Natural Resources

Drawdowns Planned for Repairs
4:17 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Little Rice Flowage Will See Lower Water Levels Earlier

The Little Rice Dam is slated for major repairs in the coming weeks.
Credit Wisconsin DNR

Property owners on the Little Rice Flowage near Crandon will be seeing lower water levels earlier than usual.  The DNR will draw down water levels one to two feet this week…to prepare for some major dam repairs.

DNR Wildlife biologist Jeremy Holtz says the existing structure was built in the 1930s, and it’s difficult to operate.

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Changes in Landscape
5:25 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Climate Change Analysis Predicts Fewer Conifers, More Hardwoods In Northern Forests

Forest compositions may change in a warming climate, away from boreal species like spruce and birch.
Credit U.S. Forest Service

Forests in the Northwoods and Upper Peninsula may look different in the next century thanks to a warming climate.  Anew report from the U.S. Forest Service predicts fewer of some types of conifers and more hardwoods in northern forests. 

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Public-Private Partnership
5:00 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Ruffed Grouse Society Helps Push for Young Forests

Credit Wikimedia Commons

The Ruffed Grouse Society has signed on to a partnership that hopes to restore more young forest species to the Northwoods. 

Gary Zimmer, coordinating biologist for the Ruffed Grouse Society, says it’s going to take significant cooperation to encourage habitat that supports certain kinds of wildlife. 

“Pooling resources –both financially and in-kind services, habitat equipment.  Getting more done for less.  It’s tough to do alone.”

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Only a Handful of Wisconsin Lakes
4:00 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Spiny Water Flea Found in Trout Lake

Vilas County’s Trout Lake has a new invasive species.  Spiny water fleas were found earlier this week by a fisherman who noticed them attached to his gear. 

Jake Walsh, PhD student at the UW Madison Center for Limnology, says the finding is significant because there aren’t many northern lakes that have the invasive. 

“Given how much Trout Lake means to Vilas County I would say it’s a huge deal.  Also that we found them here at a pretty high density I would say is a pretty big deal.”

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Controversy Over Hunting with Hounds
6:01 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

DNR Asks Hunters to Register Wolves With Pelts On

Hunting wolves with hounds is controversial, and the DNR is hoping to get more information about whether dog-wolf fights are likely during the practice.
Credit Derek Bakken

The Wisconsin DNR wants to gather more information about wolves killed in the wolf hunt this winter.  The Natural Resources Board heard about a new voluntary plan for wolf registration Wednesday.

The DNR plans to ask hunters and trappers to register their wolves before they are skinned…so department experts can look for signs of bite wounds.

The state Natural Resources Board wants to see more analysis of whether wolf hunting with hounds can lead to illegal fighting between dogs and wolves. 

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Battle Over Rights in Ceded Territory
4:52 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Tribes Wait For Decision On Night Hunting Appeal

Wisconsin's Chippewa tribes want to hunt deer at night in the ceded territory, but the state thinks it's too dangerous.
Credit Oregon Department of Transportation

The state’s six Chippewa tribes are again waiting to hear whether a federal judge will allow tribal members to hunt deer at night in the ceded territory. 

The issue was first in the courts more than twenty years ago, and in 1991 a judge ruled that the traditional practice of hunting deer by night would be too dangerous for the public in off-reservation lands. 

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National Forest observations
4:40 am
Tue September 23, 2014

National Public Lands Day Set For Saturday

Credit CNNF

The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and Ottawa National Forest will be noting National Public Lands Saturday with a fee-free day and volunteer service projects to improve  public lands.

Chequamegon-Nicolet Forest spokesperson Hilary Markin  details the day...

".....the forest is having two  volunteer work days. It's also a fee-free day on National Public Lands days. Entrance fees are waived..."

Some fees will still apply at places  like campgrounds...

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Cool Weather in the Northwoods
4:00 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Seasonal Reflections: "Spummer" Is a Bummer

Credit US Forest Service

With the fall season officially upon us…many people may be experiencing some bittersweet feelings about the transition towards winter.  In today’s Wildlife Matters, DNR Wildlife Biologist Jeremy Holtz shares his reflections on the end of a relatively cool season…that he argues shouldn’t be considered a summer at all.    

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Controversial Trade of Scenic Spot
4:59 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Judge Rules In Favor of Forest Service in Wildcat Falls Land Swap

A land swap in the Upper Peninsula that turns Wildcat Falls over to private hands is set to move forward.

In a lawsuit over the issue, a federal judge has ruled in favor of the U.S. Forest Service, saying the agency did adequately assess the impacts of a trade known as the Delich Land Exchange…that opponents argue isn’t in the public interest. 

Christine Handler, Forest Planner for the Ottawa National Forest, says the original trade holds, with Forest Service gaining more than 400 acres. 

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Experienced on Western Forests
1:23 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Jackson Takes Over as Ottawa Forest Supervisor

The Ottawa National Forest has a new forest supervisor.

Linda Jackson has been on the job since late August. 

She comes most recently from Arizona, where she worked as a District Ranger on the Prescott National Forest.  She has also worked on national forests in Utah and Nevada.

Jackson says management challenges in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula are different than on western forests.  She says managers have to take into account how natural features and forest compositions interact with multiple uses like timber harvesting and recreation.

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