Natural Resources

Spreading to Nearby States
3:00 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

DNR On Alert for Potential Bat Disease

The above little brown bat affected with white nose syndrome was found in Greenley Mine, Vermont.
Credit Marvin Moriarty / US Fish and Wildlife Service

Biologists are on the lookout for signs of a spreading fungus that could affect bats in Wisconsin.  

Signs of the deadly white nose syndrome have been found in neighboring states and as close as 30 miles from the Wisconsin border, but haven’t yet appeared here. 

DNR Conservation Biologist Paul White says preventative measures may have helped.  All cave bats in Wisconsin are listed as threatened, and officials enforce decontamination procedures at public caving sites. 

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Private camps, CNNF remain 25 miles
5:14 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Board Tightens Ring On Firewood Purchases

Buy campfire wood locally
Credit en.wikipedia.org

The state Natural Resources Board voted unanimously in favor of key provisions to change the state's hunting culture -- changes drafted by Texas researcher James Kroll. One key provision eliminates in-person deer registrations at places like bars and gas stations, in favor of online and phone registrations.. Other changes include a reduction in deer management units, the creation of county committees to advise state wildlife experts on deer population goals.

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Traditional Method Less Efficient
4:16 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Electronic Deer Registration Could Hurt Tavern Business, Owners Argue

A proposed switch to electronic deer registration has some business owners up in arms.
Credit Ken Thomas

The state Natural Resources Board will consider new rules tomorrow for how the state handles deer registration.  But some tavern owners are complaining the rules will hurt business.       

      

The governor’s so-called deer czar James Kroll has recommended a switch to registering deer online or by phone, instead of in person like at a gas station or bar. 

Steve Moran owns Moran’s Landing in Nokomis.  He says registration brings in a sizable portion of business during deer season. 

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Better-Suited for Northwoods Conditions
3:45 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Never Too Early to Plan for Native Flowers, Grasses, Trees

Black-eyed susans are one of a variety of native species encouraged by Iron County natural resources officials.
Credit Jack W. Pearce

It’s still the middle of winter - but for some gardeners it’s not too early to look ahead to spring.  

The Iron County Land and Water Conservation Department runs a program to promote native plants for gardens and yards.  The program includes a mid-winter sale, where gardeners can pre-order native varieties for pick-up in May or June.  WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski spoke to the department’s Heather Palmquist about the native plants program.  

Palmquist says native plants are well-suited for Northwoods growing conditions. 

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Part of Walleye Initiative
7:31 am
Sun January 19, 2014

Anglers Still Can Determine Where Walleyes Will Go

Credit commons.wikimedia.org

Anglers are asked to go to the DNR website and fill out a form on what waters they should consider for stocking under the new "Wisconsin Walleye Initiative".

 

The state has spent $8.2 million for infrastructure improvements and $1.3 million each year for annual operating costs to expand production at DNR state fish hatcheries. Production is projected to increase 60,000 to 120,000 large walleye fingerlings to well over 500,000 by 2016. The young walleye will be larger than previously in the hope of having more survivability to adulthood.

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Residents and non-residents
11:35 am
Fri January 17, 2014

No License Needed This Weekend To Fish In Wisconsin Waters

Ice fishing
Credit commons.wikimedia.org

The state is adding another weekend of free fishing and it happens this Saturday and Sunday.

The state waives fees and allows anyone...residents and non-residents to hit the frozen water.

DNR Northern Regional Director John Gozdzialski says a free fishing weekend happens in June each year, but instead of boats, you have ice augers...

 

"...this is an opportunity to enjoy fishing but with with frozen conditions not the open water....

Gozdzialski says it's a great way to get kids involved with the outdoors.

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TransCanada and WPS
2:52 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Trees For Tomorrow Lands Large Grant

The Dining Hall at Trees For Tomorrow
Credit en.wikipedia.org

Trees for Tomorrow Tuesday received the first installment of a $60,000, three-year commitment to further education at the Eagle River campus.

TransCanada Corporation provided a matching grant to the $60,000 committed over three years by Wisconsin Public Service Foundation in Green Bay, totaling $120,000.

Trees For Tomorrow's Operations Manager Cheryl Todea says the funds will help Trees For Tomorrow continue its mission...

 

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With All Five Senses
4:00 am
Thu January 9, 2014

In the Woods: What Halfpenny Sees

Credit Natalie Jablonski

Earlier this week, we brought you a story about the state’s volunteer carnivore tracking program.  Every winter, over a hundred people volunteer to help track wolves for the Wisconsin DNR.

Today we’ll hear more from Jim Halfpenny. He says he can track anything, even a fish, but he specializes in tracking rare mammals...like wolves or grizzly bears, depending on location.  Halfpenny lives in Montana, but every winter he visits Wisconsin to teach a workshop on animal tracking and wolf ecology.    

WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski tagged along on a walk in the snowy woods.  

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More than Just Footprints in the Snow
9:27 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Wolf Trackers: Gathering All the Clues

Wisconsin’s rising wolf population has sparked controversy over the years.  It’s also sparked a one-of-a-kind program for keeping tabs on those wolves…a volunteer carnivore tracking program run by the DNR. 

These citizen trackers are quietly helping create one of the best tracking datasets on wolves in the world. 

"So the idea is, pattern on the ground, visualization in the mind, any questions on that?"

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Carnivores in the Northwoods
4:00 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Wolves, Cougars and Bears, Oh My

Bear hunting is popular in Wisconsin, with record numbers being harvested last year.
Credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/lazymonkey/348519518/

Dave MacFarland is a large carnivore specialist with the Wisconsin DNR.  He coordinates the state’s wolf and bear management plan, plus its cougar response team.  

He’s also the guest at this week’s Science on Tap discussion at the Minocqua Brewing Company.  WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski spoke with him about what carnivore management looks like in the state.  

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