The Ruffed Grouse Society and American Woodcock Society (RGS/AWS) recently named Wisconsin resident Jonathan E. Steigerwaldt the regional biologist and forest wildlife specialist coordinator for Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and Iowa.
Steigerwaldt filled the position vacated by Scott Walter, who returned to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, this time as the bear, wolf and cougar ecologist, earlier this year.
Steigerwaldt grew up in Wisconsin on a certified Tree Farm, earned his bachelor’s (2011) and master’s (2015) degrees at UW-Stevens Point. During and after college, Steigerwaldt worked for the WDNR and held numerous private forestry positions and volunteer appointments. He taught forest ecology and related courses during this period while attending the university, teaching, and working as a forester.
His studies and teaching dealt with prescribed burning, timber harvesting, wildlife and insect populations, management plan writing, and outreach education.
“Both species, grouse and woodcock, are habitat species in young forests,” Steigerwaldt said. “I recall my professors saying that foresters are likely to do as much to influence habitat as the wildlife biologists.”
In addition, Steigerwaldt will be working in outreach education with residents and conservation groups wishing to improve forest habitat for wildlife species.
Steigerwaldt, 32, is excited to further his passion for stewardship of natural resources through RGS/AWS and working for the society to create healthy forests that benefit wildlife in Wisconsin and other states in his region.
The Ruffed Grouse Society and American Woodcock Society will be involved in working with departments of natural resources in Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota in the West Nile Virus study this fall. Collection kits are available from the DNR county wildlife biologists. The DNR wants collection of bird blood and hearts, primarily from northern Wisconsin. Kits will be provided for hunters living in southern Wisconsin, who will be hunting in the north.
Steigerwaldt and his wife live in Spooner. He can be reached at Jons@ruffedgrousesociety.org or 412-720-6033.