Natural Resources

Penokee Hills Mining Controversy
2:10 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Thursday: DNR to Hear Comments on Penokee Mine

The public has its first chance to share opinions with the Department of Natural Resources on the Gogebic Taconite mine proposal.  The DNR is holding a hearing Thursday at Hurley High School, from 10 am until 8 pm.  DNR Hydrologist Larry Lynch says DNR officials are hoping for feeback on the specifics of GTac’s plan for bulk sampling and testing of the proposed mine site in Iron and Ashland Counties.  The public can also comment on the preapplication for mining filed by GTac - the first step in the permitting process.

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Penokee Hills Mining Controversy
5:13 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

GTac Mine, Bulk Sampling Proposal Up For Public Comment

The public has a chance to comment on a proposed mine in Iron County.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Members of the public have a chance to weigh in on an open pit mine proposal in Iron County next week. 

The DNR is holding an info session and public hearing on August 15th in Hurley.  Staff will provide details about Gogebic Taconite’s plan for bulk sampling, where the company would remove 4-thousand tons of rock for analysis.  DNR mining spokesperson Ann Coakley says the hearing will also cover GTac’s overall mining plan…which has been submitted to the DNR in a preapplication. 

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DNR survey through September
3:22 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Public Invited To Do A Deer Nose Count

Doe and fawn count for two
Credit animals.nationalgeographic.com

Operation Deer Watch is beginning and for the next 60 days, the DNR would like citizens to send them information on the deer they see.

DNR surveys coordinator Brian Dhuey says the count helps the DNR determine herd size...

"...is for the public to tell us the types of deer they are seeing and where they are seeing the deer....does, bucks and fawns. The reason we are looking for this type of information is it helps us to monitor the reproductive status of the deer herd...."

Dhuey says to report all deer you see...

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Seminal Study
5:26 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Goodbye Little Rock Lake Curtain

DNR research technician Jeff Rubsam helps remove a thick plastic barrier dividing Little Rock Lake.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

A landmark study on acid rain came to an end today.  Researchers took down a barrier that’s divided Little Rock Lake in two for nearly thirty years.  Dismantling the curtain was no easy task.

Decades after scientists proved the effects of acid rain on northern lakes, it was time to take down the Little Rock barrier that made the study possible.  Fifteen researchers, students and divers were on hand for the challenge:  how to dismantle a 250-foot curtain…made of heavy black plastic, and partially submerged under years of sediment. 

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Discussion Tuesday
7:43 am
Sat July 27, 2013

Changes In Wildlife Predators Near Developed Lakes

Red fox waiting
Credit animals. nationalgeographic.com

A researcher says people building near Northwoods lakes and rivers is changing what types of animals hunt near those shorelines.


A research scientist from Michigan Tech University Dan Haskell will speak Tuesday evening(7/30) at Kemp Natural Resources Station in Woodruff about his recent study.


Haskell says with more homes near lakes the larger carnivores have been replaced by smaller carnivores like fox and raccoon....

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Tomahawk one of four meetings
7:25 am
Sat July 27, 2013

Public Hearing In August On Shoreland Zoning Rules

A Wisconsin shoreline
Credit greatlakesecho.org

The DNR is hosting a public hearing in Tomahawk next month to get input on proposed changes in the shoreland zoning rules.


After revising the rules in 2009...known as NR115... some counties have complained the new rules would be difficult to implement and enforce.


The agency has several changes proposed, says Deputy Division Manager Russ Rassmussen...

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Visit to Woodruff
6:56 am
Sat July 27, 2013

DNR Secretary Highlights Money For More Walleye

Credit Wisconsin DNR

DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp stopped by the Art Oemcke fish hatchery in Woodruff Friday to highlight an effort to get more young walleyes in area lakes.


The recently-passed state budget included money to enable hatcheries to keep walleye fry longer...and get them bigger...to increase the number of survivable fish in the waters.

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End of an Era
3:46 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Landmark Study Ending on Little Rock

Hourglass-shaped Little Rock Lake has been divided for 30 years.
Credit LIFE Magazine

Thirty years of scientific study on a Vilas County lake will come to an end on Monday. 

Scientists are removing a barrier that has divided Little Rock Lake in two since 1984.  Researchers installed the barrier to conduct a landmark study on the effects of acid rain.  Carl Watras is a research scientist with the state Department of Natural Resources. He's been involved with the Little Rock project since the beginning.  Watras says at the time there was speculation about the effect of acid rain on lakes, but there was no definitive evidence.

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Making Life Hard for Rainbow Smelt
4:00 am
Thu July 25, 2013

How to Mix a Lake

Boat J12 is ready to launch on Crystal Lake.
Natalie Jablonski WXPR News

If you frequent lakes in the Northwoods, you know that invasive species are a big problem.  Take rainbow smelt – the tiny fish are known for outcompeting native fish and devouring their young.  Once rainbow smelt get into a lake, it can be all but impossible to get rid of.  Some approaches rely on chemicals that wipe out all fish species.  But one project out of UW’s Trout Lake Research Station is experimenting with a new technique that could have many fewer side effects than the chemical method.  

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DNR reviewing court decision
10:34 am
Wed July 24, 2013

Rest Lake Dam Hearings Postponed

Rest Lake Dam
Credit manitowishchaindefense.org

The DNR is postponing public information hearings for the operation of the Rest Lake Dam near Manitowish Waters.


There has been considerable debate over several years as citizens have wanted to maintain the current water levels, while the DNR has asked to change them.


The DNR's John Spangenberg says the hearings, which had been set for August 9 and 10, will be postponed due to a recent state Supreme Court ruling. The court ruled the DNR had not looked at the economic impacts of water levels on the lake near Fort Atkinson....

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