Environment Picture

What services do natural ecosystems provide you?

Find out at the Stewardship Network's upcoming conference
Each year, more than 300 volunteer and professional land managers, researchers, contractors, ecologists, restorationists and private property owners gather to discuss new research and best practices for caring for natural lands and waters in the Great Lakes region.
 The focus of the 2012 conference will be natural areas and ecosystem services. We derive a host of invaluable services from the biodiversity that surrounds us. The oxygen we breathe is provided by plants, the water we drink is filtered by wetlands, and one-third of the food we eat is a result of animal pollination. Between agriculture and ecotourism, our economy depends on these crucial services, not to mention the cultural and spiritual values we obtain from being in and around natural ecosystems. 
 The agenda includes a lineup of nearly 80 presentations on many great topics, including:
  •  Locating agricultural practices to maximize ecosystem benefits (John Legge, The Nature Conservancy) 
  • The effect of native wildflower planting size on beneficial insects and their ecosystem services (Brett Blaauw, Michigan State University)  
  •  Budgeting for natural resources management (Steve Woods, The Nature Conservancy) 
  • Restoring Wild Rice in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (Jason Carlson, Applied Ecological Services; Roger Labine, Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa) 
  •  Winter Shrub Identification (Martha Holzheuer, Environmental Consulting and Technology, Inc.). 
  The conference also will explore the many aspects of using prescribed fire in restoration efforts, thanks to a partnership with the Lake States Fire Science Consortium.
 Students from eight different colleges and universities will present their research as well as professionals from many different public and private groups. 
 For more details on our agenda, please visit www.StewardshipNetworkConference.org, where you may also register for the conference.
-Erin Mittendorf, The Stewardship Network
RELATED TOPICS: conservation, land use
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