, these projects will leverage additional resources and achieve a total value of almost $2.7 million.
August 12-15, 2010 WI Coverts Project attendees: Standing (left to right): Dick Merten, Daniel Einstein, Brad Matson, Scott Craven (workshop coordinator), Doug Hagie, Mark Erickson, Chad Reynen, Tom Owens, Bill O’Donnell, Jim Stuempges, Jo Bailey, David Drake (workshop coordinator), Craig Stomberg, Steve Schwartz, and Doug Appelgren. Sitting (left to right): Roxanne Erickson, James Marquardt, Robert Asproth, Charles Erickson, David Johnson, Jason Spaeth, Barb Thompson, Kathy Lewis, and Gretchen Larson. Not pictured: Jim Lohff and Jamie Nack (workshop coordinator).