Outdoor Wisconsin | Program | #3315

– We’ve come out to
the Lapham Peak Unit of the Kettle
Moraine State Forest where you can enjoy four
seasons of outdoor fun. As long as you dress
for the weather. In just a few minutes,
Jeff Kelm goes fishing for Muskees on the
Wisconsin river with guide Ryan Crosby. And then Emmy Fink, kayaks the Fox River Water
Trail in Waterford. But first, we’ll
continue our series at last summer’s
Mother Earth News Fair, as we talk with the
Evergreen Institute’s Dan Chiras about
living sustainably. I’m Dan Small and rain or shine, it’s time once again
for Outdoor Wisconsin. ♪ Summer to Fall ♪ Winter to Spring ♪ From Green Bay to where
the Saint Croix sings ♪ From Kettle Moraine
to Superior Shore ♪ Outdoor Wisconsin ♪ Outdoor Wisconsin Dozens of exhibitors
and speakers at last summer’s
Mother Earth News Fair offered ideas for living
in greater harmony with our natural environment. Dan Chiras, Director of
the Evergreen Institute spoke about living
sustainably in a finite world. I asked him how he got
started on this path. (upbeat music) – I got started
back in the 70’s. I’d just moved out to Colorado as a brand new
college professor. And I was traveling
in Utah, and I came across an exhibit at one of the National Parks, at Arches. And it was a little
solar display. A solar module sitting out in a hot parking lot, 105
degrees out there. The little sucker was out there, generating electricity,
running a little fan with streamers on it. And I just looked at
that and I said, that’s gotta be about the coolest
idea I’ve ever seen. And that really kind
of got me going on it. (upbeat music) Sustainability is,
basically, living on the planet
Earth in a way that ensures that you
meet your needs, supply the water we
need, the food we need, the materials we need, but that you’re not robbing from
future generations. So that future generations
can meet their needs as well. So how do we do that? It requires lots of
different things. Most people think about
energy first, you know. Like solar energy
to power your home. There are technologies
that allow us to generate electricity
to power a home. There are technologies
that allow us to heat the water in our home. So I started studying those and installing these
various technologies on the homes that I owned, and becoming more and
more self-sufficient with regards to energy. And at the same time I
started growing my own food. Composting all the organic
waste from my home, putting it back in
that garden soil and using that to
generate food for myself. And then there are issues like
sustainable transportation. And if you live in
an urban environment, you can actually lease a car rather than own your own car. You can ride mass transit,
buses or light-rail. In a rural environment,
what we’ve done is we’ve converted a Chevy
S-10 to electricity. So we have a farm truck that’s powered entirely
by electricity and entirely by solar
and wind energy that we generate
on our facility. And then what we’ve
done is on our farm now we raise grass-fed
beef, we raise free-range chickens
and free-range ducks. And we sell the eggs. They help create
a local economy. They keep us going,
we provide food for our neighbors and
people who live in the area. And it keeps our farm going. It pays its expenses
and makes us a little bit of
money to, you know, help pay for whatever we need. So those are some
of the things that we can do to be self-sufficient. So what is someone
who’s living in the city or who’s living in a
suburban environment do? And one of the things
that a suburbanite can do is convert that
daggone front lawn into an edible landscape. You know instead
of growing grass, which you simply
mow and fertilize and water and then
remow, and fertilize and water and remow
all summer long. Front lawn, back lawn, you start slowly converting it into
fruits and vegetables that you can then start putting
up, canning or freezing. That you can then feed your
family over the winter. It’s also an item that you could trade or sell with neighbors. I think one of the secrets on suburban sustainability is
teaming up with neighbors. Tear down your backyard fences
and have a community garden. Have a community
composting facility that you can all tend to
and reap the benefits of. And it’s a much more
environmentally responsible way to live on the
planet, much less resource intensive and a
heck of a lot more economic. (tractor rumbles) Now in a rural environment, the more property
you have the more likely you’re gonna have
to have big equipment. You know a thirty-thousand
dollar tractor, and that starts to eat into
the budget pretty quickly. Whereas if you’re
tending by hand, to an acre of orchard, a
half an acre of garden, you can produce all
the food you need, enough to put up for the winter. Enough to help
support neighbors. So keep that in mind, is
that you don’t need to buy a 40-acre homestead
