We believe there is great power in the diversity of people and partnerships. Fostering true resiliency and sustainability in complex ecological restoration projects requires a diversity of skill sets, disciplines, perspectives, and experiences. No one company could possess such a diverse array of people and skill sets under a single roof.
As ecological communities are most valuable with greater biodiversity, ecological projects are most valuable when established through a diversity of strategic partnerships. NRE collaborates with a multitude of individuals, companies, and organizations that each have specific niches in the ecological world. We have vetted these entities through collaboration on dozens of restoration projects and we have cultivated trusting relationships with the passionate people inside these organizations. The groups and individuals within NRE’s partners' group are all top leaders in their fields. When they are brought together in a collaborative environment the results are unmatched.
Natural Environment Technologies
Jay Settersten is the President and owner of Settertech and is one of the leading national experts in stormwater management and erosion control. His experience includes stormwater infiltration facility management, sediment analysis in stormwater situations, shoreline management, and prairie restoration. Mr. Settersten has more than 25 years of experience in the private sector and has worked for numerous municipal and agency clients.
NRE collaborates with Settertech to provide insight on stormwater and erosion control product specifications, planning on project development, execute project monitoring services and stormwater inspections, and assist with staff training and continuing education. NRE has called upon Mr. Settersten’s extensive expertise on several large-scale slope stabilization projects. NRE owners commonly co-present project case studies with Mr. Settersten at profession conferences such as the North American Stormwater and Erosion Control Association (NASECA) and a number of other conferences each year.
Kendall Kulig is the President and owner of Kulig Contracting. Kulig Contracting specializes in the execution of reclamation, erosion control, stormwater management, and right of way restoration. Mr. Kulig is one of the most experienced and best equipped hydroseeding contractors in the Midwest. Based in Whitehall, Wisconsin, Kulig is able to service a wide array of slope stabilization projects for NRE in numerous locations in the upper Midwest. Kulig is an expert in native hydroseeding and steep slope erosion control and has partnered with NRE owners on projects such as the Dane County landfill and the Concordia bluff stabilization project. NRE calls on Kulig for technical support and specification review on a number of Lake Michigan bluff stabilization projects each year.
Your Personal Gardener & Arborist
James Chesebro is the owner and CEO of Your Personal Gardener & Arborist (YPGA). James and his team are much more than landscapers. James and many of his team members are Certified Arborists and have extensive knowledge on tree and shrub health, planting, and maintenance. YPGA offers a wide array of services and NRE often refers clients to them based on their expertise in planting and maintaining native hardwood trees (mainly oaks) on landscape-scale natural area settings. James is also an expert in fruit tree development, propagation, and maintenance. NRE has also called upon YPGA to assist with planning, planting, and maintenance of fruit orchards on private lands.
Great Lakes Ecological Services
Dr. Gary Casper is the owner of Great Lakes Ecological Services (GLES). Dr. Casper is one of the leading national experts in amphibians and reptiles and has published numerous research documents on the subject. Dr. Casper was the Senior Collections Manager for the Milwaukee Public Museum for twenty years and is currently an Associate Scientist with the University of Milwaukee Field Station. Dr. Casper specializes in amphibian and reptile biology, wildlife surveys, ecological inventory and monitoring, and environmental impact assessments. NRE collaborates with Dr. Casper on specialized wildlife surveys, including acoustic monitoring for birds, bats, and amphibians.
Pheasants Forever is a national 501(c)3 non-profit conservation organization. Pheasants Forever's mission is to conserve pheasants, quail, and other wildlife through habitat improvements, public access, education, and conservation advocacy. NRE has strong ties to Pheasants Forever and partners with several chapters in Wisconsin to engage their volunteers on habitat improvement projects including woody invasive species removal in native grasslands, cost share assistance for new native prairie installations, and prescribed fire operations to maintain native grasslands to their peak productivity. In the capacity of a volunteer, NRE co-owner Clay Frazer manages a prescribed fire program through the Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter of Pheasants Forever.
Ideal Land Management
Brian Kozlowski owns and operates Ideal Land Management. Brian has a background in wildlife ecology and as a passionate hunter and conservationist he has strong ties the Wisconsin landscape and land ethic culture. Ideal’s specialty is forestry management. In the upper Midwest, restoration of neglected woodlands often begins with the removal of woody invasive species such as buckthorn and Asian honeysuckle. Brian and his crew are highly skilled operators of forestry mowing/mulching equipment. Managing this type of equipment in complex and dynamic landscapes in a multitude of site conditions requires hundreds of hours of operational experience and well-trained eyes. Brian’s crew also runs modern, top-notch equipment. They know how to tread lightly in sensitive woodlands, and they know how to discern native trees and shrubs from invasive woody plants from inside the cab of the machine during operations. This combination of equipment operation skills and restoration knowledge makes the Ideal Land Management team a valued partner with NRE.
