Thursday, March 16, 2017

Webinar - Solar with Monarch Habitat: a Win-Win in the Land of Milkweed and Honey

Thursday April 6, 2017  
Webinar: 2:00-3:00 Eastern (1-2 PM Central)

Solar with Monarch Habitat: a Win-Win in the Land of Milkweed and Honey with Eric Udelhofen (OneEnergy Renewables) and Rob Davis (Fresh Energy). Register here!

This webinar will discuss the science and safety of photovoltaic solar and the growing trend of planting pollinator habitat under and around ground-mounted solar panels. In 2016 alone, nearly 2,500 acres of solar sites in Minnesota and Wisconsin were seeded with millions of native flowers and grasses including black-eyed susans, side-oats grama, purple prairie clover, butterfly milkweed, and calico aster.

Eric Udelhofen, development director from OneEnergy Renewables, will discuss site selection for large-scale solar arrays, including existing land use, utility interconnection, topography and other environmental factors. He will give an overview of what the development process looks like, discuss construction and provide insight into what an installation actually looks like.

Rob Davis, of 501(c)3 nonprofit Fresh Energy, will discuss its work in collaboration with the University of Minnesota Bee Lab, Monarch Joint Venture, the Gund Institue for Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont, and others to establish standards as to what constitutes “pollinator friendly solar.” Rob will delve into the history of how pollinator-friendly solar was imported from the UK, where it is a common practice. Rob will outline how Fresh Energy and Audubon Minnesota built a bipartisan coalition of support for a statewide standard for vegetation on solar sites, including support from prominent agricultural legislative leaders and advocacy organizations.

Rob and Eric will both discuss the public and environmental benefits provided by pollinator-friendly solar sites as well as standard practices of pollinator meadow management on solar sites, and will describe some of the benefits to solar project owners over the long-term, including reduced maintenance expenses, improved stormwater infiltration, and greater community acceptance.

Register here!

Webinar: Long-term Research to Document Effects of Elk, Nutrition, and Predation on Mule Deer Populations

Webinar presented by the U.S. Forest Service, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies

Abstract: Mule deer recruitment and populations in much of the western United States have declined over the past 2-3 decades or longer. We initiated long-term research at the USDA Forest Service Starkey Experimental Forest and Range (Starkey), northeast Oregon, to understand causes for decline and gain knowledge for reversing trends. Our research is based on a planned experimental reduction of the elk population at Starkey to determine the effects of competition with elk on mule deer and the potential interactive effects of predation. Objectives are to determine body condition scores of adult female mule deer, monitor pregnancy and twinning rates, and estimate survival of juvenile and adult female mule deer in the presence of a relatively high population density of elk and in response to predation by 4 carnivores. After the elk population within Starkey is reduced by 50-75%, we will measure the same mule deer parameters. We will develop maps of nutritional resources available to mule deer to determine if they are using the landscape in an optimal manner or are restricted from high quality resources through competition with elk. We are estimating carnivore densities and diets within and adjacent to Starkey to identify the effect of carnivores on mule deer populations. Results will address major knowledge gaps for management of mule deer in forested systems of the Interior West where elk co-occur at moderate to high densities, and where multiple species of carnivores prey on both ungulate species.

Mike Wisdom
Research Wildlife Biologist
U.S. Forest Service
Research & Development
Pacific Northwest Research Station

Darren Clark
Project Lead
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

Mary Rowland
Research Wildlife Biologist
U.S. Forest Service
Research & Development
Pacific Northwest Research Station

Additional Collaborators: Oregon State University, University of Nevada-Reno, and University of Idaho

Monday, April 3, 2017
2 p.m. Eastern/1 Central/ 12 p.m. Mountain/11 a.m. Pacific
To join the webinar:
Step 1: Dial-In: 800.768.2983, access code: 8383462

 Contacts: Monica Tomosy ( and Nicole Zimmerman (