Natural Resources

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This week was a hearing in Madison on a bill to strip the DNR of funding to manage wolves, with the exception of paying out for wolf predation.

The developers of the legislation, including State Senator Tom Tiffany,(R-Hazelhurst) feel it's a way to prod the federal government into taking action to de-list the wolves from federal endangered species protections, returned to those protections by federal courts.

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The state is offering a program for hunters and others to help improve wildlife populations on private and public land.

Called the  Deer Management Assistance Program, or DMAP, program coordinator Bob Nack says while many hunters focus on deer, the program is good for all kinds of wildlife....

It is safe to say that we are experiencing a genuine Wisconsin winter right now—the snow, the cold temperatures, short days and seemingly endless nights.

In this week's episode of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist examines Bergmann’s rule, which helps explain how our wildlife can handle Northwoods winters.

Lichens - What’s Not to Like?

Jan 9, 2018
Scott Bowe

In this month's installment of Field Notes Scott Bowe of Kemp Station discusses Lichens in Wisconsin’s forests, a fascinating organism commonly overlooked.

Wikimedia Commons Albert Herring

Every three years, all states are required under the federal Clean Water Act to review their water quality standards.

Topics evaluated in the review include policies, rules and guidance related to designated uses, water quality criteria, anti-degradation and variance. The DNR is taking public input as part of this review.

DNR Water Quality Specialist Marcia Willhite says they are asking for public input on surface water quality....

Bird feeding is the second most popular hobby in the United States (behind gardening), with more than 55 million Americans participating annually.

In this week's edition of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist talks about how, and what, to feed our local and visiting bird species this winter.

Eagle River Fire Department

One of year's top Northwoods attractions gets built this week literally from the ground up as the next construction of the Eagle River Ice Castle likely begins on Tuesday

. Fire Chief Michael Anderson says he thinks there will be the required 12 inches of ice on Silver Lake by Tuesday....

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One of the side effects of a legislative move to stop state enforcement of wolf management is a long-standing program to track wolves in the winter.

The volunteer citizens program began under the direction of former DNR staffer Adrian Wydeven.

The volunteers go into the woods and track wolves and other carnivores, helping the DNR to put together a data base of animal populations. The proposed legislation ends all DNR supervision except to reimburse property owners who lost animals to wolves.

Ag Census Critical To Wisconsin's Future

Jan 1, 2018
UW-Extension

Wisconsin News Connection is here.

MADISON, Wis. - Every five years, a complete count of America's farms and ranches is taken, and the new questionnaire is in the mail this month. Data regarding land use and ownership, production practices and more is collected by the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

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Proposed legislation that would remove protections from 1 million acres of wetlands in Wisconsin brought out much opposition testimony last week, including a Northwoods resident.

The bills authored by Senator Roger Roth of Appleton and Representative Jim Steineke would eliminate the DNR development permit system and allow filling of non-federal isolated wetlands. Isolated wetlands are protected under state law. The authors say the bill helps people get through the red tape of the system. Developers would have to replace wetland losses.

Black bears are easily one of our most interesting wildlife species. In this episode of Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist discusses some of what is going on in the life of a bear in the midst of Winter.

Black bears are a continual source of questions for folks who contact me for information. The calls tend to taper off somewhat in the winter, naturally, as bear activity slows to a crawl. However, any winter observation of a bear or a bear den gets a lot of attention and will trigger a number of calls.

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There have been reports of early ice anglers going through the ice in the Northwoods and a DNR warden says be very careful, even with the recent cold temperatures.

Northern Regional Conservation Warden Dave Zebro in Spooner says whatever snow we've had has affected the build up of ice on lakes...

Martin Mecnarowski

Frustration with Congressional inactivity to delist timber wolves in this region from the federal Endangered Species List has led a group of state legislators to propose a bill that would end the state’s efforts to manage wolves. It would force law enforcement to ignore wolf killings, unless the federal government removes the animals from the list.

State Senator Tom Tiffany of Hazelhurst and Representative Mary Felzkowski of Irma are among the legislators circulating the bill.With the exception of paying out wolf damage payments, no other DNR enforcement action would be allowed.

Science On Tap Minocqua

Long time state Forester Paul DeLong is the next guest of the ongoing series "Science on Tap" in Minocqua.

DeLong is at the American Forest Foundation and American Tree Farm System where he leads a team engaging family woodland owners in stewardship. Prior to his current position, DeLong was with the DNR for 24 years, 13 as state Forester.

He says there has been much attention to publically owned forest land but there's far more to the story...

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest is accepting comments through December 31 on campgrounds, boat landings, picnic areas and beaches as it works to develop a sustainable recreation program.

The comments received will be combined with the Forest’s internal analysis to develop a draft proposal for a sustainable recreation program.

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