Natural Resources

Ceasing Operations in Hurley
4:55 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Gogebic Taconite Closes Hurley Office

An iron mine in the Penokee Range seems less likely, now that mining company Gogebic Taconite is closing its Hurley office.

In a statement company President Bill Williams says wetland issues make further major investment too expensive.

He adds that environmental concerns could lead to U.S. EPA intervention, in light of the agency’s recent halting of the Pebble Mine project in Alaska. 

The company is leaving the door open to further exploration, saying it will continue to look into the possibility of a mine permit. 

Goal in north: more deer
3:17 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

NRB Approves Deer Population Goals

On the alert

The state Natural Resources Board has approved deer population objectives in each county for a three-year period, with the area roughly north of Highway 64 approved for increased deer populations.

These objectives are the result of collaboration between the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and newly formed County Deer Advisory Councils, and will be reviewed on a recurring three-year basis.

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Gives Company More Time to Pay
10:47 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Iron County Extends Lease With Gogebic Taconite

Gogebic Taconite will continue to have access to Iron County land as it explores a possible iron mine in the Penokees.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

  Iron County has agreed to extend a lease agreement with mining company Gogebic Taconite for the next three years. The Iron County board has passed the measure by one vote.

Gogebic Taconite didn't make a $10,000 payment last month and cited budget constraints. But county board chair Joe Pinardi negotiated a plan giving GTac another year to pay.

“What we did was we gave them like a skip payment. So next year by the 26th of January of 2016, they will have to pay us $30,000 instead of $20,000.”

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Ice pack lessening
5:04 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Wind Plays Havoc With Possible Ice Caves Opening

Lake Superior ice cover 2/24/2015
Credit NOAA

During the brutal winter last season, about 138,000 visitors went to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore ice caves near Bayfield after the ice became thick enough to safely allow walkers to the island caves. While it looked like conditions over the weekend were again favorable, a National Park Service employee says stay tuned.

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Public comment summary released
11:37 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Woodboro Lakes Planning Process Moves Forward

The Woodboro Lakes Wildlife Area is widely used by the public, primarily for hunting.
Credit Wisconsin DNR

The master planning process for the Woodboro Lakes Wildlife Area is moving forward.

The state DNR has released a summary of public comments.

As DNR planner Yoyi Steele explains, many people weighed in with concern over a proposal for an ATV trail.

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DNR program
4:38 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Win A Lottery And Have Experts Analyze Your Plants, Animals

Credit Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources

If you win a lottery sponsored by the DNR you can get free help in planning what to do with your land from a conservation standpoint.


Demand has been so strong for the program that the agency offers a drawing for 100 winners says Erin Crain, director of the DNR Natural Heritage Conservation Bureau. The lottery runs from now until March 15 and landowners who voluntarily enter their name will be randomly selected to receive the customized report, known as Landowner Conservation Reports.

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Natural Resources
10:03 am
Thu February 19, 2015

How To Survive a Long Winter

Outdoor enthusiasts say spending time outside in winter is the secret to surviving it.

This week’s cold front has many of us in the Northwoods ready for spring. 

But John Heusinkveld, Assistant Director of UW Stevens Point’s Treehaven, has some ideas for surviving and embracing a long winter.  

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Two controversial proposals
4:49 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Draft Bill Would Cut BCPL Land Acquisition Power, Give Local Stewardship Veto

A conservation easement for the Twin Lakes Legacy Forest was purchased with Stewardship funds.
Credit Buck Vaughn / The Conservation Fund

Two Republican legislators want to see major changes within the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands. 

The organization was founded in the mid 1800s to sell millions of acres of school trust fund lands.  It now maintains a loan fund for municipal projects, with the interest going to pay for school libraries.  BCPL also owns and manages about a small amount of land, about 80-thousand acres for timber. 

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Trail pass
4:11 am
Mon February 16, 2015

Snowmobile Registrations To Change July 1


Starting later this year there will be some changes for snowmobile registration in Wisconsin.

DNR Administrator Gary Eddy..


".....that will go from $30 every two years to $30 every three years and in addition to that, all snowmobiles operating in Wisconsin will be required to display an annual Wisconsin trail pass. That is separate from your registration...."

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Bills before Congress
3:14 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Bills To Return Wolf Status Draws Ire of HSUS

Canis Lupus

Bills have been introduced in Congress that could restore Wisconsin's wolf hunt -- and let farmers once again kill wolves which hurt their crops and livestock. House Republican Reid Ribble (8th-Wisconsin, Sherwood)  and Minnesota Representative John Kline have introduced bills to nullify a pair of decisions from federal judges last year. The includes the one from Washington district judge Beryl Howell in December, which restored grey wolves to their endangered status in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan.

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