Ozaukee Washington Land Trust

OWLT is Requesting Proposals for the Treatment of Canada Thistle

Control of Invasive Canada Thistle at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve

Application Due Date: Monday, May 27th, 2019

pdfRFP-Canada-Thistle-at-Forest-Beach-Migratory-Preserve.pdf3.64 MB


Ozaukee Washington Land Trust, Inc. (OWLT) is seeking qualified contractors for services to control invasive Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) within Forest Beach Migratory Preserve located at 4970 Country Club Beach Rd., Belgium, WI. 53074 (see Project Area Map). Forest Beach Migratory Preserve is an OWLT owned property that encompasses a patchwork of habitat types across its 116 acres.

Organization and Property Background

The Ozaukee Washington Land Trust (OWLT) is a 501(c)(3) non‐profit whose mission is “preserving the water resources, natural areas, and working lands of Ozaukee and Washington Counties.” Collectively OWLT holds 55 conservation easements and owns 32 nature preserves. All of OWLT’s owned nature preserves are free and open to the public year round for low‐impact recreation. They are also protected in perpetuity.

Forest Beach Migratory Preserve was acquired by OWLT in 2009. Before OWLT ownership, the property had been a golf course since the 1930s. The overall goal of the current management strategy is to maintain and perpetuate the natural character and diverse composition of the existing natural communities, while also creating a mosaic of natural communities for migratory birds. Forest Beach is now the site of seven different ecotypes ranging from grassland to hardwood forest (Please see Habitat Map) ‐ all being actively managed for enhancement.

Some of the given cover types are not fully realized yet. This includes a majority of the hardwood areas. These ‘in progress’ areas are mostly covered with a combination of cool season grasses, early successional woody species, and Canada thistle.

Beach – Sandy area adjacent to Lake Michigan. This cover type is out of the project area.

Conifer Area – Contains mature spruce, cedar, and pine leftover from the golf course. Some natural regeneration is happening in these areas, and shrubs (both native and non‐native) are populating as well. The majority of the ground cover in this area is cool season grasses and Canada thistle.

Mixed Hardwood Forest – Contains areas of mature mixed hardwood forest with associated shrub and ground cover. The other portion of this cover type is “in progress” and contains small patches of natural regeneration, planted seedling/sapling sized trees, native shrubs, and occasional remnant mature trees from when the property was a golf course. Majority of the ground cover in this area is cool season grasses and Canada thistle.

Mowed Cool Season Grasses – Contains remnant turf, brome, fescue grasses from when the property was a golf course. There are areas that are mowed, and areas that are not mowed. Canada thistle is present throughout this cover type and in some areas is dominant.

Native Grasslands – Contain tall grass prairie species established early in OWLT’s ownership. Majority of this cover type is outside of the project area. The portions that fall within the project area will require special care to ensure the established vegetation is not adversely impacted with treatment of Canada thistle.

Savanna – Contains portions with tall grass prairie species as well as some cool season/turf grass areas. Additionally, this cover type contains scattered trees – hardwoods and conifer ranging in size from sapling to mature. Majority of the savanna cover type is outside of the project area. Portions that are within the project area are dominated by cool season grasses and Canada thistle.

Shrubland – Contains planted and naturally regenerating native shrub species, invasive shrub species, and areas absent of shrubs. The ground layer is dominated by cool season grasses and Canada thistle.

Wetland – Contains open water (ponds) and associated emergent vegetation. Some areas on the edges of ponds contain Canada thistle and may require extra care and or permits for treatment.

Project Goals and Scope

The goal of this project is the eradication and control of Canada thistle in the 66‐acre project area. Polygons have been surveyed by OWLT staff and given associated cover densities (Please see Density Map) (0.9 acres @ 2‐10%, 3 acres @ 11‐25%, 12.3 acres @ 26‐50%, 21 acres @ 51‐75%, and 0.21 acres @ 76‐100%) totaling 38 acres. All treated polygons should have no Canada thistle plants flower or set seed and all rosettes will be treated during the two‐year project. OWLT recognizes that, given the ecology of Canada thistle, populations may not be totally eradicated within the two‐year project due to the robustness of the root system and seed bank. However, it is expected that all plants will be treated within the project area to maximize the impact on the infestations.

