Natural Resource Consulting Projects

The NES Ecological team has conducted several natural resource consulting projects in the Midwest. Here are several case studies.

    Project: Wetland Monitoring
    Location: Anderson Lake, Town of Breed, Wisconsin
    Client: Private Landowner
    Completed: 2010 A private landowner contracted NES to monitor the success of a wetland restoration on their property. We permanently marked sites with a handheld GeoXH Trimble GPS unit to facilitate collection of comparable data in the future, and to allow analysis of temporal trends.Observed native species included multiple floating-leaved aquatics, submerged aquatics and emergent vegetation. Since the monitoring began in 2006, invasive and exotic species within the restored area have decreased. Red top (Agrostis stolonifera), Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense), curly dock (Rumex crispus), and dandelion (Taraxacum officiale) observed in 2006 are no longer present. 

    NES was also responsible for the removal and/or treatment of non-native species when and if they were found within the restored wetland.

    Observed native species included multiple floating-leaved aquatics, submerged aquatics and emergent vegetation. Dominant vegetation includes:

    • American white water-lily (Nymphaea odorata)
    • Various pondweeds (Potamogeton spp.)
    • Broad-leaved arrowhead (Sagittaria latifolia)
    • Broad-leaved cattail (Typha latifolia)

    Dominant species on the north end of the restoration includes:

    • Common tussock sedge (Carex stricta)
    • Marsh fern (Thelypteris palustris)
    • American bur-reed (Sparganium americanum)
    • Pussy willow (Salix discolor)
    • Swamp rose (Rosa palustris)
    • Meadow-sweet (Spirea alba)

    Project: Wetland Monitoring
    Location: Shawano County, WI
    Client: Private Landowner – Kelly Rukamp
    Completed: 2010

    NES Ecological Services was hired by a private landowner to restore a wetland in Shawano County that had been illegally filled. Our responsibilities included:

    1. Preparation and submittal of an acceptable restoration plan to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR)
    2. Conduct the planting activities outlined in the submitted restoration plan
    3. Monitor the site for invasive species for a period of five years
    4. Perform maintenance activities if invasive species are identified
    5. Submit annual monitoring reports to the WDNR.

    In August of 2004, NES submitted an acceptable restoration and monitoring plan to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. In 2005, native planting activities were conducted. A wet meadow seed mixture was applied to the disturbed area, covering the 0.20 acres. Species included in the seed mix were carefully selected to match the native vegetation present in the adjacent wetland.

    NES is responsible for monitoring invasive species, evaluating the success of the native planting, and producing a report. Annual reports include an evaluation of the restoration, a list of plant species found within the community, details related to the eradication of invasive species, and a summary and analyses of data collected.

    Careful maintenance during the first few years of growth is the key to a successful native restoration. Native plants were successfully established by years four and five and require relatively little maintenance. NES oversaw maintenance and the removal of invasive species on the site for a five-year period. Maintenance activities included any mowing, trimming, clipping, hand-pulling, or spot herbiciding necessary to maintain the native planting.

    Project: Exotic Species Monitoring and Management
    Location: Lincoln County, WI
    Client: Packaging Corporation of America
    Completed: 2010

    Point-intercept and meander surveys are conducted yearly on the Grandmother Falls Flowage, located in Lincoln Co., to document the presence of purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), giant reed grass (Phragmites australis), curly-leaf pondweed (Potamogeton crispus), and Eurasian water milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum). Point-intercept surveys allow the systematic sampling of submerged plants within project waters and ensure all areas of the littoral zone are visited.

    Eurasian water milfoil (EWM), native to Eurasia and northern Africa, has been documented in large abundance upstream in Lake Mohawksin, and there is fear that the milfoil will spread downstream and become established throughout the flowage. NES has identified areas within the flowage that do contain EWM; however, the abundance of the plant is not yet problematic. If EWM becomes established in high abundance throughout the flowage, it could threaten aquatic plant communities and fish predator prey relationships.

    Purple loosestrife, native to Europe, has rapidly spread throughout the flowage since 2006. This perennial can overrun wetlands and eliminate almost all other vegetation if left unmanaged. From 2007-2010, all loosestrife documented along the flowage was removed manually and chemically by NES staff.

    Giant reed grass and curly-leaf pondweed were not identified within the flowage.

    NES completed the 5-year monitoring project in 2011 with the submission of the final annual report.

    Vegetation Community Mapping
    Marinette, Wisconsin and Menominee, Michigan

    NES conducted a vegetation community survey along the Lake Michigan and Menominee River shoreline. The goal was to locate and identify the components of native, invasive and mixed vegetation communities. The survey serves as the baseline data for future restoration projects.

    Shoreline Restoration Guide and Restoration Project Report – Shawano Count
    NES prepared two Lake Planning Grants to produce two publications that:

    1. Educate the residents around the Cloverleaf Lakes about the important interactions that occur between a lake and its shoreline.
    2. Provide shoreland restoration options to those individuals that want to undertake their own project.
    3. Supply descriptions and photographs of shoreland restoration projects implemented around the lake system.

    Non-metallic Permitting – Northern Wisconsin
    NES prepared several non-metallic mining permits in northern Wisconsin required by NR135, completing wetland delineations, topographic surveys, preliminary platting, cut and fill requirements, and floodplain studies. The reclamation plan for the sites included the design of a naturalized lake and incorporated extensive native plantings in both the aquatic and terrestrial environments.

    Tree Inventory – Hobart, Wisconsin
    NES conducted a detailed tree inventory of several wooded tracts (35 acres) on the property, which resulted in the identification of 1,259 trees from 22 species greater than 12 inches in diameter.

    Invasive Species Monitoring – Village of Suamico, Wisconsin
    As part of a 5-year permit, NES annually monitors a recently constructed pond on private property for invasive species. Locations of invasive are GPS’d and mapped with ArcGIS, and a letter report is compiled and sent to the WDNR for approval.