Resource Ramblings 2004-06
We have a lot of work taking place this summer that involves a lot of new (and old) faces. Here are some of the projects that are taking place and the people working on them: Exotic Plant Management Team (Chad Trautman, Leigh Stansfield, and Eric Lassance); Seed Mix (Helen McGranahan and Molly Benson); Cave & Karst Inventory (Jason Walz and Seth Spoelman); and the Wind Cave Vegetation Crew (Joey Feaster and others). Say hi and get to know these folks, if you ever see them.
Research conducted in the park in 2004 includes: Coyote ecology (Chronert); Bat research (Foster; Schmidt); Cave lighting and algae reduction (Horrocks); Merriam’s turkey (Lehman); Dust accumulation in Wind Cave (Ohms); Wind Cave geology (Palmer); Bird inventories (Panjabi); Aquatic ecosystem monitoring (Rust); Deer CWD (Schuler); Prairie dog communication (Senkiw); Seed improvement (Symstad); Mountain lion survival (Thompson); and Cavity nesting species (Vierling).
Biological Sciences - Wildlife
The park is in a planning mode unlike any we have ever before experienced. This year, we are working to prepare plans for bison, elk, prairie dogs, cave and karst, vegetation, and wildfire management. We all have a lot of work to do, so roll up your sleeves and participate where you can.
In June, you may see a flurry of activity with regard to meetings within the Park. On June 8-9, we will conduct internal scoping meetings for the preparation of an Elk Management Plan and environmental documentation. Then on June 15-16, we will have another internal scoping meeting fort he preparation of a Bison Management Plan and the environmental documentation.
Biological Sciences - Vegetation Quiz
Wind Cave National Park has more than 400 species of native plants, including eleven species of trees. Can you name these twelve tree species?
Physical Sciences - Cave and Karst
On May 18-19, the park held an internal scoping meeting for the preparation of a Cave & Karst Management Plan. The meeting was well attended and included folks from Wind Cave, Jewel Cave, South Dakota Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, as well as folks from the Geologic Resource Division of the NPS. We are working feverishly to get a draft plan and environmental documentation prepared within the next four months.
Resource Data Management
Recently Jim Dahlberg walked the fence boundary around the Park. He carried a GPS unit and marked positions for the various types of gates as well as prominent corner locations. This data was then downloaded from the unit and is in the process of being incorporated into our spatial information. Segments between the point locations will be created in order to mark the number and type of fence posts occurring along that section of fence. Also, digital photographs of the gates will be linked in an ArcView project so that a picture of each gate will be available to the user with the click of a mouse. This data layer will be helpful in maintaining the fence and can be useful to anyone needing to know the gate numbers/locations around the Park.
The seed mix crew, working for Amy Symstad, will be GPSing the water line. Their data will be transferred into our Geographic Information System. Random points can then be generated along the water line to facilitate plot locations for their summer season of data collection.
As a reminder, if anyone is interested in learning more about using ArcView, the Park Service has negotiated free online training. Just a few months ago these classes would have come with a price tag of about $100.00. Consider taking advantage of this opportunity. Take a look at the following web link if you're interested:
Red Valley Burn, April 2004.
(bur oak, American elm, quaking aspen, paper birch, boxelder, green ash, hackberry, plains cottonwood, lanceleaf willow, peachleaf willow, Rocky Mountain juniper, ponderosa pine).
Comments and feedback about Resource Ramblings are encouraged and can be made to Dan Foster, in person, or via email.
Did You Know?
Fire is an important factor in protecting the prairie. Historically, fires burned across the prairie every 4 to 7 years. Fires burn the small trees that would otherwise march across the prairie and turn the grasslands to forest.