Natural Resources

As of mid-afternoon, about WPS 6000 customers remained without power, primarily in north central and northeastern Wisconsin.

Since the high winds began yesterday morning, WPS has restored electricity to more than 22,500 customers. Because of the consistent high winds, as WPS restored power to many, others lost power.

Recycle That Wine Cork!

Nov 17, 2015

Sunday(11/15/2015) was America Recycles Day, set aside to remind people about the need to protect the environment by recycling items that otherwise might go into land or water.

Spokesperson Amanda Wegner from Clean Wisconsin says the state enacted the nation's first recycling law in 1994 and 94 percent of Wisconsin residents recycle. She says one common item that should be recycled is the light bulb. Compact florescent lights can cut energy costs but they have a drawback...

A DNR ecologist thinks the coming deer season in Wisconsin will be similar to last year's hunt. Big game ecologist Kevin Wallenfang says indicators from the bow hunting season and from from eyewitnesses find this season is shaping up like last year. While agricultural areas continue to see good deer numbers, the Northwoods is still trying to recover...

"....the northern part of the state is still in a recovery period following a bad winter a couple of years ago. Across the state, our reproduction was pretty good this year...."


Deer hunters have a chance to talk directly with DNR staff over the noon hour today(11/16/2015) prior to the Saturday opening of Wisconsin's nine-day gun deer season. Kevin Wallenfang is a DNR Big Game Ecologist....

".....we put a live chat out there and folks can jump on the Internet and ask questions of people within the DNR. The one Monday is specifically about the nine-day gun deer season. People can email in their questions and we will answer them right there, live....."

Rep. Rob Swearingen

Northwoods legislators Thursday organized a tour involving the area's forest products industries and traveled to three operations. State Representatives Rob Swearingen and Mary Czaja organized the tours.

Well-known businessman Trygve (Trig) Solberg now wants to build a water-bottling plant at Hwy. P and Carlin Club Drive in Presque Isle where he hopes to pipe in well water from the Carlin Club property for the operation.

Nearly 60 citizens attended the Presque Isle Zoning Committee meeting Tuesday to hear Solberg present his plans during an information-only session. Several citizens spoke against the proposal.


Last week the state Natural Resources Board approved the Master Plan for the Woodboro Lakes Wildlife Area.

The area is a forested 3,000-acre property located approximately 10 miles west of Rhinelander.

The DNR purchased the property from a paper company in 1999 as part of the "Great Addition."

A petition from an ATV group triggered a master plan review which concluded with the recent approval by the governing board.

DNR Property Manager Jeremy Holtz says very little is going to change with one exception...

Phosphorus, ammonia and sediment levels have decreased during the past 20 years in major rivers statewide as a result of stricter limits in wastewater, improved farming practices, construction site erosion control and urban storm water management...that from a recent DNR report on state impaired waters. DNR Section Chief Brian Weigel says they've 209 new waters that meet the criteria for being classified as impaired and is now asking for public comment....

The identification of zebra mussels in Lake Mendota in Madison was the result of a class project from UW-Madison.

DNR aquatic invasive species coordinator BobWakeman says one bright note is only five percent of Wisconsin lakes are susceptible to zebra mussels. He says most lakes don't have enough calcium in the water to enable the mussels making protective shells. But he says it is a wakeup call to be vigilant against aquatic invasives...

"....remove plants, drain water, inspect it, and don't move live fish from one lake to another lake...."

Trappers incidentally capturing wolves are encouraged to contact the DNR and participate in Wisconsin's wolf collaring and monitoring program. Dave MacFarland is a DNR large carnivore specialist...

"....we've recently started our fall trapping season and especially people who are out trapping coyotes may incidentally trap a wolf. We're asking folks to give us a call and let us put a radio collar on those animals...."

Conservationists say a small buffer on shorelines go a long way to preserving water quality and habitat for fish and wildlife.

Native vegetation along the shore acts as a buffer zone, intercepting nutrients and reducing runoff, erosion, and sedimentation. Aquatic plants provide food and shelter for ducks, songbirds, and other wildlife. Oneida County has a cost sharing program to help pay for the lakeshore buffer work.

County Conservationist Jean Hansen says funders would like to reduce runoff....

Could Jurassic Park happen? Probably not like the filmmakers portray, but a UW-Madison researcher will be in the Northwoods to say it is possible. He also says there is much to think about before it becomes more common. Ken Krall talked with Stanley Temple, Professor Emeritus in Conservation at UW-Madison and Senior Fellow of the Aldo Leopold Foundation. Temple is the next speaker of the "Science On Tap" series ...

U.S. Forest Service Changing Says Former Officials

Oct 22, 2015

Two former U.S. Forest Service leaders are discussing forest issues in Stevens Point.

Former Forestry Service Chief and UW-Stevens Point Professor Michael Dombeck and former Deputy Forest Service Chief Jim Furnish are presenters. Furnish says there are many things different than a century ago, and they're not all better.

221 local fire departments...many in the Northwoods...are receiving grant money to help the DNR fire wildfires.

DNR officials say the on-going program opens up for grant applications on July 1. They money comes from state and federal funds to enable the local departments to get equipment needed to help fight wildfires.

The DNR's Jennifer Feyerherm says often the local departments are closer to the fire outbreak than DNR crews...