to make this work. In fact it can work against you. (upbeat music) Community’s extremely important. Because we’re not gonna
survive this alone. There’s an awful lot to do. There’s an awful
lot to do but don’t use that as an
excuse to do nothing. What I’ve found is there
are a lot of people they may be focused
on just meeting their immediate
needs, but there are and awful lot of people
who have it in the back of their minds this
lingering doubt that, hey, something’s not right here. Well they may not be
living their lives in a way that reflects
that understanding or that realization. But I think it’s fairly
easy to recruit people and start at an easy,
start at a simple level. And it think that
you can develop this network in
a me-first world, and show people how it can
save them time and money. Again, by the common
interests, the common concerns and common benefits. – If you’re thinking
about transitioning toward a more
sustainable lifestyle, don’t try to do it all at once. Even small changes over time can add up to make a big difference. Now let’s join Emmy Fink at Nature Hill Intermediate
School in Oconomowoc, as she asks 6th graders how much they know about Wisconsin. (upbeat music) – We decided to take today’s
Know Wisconsin on location. We’re actually in a
6th grade classroom, Miss Fink’s 6th grade
classroom here at Nature Hill Intermediate
School in Oconomowoc. Joined with these lovely
ladies and gentlemen. And we have some
pretty tough questions on Wisconsin State trivia. So let’s start. What is Wisonconsin’s
State Bird? – Robin? – [Emmy] Alright, that’s
a very good guess. – Robin, yeah. – Robin. – [Emmy] Wow. – Cardinal. – [Emmy] Good guess. – Cardinal. – Oh, see they split up
side to side here, I see. Alright this is pretty,
this is really easy. What’s Wisconsin’s State Animal? – Badger? – Badger. – Badger. – Deer. (laughs) – I like him. He goes rogue every time. I like it. – Badger. – [Emmy] Badger. It is Badger. So, so far we’ve got
everybody on this side doing pretty good. You guys are two for two. And this side, you know, they got
some work to do. Alright next question, let me take a look at
this sheet of questions. How about, what is
Wisconsin’s nickname? – The Cheese State? – [Emmy] That’s pretty good. I’ll give you a
half-point for that one. – The Farm State. – [Emmy] Another good,
another good one. – The Dairy State. – Alright. These are all good answers. – Dairy Land. – Land of the Lakes. – Alright. Nobody got that right, but those were all pretty close. Do you know what it is? We’re nicknamed
the Badger State. (kids murmur) You guys have heard of that. Yeah, that’s pretty easy. And last but not least, what is the largest
city in Wisconsin? (laughter) – Um. – [Emmy] It is not
Oconomowoc, so don’t say that. – Um, Milwaukee? – Madison. – Madison. – Madison. – Milwaukee. (giggles) – [Emmy] Alright a
couple got it right. It was Milwaukee. High-five to all of you. On three, we’re gonna say,
Know Wisconsin, ready? One, two, three. – [In Unison] Know Wisconsin. (giggles) – Good job you guys. – Thanks Emmy. Those kids are pretty sharp. And we’ll tell you how
to learn more about Nature Hill
Intermediate School in this week’s other
features in a few minutes. That’s Lake Nagawicka behind me. But let’s head up to
the Winsconsin River now at Nekoosa and join Jeff Kelm and guide Ryan Crosby
as they try for Muskees. (upbeat guitar music) – We’re out here
beyond transition. I would imagine it’s
been cold enough that we’ve got some, we’ve had kind of a turnover
and on the float you don’t see as
much of a turnover you just see the water
temp starting to drop. Is this the time of year to be targeting some of these Muskees? Or is there a better
time or a worse time? – [Ryan] This time of
year is definitely a better time to be
targeting Muskees. I don’t give up
bow-hunting very often, but if there’s a time
I will it’s right now. Here you go. – Okay. Where are we at
with the plan here? – [Ryan] Well
we’re up by the dam and what we’re lookin’ to do is drift some suckers through here. – Okay. – Toss into a couple of
the smaller eddy spots where they come in
and nest and see what we can’t pick outta here. There’s always a good food
source for Muskees here. And, with the
mixture of the food and the oxygen
that’s here, that’s, in my opinion,
that’s the two things that create a lot of ability for numbers of Muskees to be here. One-hundred percent Muskees are one of the most difficult fish to catch on the planet. I mean it’s, they call it the fish of ten thousand
casts for a reason. You’ll know. When you have him
on, that line will literally just start zippin’. Probably talking
about in the low 50’s to 50-degrees right
now, for water temps. Depths we’re gonna be fishing, probably about
14-foot on average. Anywhere from eight to fourteen, looking for the feed shelfs and rock-bats and ledges and if there’s any underwater
