Natural Resources

Going Against the Grain
4:51 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Study Reveals Nuances of Aquatic Invasive Behavior

Invasive species like eurasian water milfoil can be a big problem.
Credit BerndH via Wikimedia Commons

We usually think of an invasive species as taking over its environment, at the expense its native counterparts.  

But a new study from the University of Wisconsin Madison’s Center for Limnology challenges that assumption.  It compiled survey data from a variety of studies on aquatic species, and finds that most of the time aquatic invasives keep a pretty low profile.  WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski sat down with Gretchen Hansen, lead author on the study.  

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Proposed Changes to DNR Review Process
3:57 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

High Capacity Wells Bill Moves to Senate

Some groups worry proposed rule changes could lead to an increase in high capacity wells.
Credit John Poyser

A bill changing the approval process for high capacity wells has passed a Senate committee.  Some environmental groups are up in arms.  

 The bill limits the DNR’s powers in reviewing commercial wells that pump over 100,000 gallons per day.  For example a property with a well on it could be sold without having to get a new well permit.  And applications not acted upon within 65 days would get approved by default. 

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Citizen Science at Work
4:44 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

DNR: Calling All Wolf Trackers

Volunteers must take a training course to learn to identify different animal tracks.
Credit Paul White

DNR officials are asking for volunteers to help with the state’s winter wolf count.  

  DNR Carnivore Biologist Jane Wiedenhoeft says those numbers go into determining the state’s wolf hunting quota. 

“It’s extremely important to us.  It’s not our only source of data for the winter count, but it is a major source of data.”

Wolves are the main counting target, but trackers will also note signs of other carnivores. 

At least two days of training required to get familiar with different animal tracks and the basics of wolf ecology.

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Three deaths in Wisconsin
3:25 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

DNR-Take A Friend When Setting Up Tree Stands

A successful perch
Credit dnr.wi.gov

Statewide, three hunters have died this year after they fell out of treestands. A DNR leader says most injuries and fatalities are preventable.

Jon King is DNR Hunter Education Administrator. He says for a purchased stand, take the time to read all the directions. He says setting it up alone is not advised...

 

"....we encouraging using the buddy system. Take somebody with you while you do this. When you're climbing in a tree stand and it's not attached to the tree, it could fall over on you and end up injuring you...."

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Studying Salmonella Poisoning
1:35 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

New Plan for Collecting Data On Bird Health

Evening grosbeaks are one type of songbird that can be affected by salmonella poisoning.
Credit Alan Huett

A wildlife rehabilitator is hoping to pin down the extent of salmonella sickness in birds.  

The Northwoods Wildlife Center is planning to train citizen scientists to notice and report cases of salmonella in birds.  Executive Director Sharon Reilly says the center got dozens of calls this spring reporting sick or dead birds…where salmonella sounded like the culprit. 

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A Tale of Two Mines
1:33 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Mine Regulations: Not Tough Enough?

One mining specialist is questioning whether a proposed iron mine in the Penokee range has enough social support to go forward. 

John Coleman is an environmental section leader at Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, a group that helps enforce tribal treaty rights in Wisconsin.  Coleman has worked primarily on mining issues since 1994, when a mine proposed near Crandon faced tribal opposition.  

Coleman thinks state regulators aren’t as tough as they were in the nineties.

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Where Science Meets Policy
4:00 am
Tue November 5, 2013

Seeing the Forest for the Deer

Some researchers are advocating a change in approach to the science behind deer management.
Credit Ken Thomas

This month, the informal conversation series Science on Tap takes on the controversial subject of deer management.  Don Waller and Tim Van Deelen will talk about deer from the perspective of forest health.  

WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski spoke to Don Waller on the phone.  He’s a researcher at the University of Wisconsin Madison’s Department of Botany.

Waller will be joined by wildlife ecologist Tim Van Deelen at Science on Tap…Wednesday night at the Minocqua Brewing Company.  

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Eight Miles of Iron Gate Road Open
12:00 pm
Sun November 3, 2013

More of Willow Flowage Opens to Vehicles

More areas of the Willow Flowage are open to vehicle traffic this fall.
Credit Ryan Afflerbaugh

Willow Flowage roads may see more ATVs and UTVs.  The DNR’s Natural Resources Board has approved an amendment that increases motorized vehicle access. 

Thomas Shockley is the DNR’s Willow Flowage Forester.  

He says the public weighed in on the original management plan for the Flowage.

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Increases in Northern Wisconsin
3:24 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Northern Wisconsin Using More Water Under Warm, Dry Conditions

Irrigation is one of the main uses for groundwater in Wisconsin.
Credit John Poyser

Weather conditions last year caused a spike in water use in northern Wisconsin and statewide.  That’s according to new numbers from the DNR water monitoring program.  

DNR water supply specialist Bob Smail says in the northern part of the state one of the biggest increases in surface water use came from cranberry producers.

“Cranberry withdrawals were up.  It was a very warm spring and a lot of growers in the state had to flood their beds to keep their plants from growing too early. So there was an additional withdrawal that they didn’t usually have.”

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Quota Met in Half the Zones
12:27 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Wolf Hunt Goes Quickly: Three Zones Closed

Over 180 wolves have already been taken in Wisconsin this wolf hunting season.
Credit Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Just over two weeks into Wisconsin’s wolf hunting season, and more than two thirds of the wolves have been taken.  

As of October 31st, 181 wolves have been killed.  That leaves just 70 before wolf hunting season closes statewide.   

Zones 1, 2 and 5 are closed, all in the northern part of the state.  DNR Carnivore Specialist Dave MacFarland says two other zones are nearing quotas as well.

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