Ozaukee Treasures Network

Topic: How and why land trusts and county planners need to actively engage in making land available to small organic farm producers. Focus is on the economic benefits to communities and the environmental benefits to natural area preservation.

This program will be held the week of March 17th.  More detailed information will be coming as to date, location and time.

Dr. Brad Leibov, President and CEO of Liberty Prairie Foundation (Grayslake , IL) will be our presenter.

This program was suggested by Steve Sandlin, who has heard Dr, Leibov on this topic. Steve's comments:

"Fantastic and engaging. LPF has been very successful in developing lease agreements and protocol for establishing small sustainable farm enterprises on property held by land trusts and on public land."

OTN Steering is very excited about his coming talk as well.  Here are two of the many positive comments from Steering.

"I think this would be a fabulous program. It would be beneficial to any organization or individual who is interested in preserving land. At times, it can be a struggle to come up with the "right" things to say about why it is important to preserve land – particularly when you "just know" it's the right thing. Hearing the case for support would be wonderful."

Jessica Jens

Executive Director


Riveredge Nature Center

"This would be a very worthwhile event that fits the focus of the OTN very well. Sustainable agriculture is an important link in our effort to preserve our open space, etc.....

I actually had a person from Fox Point contact our office last week seeking land in the Ulao Creek watershed on which to grow organic produce on easement land...

Would be beneficial to learn more."

Andy Holschbach


State DNR Recognizes Longtime Bird Advocate:  Cutright Is Honored On 'Larry Meiller Show'

By:  Judith Siers-Poisson October 01, 2013

Editor's Note: Listeners to "The Larry Meiller Show" have likely heard Bill Volkert and Noel Cutright share their love and knowledge of birds on the program many times. Volkert is a naturalist and a retired Wildlife Educator at Horicon Marsh International Education Center, and Cutright is past president of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology. Many longtime listeners often share that it just isn't a holiday if Noel and Bill aren't on the Ideas Network to talk about migrations, sightings, feeding tips, and the many fascinating and unexpected ways that birds behave.

Those who tuned into Tuesday's program might have found themselves checking the calendar since guests Bill Volkert and Noel Cutright joined host Larry Meiller for a non-holiday program to talk about fall bird migration. But, it was particularly special appearance because while they are usually on by phone, this time they came to Madison to do the show in the studio.

One of their goals is always to help people get started in birding or to improve their skills. An important aspect is to know where to go and when to observe birds at a given time of year. The fall migration is currently well-underway, and Volkert had some great recommendations for where to see specific species. Wherever you are in the state, there are great opportunities, he said.

Some of the locations that he suggested are:

The Mississippi River for ducks, swans, hawks and eagles. Sandhill WA and Central Wisconsin for sandhill cranes, Lake Superior for gulls, jaegers, waterfowl and hawks, Horicon Marsh for ducks, Canada geese, cranes, Lake Michigan for ducks, gulls and uncommon waterbirds

But the highlight of the program was when staffers from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources surprised Cutright with an award for his many years of service to the state's birds.

A native of southern Ohio, Cutright has lived for 35 years in rural Ozaukee County near the Cedarburg Bog with wife Kate, who is also a naturalist. His Bachelor's and Master's degrees focused more on plants, but his Ph.D. in wildlife science from Cornell University included studying flocking and roosting behavior of red-winged blackbirds, and he has been specializing in birds and bird behavior ever since.

Cutright's accomplishments are numerous, but Sumner Matteson, avian biologist with the DNR, compiled this list:

Senior Terrestrial Ecologist, We Energies, for nearly 30 years until his retirement in 2006.

Founder of the Riveredge Bird Club in 1986

Past president (twice) of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology

(WSO)Historian, WSO

One of the leaders in establishing the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative

Helped promote the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas and served on the Atlas Steering Committee

Senior editor, Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Wisconsin, published in 2006

Currently serving on Steering Committee for a second Wisconsin Breeding Birds Atlas

Helped launch the Milwaukee County Avian Migration Monitoring Partnership, which won a 2007 WDNR Citizen-based Monitoring Award

Received the 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award for Citizen-based Monitoring from WDNR for 30+ years of applying monitoring results to conservation actions.