weeds yet you know. There’s a few points where
there’s some sitting. – [Jeff] You’ll be
using the electronics to figure out where you’re
at as far as the shelfs. – [Ryan] Yes, yes, very much so. I mean as far as
the electronics go, so here’s a split-screen. Right now we’re in seven foot. There’s all kinds of
rock structure down here. And what I’m looking
for in particular is rocks, outcrops,
anything that sticks up where a predator fish can hide. – [Jeff] We got the
selection of baits, what’s like the go-to that you’re gonna start pitchin’? – Well the go-to
that I’m gonna start pitchin’ right away
or one of us will start pitchin’ of
course, is a bull-dog. – [Jeff] Bull-dog. – [Ryan] This time of
year a pounder size is one of the baits
that I absolutely go to. And the same thing
for the blades. I size up a little bit. They tend to like
the darker colors, you know, emulating
crappie there again with a little bit of
flash at the front. – [Jeff] Yeah. – [Ryan] The
twitch-bits, working them nice and slow, just
a little pause every once and a while,
let it float back up. – [Jeff] Yeah. When you get Muskees
that are coming up behind a bait, will
they turn off the bait and hit a sucker? Is that kind of the idea? – Sometimes on waters
they get a little accustomed to
fishermen reeling in, you know, walleyes, crappies. I’ve had ’em disappear plenty of times off of my rod. I’ve had it to where
I’ve been figuring-eight and at the same time as
my partner on the boat, and pull the fish from them. What I’ve done
better on in the past is brighter colors, you
know, the headache patterns. And this all
started with one guy making one bait and then
the next thing you know it’s every bait
manufacturer out there has patented it from us. – [Jeff] Right, right. – It works. – Are you pairing reels,
like the reel with the bait almost more than the
rod with the bait? – Yes. – Okay. – Yes for the most part,
because if the reel is geared too high,
say on big blades, it’s gonna be a little tougher
for somebody to reel in. – [Jeff] Just trying
to get that action to actually go, eh? – A good all-around
rod for any blade is a five to four to one. – [Jeff] Okay. – They just, they
handle any blade I’ve thrown out there,
even the bit fifteens. It’s all about the
gearing of the reels. – [Jeff] Yeah. – Say like this one’s
a six to two to one. So for heavier rubber,
you know I’m gonna be able to catch up to
that slack in the line. Eight six or better is
what you want for rods. – Eight foot six is what
you’re talking about? – Yep. You know when it comes to
figure-eightin’ in the water you don’t have to
try and reach down and physically force
yourself to do it. It’s all right there. – [Jeff] Am I doing a
figure-eight each time? – [Ryan] Yes. – [Jeff] Especially
in these waters? – [Ryan] What you wanna
do with your figure-eight is put it down in
the water like this. – [Jeff] Okay. – [Ryan] And
figure-eight around. – [Jeff] Okay. – [Ryan] Literally as big
of figure-eight as you can. – [Ryan] Okay. – [Ryan] Cause these
bigger wider fish are gonna take a big turn. Figure-eight is
definitely one of the most important things you can do. – [Jeff] Okay. – [Ryan] I think we’re
gonna scoot down. (upbeat guitar music) – [Jeff] Up here
you don’t know what you’re gonna see from
one second to the next. – [Ryan] For me it’s
more about the hunt. My grandmother, you know,
is where it all started as far as Muskee fishing goes. – Yeah? – She’s not your
typical grandma. – [Jeff] So that’s what
got you started, huh? – [Ryan] Yup. – [Jeff] Was is it
just a matter of, hey let’s go fishing and I’m
gonna show you something? – [Ryan] No, she’s always
been a fisherman, fisherwoman. – [Jeff] Yeah. – [Ryan] Even in my
grandfather’s office five, six fish that were
on the wall were all hers. Anywhere they ever
went in the country, she had to fish. – Yeah? – Absolutely had to fish,
salmon, you name it. Just one of them things not
many people have a claim to. But if she could
still do it today, she’d be out there every day. For me it’s never
ever an issue about too big one to make
sure I have a fish, it’s more about lettin’ ’em
go and lettin’ ’em grow. The possibilities of
me being able to entice me more being able to see
a future 50-inch plus fish in the State versus
me personally having
one on the wall. (guitar music ends) – Well as it often happens, right after Jeff
and our crew left, Ryan and his camera
boat operator caught several Muskees
later that day. I guess those fish
were just camera shy. Well Emmy Fink is
certainly not camera shy. Let’s join her in the
Village of Waterford as she learns about
local efforts to develop the Fox River Water Trail. – It is a time of
change here in the Village of Waterford
as they are redefining the use of the Fox River. (upbeat guitar music) – It started several years ago when a couple of us got together and said, we need to study how we can best leverage