An additional goal of this project is to promote pollinator species and their habitat. With this project, we aim to minimize adverse impacts to pollinators and the native vegetation they rely on. Appropriate precautions will need to be taken to ensure present natural vegetation remains intact. An associated map is attached that details the project area and polygons that are to be treated (Please see Density Map). Treatment is not limited to surveyed polygons as infestations can change from year to year, but rather will be limited to the project area. Forest Beach Migratory Preserve is open to the public and a visit to the site to assess the property is welcomed.

Funding for the project is provided through grants. The available resources are expected to give the project a two‐year management window 2019 ‐ 2020.

It is expected that during the project, no Canada thistle polygons being treated in the project area will have the opportunity to set seed. OWLT will work with the contractor to assess and give feedback regarding the project. Any unsatisfactory work (areas not mowed, poor mowing or herbicide timing, or evidence herbicide was not effective) will be the responsibility of the contractor to address at no additional cost to OWLT.

Important Information

Public Safety

Forest Beach Migratory Preserve is free and open to the public year round. Several hiking trails are located on the property that make it a great place for bird watchers, dog walkers, hikers, etc. Due to the high amount of traffic, appropriate precautions will have to be instated in order to insure public safety. These include but are not limited to:

  1. Communicating with OWLT staff before performing management activities on the site
  2. Displaying appropriate signage in active management areas
  3. Installing temporary herbicide in use signage around areas of management
  4. Ensuring weather conditions are appropriate for effective herbicide spraying (i.e. wind, temperature etc.).
  5. Appropriate indicator dye will be used with all herbicide treatment


Management of specified polygons will take place this summer (2019) and continue with retreatment in the summer of 2020.

Payment for Contracted Services

OWLT requires monthly invoices before the 10th of the following month. Invoices will include Time and Materials Records including the following. 1) Name of business or contractor performing work 2) Dates and description of work completed 3) Cost of equipment and supplies 4) Hours logged by employees and associated hourly rate. OWLT will pay invoices upon receipt.


In cover types that contain trees and shrubs, care must be taken to limit damage of the woody vegetation, as OWLT would like to promote woody vegetation in these areas. For questions related to this Request for Proposals please feel free to call our office at (262) 338 – 1794, ask for Ryan or Josh, or email us at or

Submission Requirements

Contractor shall include the following in its proposal:

  1. Control methods:
    • a. Proposed herbicide application technique, products and equipment to be used, and the timing/schedule of treatments. Also, include application rate and cost/acre as applied.
    • b. Include plan for site prep (mowing, scouting, etc.) as well as associated costs
  2. Contractor capacity for 2020 follow‐up treatment efforts per contractor’s stated cost structure
  3. A statement regarding contractor’s capacity to perform the work, including: number of people on the herbicide treatment team and their roles, range of acres treated in a typical workday; and confirmation that contractor is able to treat the total acreage for which it provided cost information within the time period specified.
  4. Detail precautions that will be taken that will prevent seed sources of outside invasive species to be brought onto site (i.e. cleaning of mowers, etc.)
  5. Methods used to mitigate the adverse impacts of treatments on pollinators and the native vegetation they rely on.
  6. Wisconsin DATCP Commercial Pesticide Applicator certification and license number of the individuals responsible for treatment chemical storage, transport, and application. The contractor will also be responsible for applying for any necessary permits needed for treatment.
  7. Time and materials summary for 2 years of management
  8. Relevant experience and two references for similar work completed.
  9. Certificate of insurance including commercial liability and property damage limits, workers’ compensation, and motor vehicle insurance.

Time and Place of Submission of Proposals

Proposals must be received at the OWLT West Bend office by Monday, May 27th, 2019.
Send complete proposal package to: (include in the subject of the email: [Your Company Name] Inventory Contractor ‐ RFP)


Ozaukee Washington Land Trust
Attn: Josh Schlicht 200 Wisconsin Street, West Bend, WI 53095
Proposals will be accepted in‐person, by e‐mail, USPS, or other secure courier service.
No late or incomplete bids will be accepted.

Anticipated Selection Schedule

The Ozaukee Washington Land Trust will review all contractor submissions and select an awardee within a few weeks of the submission date.

Evaluation and Award

OWLT will review all responses to determine the most responsive and responsible bidder(s) who provides the best value (not necessarily the lowest bidder). All information provided in contractor’s proposal will be used in the evaluation process to determine award. Project award is at the discretion of OWLT and will be based on contractor’s pricing, experience with similar work, ability to provide followup treatment (e.g., mowing, 2020 re‐treatment), and capacity to successfully perform the scope of work within the specified treatment window. OWLT reserves the right to accept or reject any or all bids in the best interest of the project.

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