Natural Resources

Quarantine on Non-Local Wood
4:24 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

To Slow Ash Borer's Spread, Buy Local Firewood

The emerald ash borer was most recently found in Superior.
Credit USDA

Federal and state officials are reminding campers this holiday weekend to buy firewood close to your campsite.

With the most recent discovery in Superior of the ash-tree-killing Emerald Ash Borer, the insect has moved into the north. To slow the spread of the borer, officials have put a quarantine on firewood from areas away from the campsites.

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest spokesperson Megan Healy explains...

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Nearing Harvest Time
4:22 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Wild Rice Season Set to Open

Wild rice grows at the mouth of the Kakagon River near Lake Superior.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Wild rice season is set to begin in Northern Wisconsin.  Manoomin, the traditional food of the Ojibwe nations, typically ripens around Labor Day.  But harvesters may need extra patience this year.

Only three out of about 50 lakes regulated by state and tribal officials will open for ricing by this weekend. Manoomin biologist for the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission Lisa David says Wisconsin’s late spring delayed ripening in some areas.

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Lake Superior Fisheries
3:09 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Climate Change: Good for Walleye?

Walleye populations may benefit from warming temperatures in Lake Superior.
Credit Eric Engbretson / US Fish and Wildlife Service

A changing climate could bring one piece of good news for walleye fishermen. 

A study out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison says increasing temperatures in Lake Superior will expand habitat for fish that thrive in slightly warmer water, like walleye, Chinook salmon and lean lake trout.  Researcher Jim Kitchell says that means populations of certain fish in Lake Superior could increase in coming years.  

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Managing for Old Growth
6:22 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

DNR Faces Management Decision for Van Vliet Parcel

Old-growth hemlock stands are rare in Wisconsin.
Credit Natalie Jablonski

Department of Natural Resources officials are weighing public input in deciding how to manage a portion of the Van Vliet Hemlocks.  

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Harvest Camp Future Uncertain
4:00 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Harvest Camp Negotiations Underway

Mel Gasper oversees the Harvest Camp near the proposed Penokee Mine site.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Negotiations have begun between Iron County officials and the Lac Courte Oreilles Harvest Camp.  Tribal members and supporters set up camp in May near the site of a proposed iron mine in the Penokee Hills.  

After signs that county officials planned to evict the group, the tribe asked to negotiate for a long term arrangement.  Tribal member and camp overseer Mel Gasper says he believes the conversations will be fruitful.              

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Penokee Hills Mining Controversy
5:55 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Mine Opponents Dominate DNR Hearing

Hundreds showed up at the DNR's public hearing on Gogebic Taconite's preapplication and bulk sampling plan.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

The Department of Natural Resources held its first public hearing on the Penokee Mine project Thursday.  Hundreds of people showed up in Hurley.

People came from far and wide to voice strong opinions on the proposal.  There were even a few speakers from the Navajo Nation in Arizona, and an Ashland, WI contingent actually biked the 40 miles to the hearing.  Cyclist Michael McKenna says they wanted to their voices to be heard:

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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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