our village. And we had seven reports done. All seven of them
identified the Fox River and how it was
completely underutilized. So we started to look
at our access points. And that led us to a
multi-jurisdictional project with Racine County to implement
canoe and kayak launches above and below, the only
two physical impediments on the Fox River in
the State of Wisconsin, which are the Waterford
Dam and the Rochester Dam. We built it, and they came. And we’re not only
telling the public, about the launches
that are here, and how you can paddle
here in Wateford, but we’re announcing
the start of development of the Fox River Water Trail. Right now we’re
working with two other counterpoints in the
State of Illinois and the Southeastern Wisconsin
Regional Planning Commission. And our team is charged
at laying the groundwork on how the trail
develops and guiding the paddler along the entire
223 miles of the Fox River as it goes through
Wisconsin and Illinois. Barb and I have the
fortunate experience of being volunteers who
just spend their time on weekends helping the cause. Every Saturday between 11:30
and 12:30 in the afternoon, we experience at least
15 to 25 paddlers coming down the Fox River. It used to be zero. And that’s just on the time
that we’re tracking it. – We started this
development of the Fox River Water
Trail and I thought, I better try this
out if I’m endorsing or working on this
trail, I have to find out what it’s about. So, about a month ago I got on the water
with some friends and fell in love. And then Rebecca and
I started traveling, we did all of Racine County and half the Waukesha County. But we’ve made good progress and we’re looking forward
to continuing it. Probably gonna be about a
two or three year process. And when we conclude,
we’re hoping to get a National designation. – Do you wanna adjust
your feet at all? – They’re actually great. – Oh you’re good. – Yeah. Awesome, thank you. Alright, and. Yeah. – [Emmy] So in addition to
people using the waterways to enjoy it by boat, whether
that’s kayak or canoe, the fisherman are really
coming in droves now as well. – If you fly fish,
this is the destination where you’re doing it. Particularly right by our
launch south of the dam. It’s not abnormal,
pretty much every day of the week to either
see people fishing along the shoreline and
fishing right out in the river just because of the
activity and the game fish that are coming over the dam. Everything that’s
north also heads south. So it is an extreme destination
point that fishermen watch and target on their
regular fishing trips. (upbeat guitar music) When you paddle
down the Fox River through the Village
of Waterford, you think that you’re in some new foreign land
that’s exciting. We wanna give people
that same experience. And it takes fifty minutes, just in the empilement
area between the two dams. – [Emmy] You get out here
and you hear the sounds and you see the beauty
and are you just enamored with excitement
for what this could be and people will be brought
here now because of this. – I am, I’m really
enthusiastic about it. All my friends will tell you
that I can’t stop talking about kayaking and
about the water trail. When I was younger,
my husband and I went to northern Wisconsin to
do whitewater rafting. Never considered what
we had right here in our back yard. And I think that’s true
for a lot of people so we’re bringing it
out into the open. We’re showing people
that this is here and to make use of it. We’re Waterford and
that’s where they crossed the river, they
forded the river here, and now we’re
getting on the river. (upbeat guitar music) – Now we’re at the new
step, the new chapter leading into the development
of the water trail. And we need help. And we want people who
are interested in helping, whether they’re engaged
in canoe or kayaking, whether they have skills
as a graphic artist, whether they have skills at
putting together reports, we are essentially
doing this from scratch. And we welcome new partners. These canoe and kayak launches are just the start
of the beginning of an entire new chapter
in another century of work that we’re gonna do here
in the Village of Waterford and for the entire
Fox River Waterway. (upbeat music ends) – The Fox River is
certainly a great resource and so is the Lapham Peak Unit of the Kettle
Moraine State Forest. We’ve come inside to the
Hausman Nature Center, and I’m here with Brett Johanen, he’s the property manager here. And Brett, there’s
a lot of displays here that you have. – Welcome Dan, indeed. We’ve got some educational and cultural displays behind us. We’ve got a kid’s
corner here with a number of family
activities for folks. Our habitat restoration behind
us from our volunteer work. As well as the Ice-Age
Trail National Scenic Trail, the local chapter volunteer
that has their display. – [Dan] And I noticed
coming in the door there’s a ram pump, we
