Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24• ENFORCEMENT/CLIMATE CHANGE • No-snow tracking skills helps develop woods-wise wardens Camp Douglas, Wis.—Lost hunters, missing persons, and fugitives all leave signs of their passing in the Ceded Territory outdoors. If you know what to look for, the clues are there: from the obvious, like stirred-up leaf litter, to other subtle changes on the landscape. “All of you who hunt—and this is something I realized during my own train- ing—havealreadybeendevelopingtrackingskills,”saidJonasMoermond,tracking specialist and GLIFWC warden. “Just figuring out how animals move across the land is a good starting point.” White-tailed deer, wild turkeys, and virtually all wild game leave tracks that contain indications about size, speed, and direction, Moermond said.And it works the same with humans. In wintertime, tracking can be a relatively straight-forward affair with a layer of snow on the ground. But during the mild seasons, advanced skills are often required for a successful pursuit. “It takes a lot practice and a lot of patience to build good tracking skills,” Moermond said. “Humans are the only ones that try to conceal their tracks.” During a steamy week of outdoor training split between southwest Wisconsin military facilities Fort McCoy andVolk FieldAir National Guard Base lastAugust, instructorschallengedGLIFWCofficerswithlandnavigationexercisesand“man” tracking scenarios through sand plains, forestland and rocky ridge top terrain. The art of tracking has its own vocabulary and spoor (rhymes with “four”) emerged as the buzzword throughout the lessons. And for good reason. Spoor is any evi- dence of change caused by humans or animals. Finding and correctly interpreting spoor is central to become an effective tracker. Moermond introduced the ‘tracking stick’ as a primary, albeit low-tech, tool in gathering information about missing subjects. Developed by professional scouts, the simple wooden dowel ringed with rubber washers helps officers deci- pher imprints left in the earth. The 18” to 36” sticks help focus the tracker’s atten- tion on the trail and establishes gait, or stride length; should a footprint (or other spoor) become indiscernible due to changes in ground cover, sticks help inform the tracker of direction of travel and probable location of the next prints, Moermond said. Alongafieldofsandyoutwashes,trackingmentorsincludingGLIFWC’sDan North, Riley Brooks, Brad Kacizak, and Matt Kniskern produced a series of tracks for trainees to decipher. Wardens made note of tracks with characteristic “toe-dig” prints, which indicates running, and deployed their tracking sticks to pinpoint travel routes. Armed with pad-and-pencil, officers also sketched out footwear tread patterns, which can be especially useful when multiple prints are present. During an evening session, officers worked with night-vision and thermal imaging, learning how to indentify spoor through the lens of advanced technology. “When you’re tracking you have to keep in mind that things can look differ- ent depending on light source,” Moermond said. “The angle of the sun, type of flashlights, including using a red lens—it all makes a difference.” During a field test GLIFWC officers gather information using notepads and tracking sticks. Pictured above, from the left, are Steven Amsler, Mike Burns and Holly Berkstresser. INSET: Tracking also involves creating detailed sketches of prints like this one in Roger McGeshick’s notepad. (CO Rasmussen photos) By Charlie Otto Rasmussen, Editor Understanding and preparing for climatechangecanbeoverwhelmingfor anyorganization.Fortribes,thetaskcan be particularly challenging. Few tribal naturalresourcesdepartmentshavedes- ignatedclimatechangestafforextratime to focus on a new area of management. Climate change models typically offer not one, but several climate scenarios that must be considered in adaptation efforts. Meanwhile, the firehose of climate change information can create as many questions as answers. Many climate change strategies offer abstract rather than practical approaches, and Anishinaabevaluesandperspectivesare not often considered in these existing planning frameworks. And then, of course, is the issue of howtofundthisadditionalareaofwork. One organization trying to make climate adaptation more accessible for northern forest ecosystems is the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science,orNIACS[“nye-acks”].Based inHoughtoninMichigan’sUpperPenin- sula, NIACS is a regional collaborative effort between the Forest Service and several partners including universities and public and private groups. Through its Climate Change Response Framework, for example, NIACS works with forest managers and landowners to find practical, on- the-ground ways to incorporate climate change considerations into their own forest management projects. In addi- tion to in-person trainings, NIACS also developed an online course in Forest Adaptation Planning and Practices. For those who need to do training on their own schedule, NIACS cre- ated an online, interactive Adaptation Workbook. This online tool provides a structured process for natural resources staff to design a customized adaptation plan suited to their own lands, their own goals, and their own objectives. In all of their work, NIACS relies onthelandorresourcemanagers’knowl- edgeoftheland,focusingontheirvalues and judgment to help set their goals and priorities for adaptation. According to Stephen Handler, NIACS Climate Change Specialist, one advantage of NIACS’adaptation work- shops is that they “move people through a linear thought process” to assess what they want to do, how climate change might affect their goals, and how they can prepare for changing conditions. As Handler notes, this type of thought process “is a perfect fit for a grant or funding proposal,” and NIACS staff are willingtoassisttribesinpackagingtheir project to submit for funding. Most tribes within GLIFWC have some familiarity with NIACS and its climate adaptation trainings and prod- ucts.NIACShasdirectlyassistedseveral GLIFWC tribes in their climate change projects,andstafffrommanyothertribes haveparticipatedinNIACStrainings.In July, many attended the training held at Red Cliff in which NIACS presented “Responding to Climate Change in Northwoods Forests.” GLIFWC’s own Climate Change Program staff have utilizedseveralNIACSproducts,includ- ing vulnerability assessments of several tree species. Forfurtherinformation,gotowww. or contact Making climate adaptation planning more accessible in the Northwoods By Kim Stone GLIFWC Climate Change Project Coordinator NIACS climate change specialist Stephen Handler discussing climate change scenarios with Naomi Tillison of Bad River and Eric Oliphant of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. (Cat Techtmann photo) MAZINA’IGAN PAGE 4 WINTER 2016-17