dod award announcementThe Fort McCoy Natural Resource Branch (NRB) – which includes several CEMML research and field professional – was selected as the “Best Natural Resources Conservation Team” by the Secretary of the Army earlier this year. On the heels of that award, this same team won the top 2016 DoD Secretary of Defense Environmental Award for Natural Resources! CEMML is an integral member of the Fort McCoy NRB team, with 6 full-time biologists, one specialist to administer the hunting and fishing permit system, and up to a dozen or more seasonal technicians.

The CEMML team is proud to be a part of a long-term effort at Fort McCoy. For over 20 years, CEMML has helped the base realize outstanding environmental improvements while simultaneously preventing the loss of training days due to natural resource management issues.

man in front of firePrescribed Burn Management

CEMML’s team conducted prescribed burns of over 11,500 acres during the award period and assisted with multi-agency aerial water-bucket drop training exercises. This effort provided valuable hands-on air/ground asset coordination.

man with fishAquatic Systems Management

CEMML fisheries biologists managed creel surveys throughout the year to evaluate angler demographics, fishing success and the economic impact of anglers on Fort McCoy’s 71 miles of cold water streams and 10 lakes. This work provided direct communication with anglers and strengthened the base’s long-time bond with the community.

CEMML biologists also monitored surface waters across the installation, including two 303(d) impaired waters. Extensive restoration initiatives resulted in significant improvement to water quality, and it may soon be possible to remove the “impaired” designation from these two streams.

field of flowersThreatened and Endangered Species

CEMML biologists conducted Karner Blue Butterfly population surveys and confirmed that Fort McCoy met its conservation goals for the federally-listed butterfly. CEMML staff also conducted surveys for the wild lupine, Gray Wolf and the threatened Regal Fritillary Butterfly. As a result, the NRB team was able to develop an interagency agreement between the Army and the state to mitigate incidental take of the butterfly outside the installation. These cooperative efforts increase the chance for recovery and potential delisting.

Wildlife Management

Fort McCoy’s extensive forests, grasslands and wetlands are well-suited for wildlife. CEMML wildlife biologists assist NRB staff during hunting seasons with registration and permit sales. CEMML also assists hunters in the field, give briefings on safety, and help register harvested deer in a system through the state of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

black locustInvasive Species Management

During FY15, the CEMML team improved training land conditions and native plant species diversity on more than 3,900 acres by conducting treatments on 23 different invasive plant species.


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CEMML's Fort McCoy winners Part of CEMML’s successful Fort McCoy NR team, from l – r (front) Jim Raiten, Steve Rood, Zach Woiak, Julie Steinhoff
(back) Nate Tucker, Kevin Luepke, Dave Texley