Natural Resources

Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center

The Northern Great Lakes Visitor's Center is located at the intersection of U.S. 2 and county road "G" near Ashland. It's often a stop for visitors and Northwoods residents alike to learn about the Great Lakes and surrounding environment. The Center's operating partners are: The US Forest Service, National Park Service, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Wisconsin Historical Society, University of Wisconsin - Extension, and the Friends of the Center Alliance.

Bike Trail Hearing Shows Divided Support, Opposition

Jan 14, 2017
Wikimedia Commons

A Manitowish Waters property owner hopes to enlist the support of the Lac du Flambeau Tribal Council in his opposition to a new loop to Manitowish Waters’ popular bike trail.

Wikimedia Commons

Last week, the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa voted to deny the renewal of an easement of the Enbridge Energy Line 5 on tribal lands near Lake Superior.

Enbridge's oil pipeline crosses 12 miles of reservation land.

Council member Dylan Jennings says the tribe is requesting the decommissioning and removal of the line. Jennings says the easement is not for the entire pipeline, but in areas where the tribe had reaquired lands near the pipeline. Enbridge has leased an easement for the oil line since it's construction in 1953.

U.S. House

Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy and 13 others in the U.S. House have signed onto a bill that would delist the gray wolf from the Endangered Species List.

If successful, it would return Great Lakes States and Wyoming wolf management to the states.

The issue has been hotly contested in Wisconsin and other states. Management of gray wolves were transferred from the state to the federal level following two 2014 U.S. District Court decisions that reinstated gray wolves under the protections of the Endangered Species Act.

A prominent Midwest wolf biologist thinks a possible delisting of wolves from the Endangered Species Act will not drive the population to dangerous levels.

L. David Mech is a Senior Scientist with the Biological Resources Division, U.S. Geological Survey and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Minnesota. He has studied wolves and their prey since 1958.

A DNR official explains the new proposal to raise some recreational fees after the agency reported a deep deficit in the Fish and Wildlife Account.

In this month’s installment of Field Notes, Scott Bowe of Kemp Natural Resources Station explains how trees survive brutal winters…

The very cold temperatures of late gives those who ice fish or snowmobile a desire to head out, but Wisconsin Public Service is reminding the public there's still danger near dams.

Spokesperson Leah VanZile says ice near dams can be treacherous...

"..around the dam the ice can be thin, even around normal weather conditions, the ice near dams and reservoirs is often thin and inconsistent and unsafe. So if you are going to be doing any fishing or snowmobiling across those waterways, please avoid getting too close to the dams..."

Wikimedia Commons

The Grandmother Flowage fishery is again open for fishing following completion of dam repairs and the restoration of water levels. Ken Krall reports....

The Grandmother Flowage is a 758 acre reservoir on the Wisconsin River in central Lincoln County that runs for about 7 miles downstream from the Pride Dam ..which forms Lake Mohawksin... to the Grandmother Dam. In early September, the flowage was drawn down 14 feet for the repair work, leaving fish in the concentrated pool vulnerable to overharvest.

Independent auditors have found Wisconsin's state forested lands are examples of being well-managed and some of the states most valuable resources.  Those assessments from a recent audit of state managed woods.

DNR forest certification coordinator Mark Heyde says the audit teams gave glowing reviews of management practices on state lands. Department owned lands are certified under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and the Forest Stewardship Council. Heyde was asked what this audit means for the public..

Wisconsin Conservationist: Don't Take Clean Tap Water for Granted

Jan 3, 2017
Wikimedia Commons

Looking back on 2016, one of Wisconsin's leading conservationists says some of the best things that happened were proposed laws that didn't pass.

Opposition To Granite Peak Expansion Plan To Stay

Dec 29, 2016

The group of concerned citizens attempting to stop the expansion of Granite Peak Ski Area in Wausau does not intend on disappearing any time soon.

The activist group "Leave Rib Mountain Alone" has gained 880 likes on Facebook and over 3,600 signatures on their online petition to preserve the trails and wildlife of Rib Mountain as they are now.

Wisconsin DNR

You can still get your Deer Hunter Wildlife Survey in to the DNR.

The agency is hoping hunters will record all the wildlife they have seen during the deer hunting seasons, not just deer.... says agency research scientist Jess Rees-Lohr.....

"....this year, in addition to lots of deer, lots of turkeys, Roughed Grouse, lots of our canidae species, and our new elk just reintroduced in the Black River Falls area...."

Resolve to get Outdoors

Dec 29, 2016

  We kick off 2017 the same way we kick off most new years—with resolutions. I think it is human nature to overreach on trying to improve ourselves, especially when we take our families into consideration. In 2011 I attempted to improve my family’s financial situation. I made some spending changes, liquidated some belongings on an online auction. But then my take-home pay was cut by my employer and any footing I gained was quickly lost. The next year, I set my goal low—to reduce coffee consumption to two mugs a day. Success!

DNR Quietly Changes Climate Change Stance

Dec 29, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

The state D-N-R no longer blames "human activities" for the heat trapping greenhouse gases which cause climate change.

An agency web page about the Great Lakes now says the reasons for earth's change are being "debated and researched by academic entities." Walker environmental critic and former local leader and news reporter James Rowan uncovered the position change in his blog.