As Wisconsin’s lakes start to become alive with activity, shoreline property owners start to think more about their lakefront and ways to maintain or improve what they have. Many of these property owners will be seeking the advice and services of professionals. How can a property owner know if who they are going to hire is knowledgeable in lakeshore restoration techniques? Luckily for Wisconsin’s lakeshores and lakeshore property owners, the “Lakeshore Habitat Restoration Training for Professionals” program taught by experts in habitat restoration will happen again after a successful first year.
“Research findings have shown that lakeshore habitat degradation and loss are key stressors to Wisconsin lakes,” says Patrick Goggin, University of Wisconsin Extension and Wisconsin DNR lakes specialist, who organizes the training session. “This training covers best management practices, state standards and tools available to assist anyone with dealing with those issues on their lakeshore. Any graduate of this program is certified to know the latest and best information on protecting and restoring lakeshore habitat.”
An enthusiastic group of more than 50 participants was in trained lakeshore rehabilitation techniques in 2014. The first event comprised of many small businesses, like nurseries, conservation consultants, and landscapers, as well as government partners. The diverse group helped attendees learn from the wide range of experience present and to develop a better network of lakeshore professionals focused on rehabilitation projects.
Nick Homan, a 2014 participant and owner of Lakescape Solutions LLC, found the lakeshore habitat restoration training a valuable experience. “This was a great opportunity to collaborate with peers and agency personnel in a situation that was noncompetitive,” he said. “We are a network of people interested in lakeshore restoration and together we can drive innovation in the industry. Overall, I felt that the experience was a very positive and a professional one.”
Given the success and positive reviews of the 2014 training sessions, Goggin is excited to offer them again this year. “We have begun to build a professional network of lakeshore habitat restoration professionals in Wisconsin that can utilize each other for information sharing, troubleshooting issues, and forming teams to tackle work together. I look forward to expanding this training to more of the state and to other stakeholders in coming sessions.”
The 2015 will be held on June 18th and 19th at The Lodge on Crooked Lake in Siren. For more information on the training, visit the UW Extension Lakes website.