Villani Landshapers is based out of Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin and they work all over southern Wisconsin. Unlike most landscape contractors, they employ field staff with botany skills and specialized expertise in the management of native plants and the control of invasive species. NRE owners have partnered with Villani Landshapers on a number of native vegetation management projects. NRE has provided specifications, plans, and monitoring oversight for Villani Landshapers field staff on several slope stabilization projects, including the Concordia University bluff restoration project. Villani Landshapers often calls upon NRE Ecologists to assist with vegetation management planning on complex sites.
Wondra Construction, INC.
Wondra Construction continues to be a trusted partner for wetland restoration, waterway grading, scrape construction, and pond construction on numerous projects planned and managed by NRE owners for more than a decade. Centrally located in Iron Ridge, Wisconsin, Wondra Construction has been in business for more than 30 years. Their skilled equipment operators run modern, top-notch equipment and they understand how to execute complex wetland projects in challenging and variable site conditions. GPS guides their equipment when inches of grade deviation and a few degrees of slope angle change impact long-term wetland functionality. Wondra is also one of the few excavation/grading contractors who truly understand and respect erosion and sediment control during the construction process.
NRE co-owner Clay Frazer first teamed with Tom Mortensen (https://www.rasmith.com/our-leadership/tom-mortensen/) from raSmith as a co-instructor for the UWM School of Continuing Education’s Water Technology Certification courses. Tom is a Professional Landscape Architect (PLA) and a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). raSmith is a multi-disciplinary consulting firm specializing in site planning, landscape architecture, ecological services, construction oversight, civil engineering, structural engineering, and surveying. raSmith often directly refers Clay to clients for ecological restoration projects and sustainable vegetation planning and implementation. Tom is passionate about sustainable landscapes and often incorporates native vegetation into his designs. NRE looks forward to future collaborations with Tom Mortensen and the raSmith site design team.
Mitigation Partners, Inc.
Mitigation Partners, Inc. (MPI) provides a diverse array of ecological and restorative expertise for mitigation banking, carbon offsets, and solar habitat management. MPI has built a "dream team" of top experts in engineering, design, hydrology, permitting, restoration ecology, and botany. NRE, as a member, works closely with the MPI partnership group to deliver comprehensive ecological solutions. The MPI team has multiple partners for site selection, permitting, construction, vegetation installation, monitoring, and maintenance through credit sales for stream and wetland mitigation banks.
Partnering Product Vendors
Agrecol Native Nursery
NRE owners have been working with Agrecol for nearly twenty years as a primary source of high-quality native seed and plants. Resiliency and true sustainability in ecological restorations can only be achieved by using the most locally-available genotypes of native plants and seed. Agrecol has one of the widest networks of native seed sourcing in the upper Midwest. Their seed is sold using Pure Live Seed (PLS) as a metric to ensure the highest seed viability and purity. Agrecol has developed some of the best seed cleaning methods and equipment in the industry, which is critical when performance standards for native vegetation establishment are at stake. Faster establishment of target native vegetation is associated with reduced invasive or non-native plant densities and reduced maintenance costs. NRE also utilizes Agrecol’s specialty bioengineering products – Native Vegetated Mat and Envirolok.
Johnson’s Nursery is the industry leader in the propagation of high-quality local ecotype Wisconsin native trees and shrubs. For three generations, Johnson’s has believed in and promoted the ecological significance of using native trees and shrubs in restoration. In a global marketplace dominated by cultivars and plant material with unknown origins, Johnson’s stays true to their mission. NRE owners have worked with Chad Johnson and his team for nearly 15 years. Their native tree and shrubs species selections and plant material size is unmatched. Johnson’s Nursery also provides consultations and planting services.
Profile Products, LLC
NRE works closely with Profile Products and their Midwest representatives for erosion control products and Biotic Soil Media (BSM) products. Specifically, NRE owners have relied upon Profile’s expertise in matching the right erosion control products with specific site specifications and challenges. Pairing Profile’s erosion control expertise with our experience and knowledge of native vegetation management has resulted in a unique native hydroseeding methodology utilizing BSM products such as ProGanics™ and erosion control products like Flexterra® High Performance Flexible Growth Medium (HP-FGM). Profile is an important partner on a steep slope and Lake Michigan bluff stabilization projects, especially when soil organics and biological soil microbial activity is critical to the success of the project.
Engineering (survey, grading plans, slope stability analysis)
Landscape architectural design
Erosion control and stormwater management
Wildlife food plot installation
Custom herbicide applications
Invasive species management
Excavation and grading