Whether it's supporting efforts to install Osprey platforms, reintroduce Trumpeter Swans, erect Peregrine Falcon nest boxes, create bluebird trails, establish State Natural Areas or important reserves in Belize, Noel has been active in a number of important conservation campaigns.

Tirelessly promoted and participated in the Federal Breeding Bird Survey for 40+ years.

This culminated in a Quad 30 campaign in 2004 in which he raised >$50,000 for the state's Important Bird Areas program by running 33 consecutive Breeding Bird Survey routes in 33 days!

Organized and participated in hundreds of Christmas Bird Counts over the decades and served as the Wisconsin coordinator for the Great Backyard Bird Count.

Received prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the Gathering Waters Conservancy in 2010.

Received the Silver Passenger Pigeon, Green Passenger Pigeon, and Sam Robbins' Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology,

and the 1st Annual Lorrie Otto Memorial Award from Milwaukee Audubon in 2011.

Long-time advisor to WDNR and FWS on the ecology and management of Wisconsin's breeding birds.

Instrumental in creation of Bird City Wisconsin and serves on its Steering Committee Instrumental in promoting migratory bird conservation

and founded the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory, with headquarters at the Forest Beach Migratory Preserve in Ozaukee County

In presenting a plaque to Cutright, DNR Lands Division Administrator Kurt Thiede said, "You've done and given so much in the world of bird conservation here." He added, "In recognition of your outstanding service, leadership and passion for conserving Wisconsin's bird populations and their habitats ... we wanted to present you with this plaque of our appreciation."

When Thiede presented Cutright with the plaque, adorned with a photo of his favorite bird, a Kentucky Warbler, Cutright said, "I've got a lump in my throat and goosebumps on my legs. This really does mean a lot."

Volkert added to the accolades as well. "The people of Wisconsin are certainly so much better informed about birds because of the work that Noel has done. And I have to say that I believe that the birds of Wisconsin are better off because of his contributions to both education of our wildlife resources and certainly the conservation of birds and their habitats in the state. He's really made a mark on this state, and for that, all the bird watchers, the bird lovers and the birds themselves are thankful for all Noel has done for us."

Listener Ryan Brady said on Facebook that "Noel and Bill are truly incomparable. And special congrats to Noel for his well-deserved recognition from WDNR." Listener Connie Hartman agreed. She said on Facebook, "Always enjoy Noel and Bill - happy to hear of Noel's recognition. Congrats!"

And after the show, listener James Taylor emailed to say "Wisconsin is applauding right now. Well done, Noel." We couldn't have said it better ourselves.

To all:

Thank you so much for all of your hard work this past Saturday at the "Krier Conservancy Work Day". We were able to build over 250 tussock mounds and plant 2000 native wetland sedges and wildflowers in about three hours! This was a great accomplishment!!!

Unfortunately I don't have e-mail addresses for each person who attended the event, but we wanted to make examples of a few key people...

Special Thanks To:

John Rassel for trucking in (and presumably trucking out) the drinks, coolers, and grill.

Tom Ellis for purchasing all of the food and being the grill master –despite the rain coming down while he was cooking!

Marc Daniloff for bringing the two young ladies who provided great inspiration with their work ethic and fearlessness in the mud!

The Southeast and Ozaukee County Chapters of Pheasants Forever for purchasing the food (and supplying 7 volunteers).

Brett Gorzalski for bringing the youngest volunteer (his son Brayson)

Bob Hubing for bringing his ATV and trailer - (and various other tools)

Andy Holschbach and Kevin Peiffer for coming out to help despite having injuries on the mend

Mequon Nature Preserve for lending us some youth size waders

Peter Ziegler for stopping in to help with some plants (and dropping off wood duck boxes) while on his way to a WWA event

Bruce Krier for his consistent dedication to the conservation of wild places and ecological restoration

I'm sure I'm forgetting some folks who deserve mention - to whom I apologize. But thank you again all for taking time out of your weekend to help us help the land heal!

To download the photos from the event, click the link below. You may have to install Dropbox, but it's free!


Clayton M. Frazer

Senior Ecologist

409 Concord Drive

Oregon, WI 53575