had a segment earlier in the show about
sustainable living. Can you tell us a
little bit about that? – [Bret] Correct Dan. That’s one of our
cultural displays. It’s actually significant
to the property because we have a natural
spring on property that that ram was
actually constructed at. With a house or a shed rather. And that water from
that ram was pumped to downtown Delafield before the I-94 Interstate was put in. So we have that on
display as well. – [Dan] So that was the
water source for Delafield? – Correct yes. – [Dan] Now you’ve got
a lot of activities that people can
engage in here at the Lapham Peak Unit, don’t you? – [Brett] We do, we’re an 1100
acre day use only property. We do have one campsite,
it’s walk-in only. Our staple is the 45-foot
observation tower. You can kind of see the
entire lake country area. We’re in the heart of
Delafield, right off I-94 as I said, and really,
when you’re traveling from Milwaukee to Madison you’ve got no excuse but to stop. – [Dan] Now tell
us about the tower. – [Brett] Again, it’s 45-feet. It’s a wooden structure,
it’s been around for a number of years. The original one
actually burned down and has since been rebuilt. The one that we have
has been modified but again, it offers those
beautiful panoramic views, especially in the October
month with fall colors. – [Dan] What are
some of the most popular activities
that people enjoy here? – [Brett] Well we have
the 20 miles of trail in addition to six miles
of the Ice Age Trail National Scenic Trail. And so hiking and biking
and horseback riding as well as cross-country
skiing on our 2-mile lighted loop in winter. – [Dan] Okay, and where
do people come from? – [Brett] All over,
specifically the lake country area, but
many from Milwaukee, Waukesha Counties, many
from Madison, Dane County and northern Chicago
Illinois area. – [Dan] Do you know how many
visitors you have each year? – We have approximately
half a million folks. And fortunately for us,
we stay busy throughout the year, so that number’s
right across 12 months instead of a typical
park where they see the spike during
the summer months. But we’re consistently
busy year-round. – [Dan] Well we saw
a few visitors today, despite the rain,
and I’ll bet you’re really gonna be busy once
the weather gets nice. – Correct yes. Spring is a busy time for us, when the weather
starts to cooperate as well as the Fall
colors, Winter ski season. – Well thanks for sharing
some highlights with us and I’m sure a lot of
our viewers will wanna come out and check
out Lapham Peak. – Absolutely, we appreciate it. – I’m here with Rick
Von Haden and he’s the Vice-President of the
Friends of Lapham Peak. Now Rick you’ve got
a lot of programs that you folks do, don’t you? – Yes, we do. The largest program is
our winter-time skiing. And we have seventeen
miles of trails for natural snow-skiing,
two and a half miles of lighted ski trails
and a little over a mile of man-made
snow, which in years that we have low natural
snowfall, is tremendous. We get people, a tremendous
number of people come from Chicago, from Madison
when they don’t have snow. This park is, the
parking lots are filled on weekends
during the winter. – We’re standing here
by the Ice Age Trail, do a lot of folks
hike here as well? – Yes, hiking is a
wonderful past-time. And the Ice as
you probably know, the Ice Age Trail
runs from all the way through the park. And it goes right
by the observation, 45-foot observation tower
that is used very frequently. – Now I noticed some
new signs on the tower. – Yes, they point
out the highlights that you can see from
the top of the tower. Those are new. They point out that
you can see Holy Hill, you can see all the way
to downtown Milwaukee. You can see the new
Northwestern Mutual building that’s being constructed. So you can see a
lot from up there. – [Dan] For somebody
who’s never been here, what’s the elevator pitch? Why should they come? – Oh just because
the hiking is so nice and the wildflowers
in the Spring and the wildlife from
the deer to the turkies to the foxes to the coyotes, there’s a lot here to see. – Well folks, as
Rick said, there’s a lot to see and
a lot to do here. And I hope you come out
and enjoy Lapham Peak. Rick thanks for
sharing it with us. – You’re welcome, my pleasure. – [Dan] For more information
on Wisconsin’s State Forests or any of this week’s features log on to and click on Outdoor Wisconsin. Or visit the Outdoor
Wisconsin Facebook page. Well next time,
we’ll return to the Mother Earth News
Fair to learn about the health benefits
of some of our common back yard plants. Jeff Kelm joins UW Madison Emeritus Professor Stan Temple at the Aldo Leopold Foundation
on the Wisconsin River to witness the Sandhill
Crane migration. Saying goodbye from
Lapham Peak Unit of Kettle Moraine State
Forest, I’m Dan Small. Join us again next week
for Outdoor Wisconsin. (upbeat guitar music)