Natural Resources

Questions And Speculation
12:34 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Mining Forum Draws Large Crowd

Almost 400 people attended a forum hosted by Science on Tap on the proposed Penokee Mine project.

A panel of six speakers discussed the facts and context of an iron mine that Gogebic Taconite wants to build in the Penokee Range.

 

Panelists included Northland College Geology Professor Tom Fitz who detailed the different rock formations in the region. Other experts spoke about the economics and job creation associated with mining, the technologies of mine waste management, and the characteristics of the Bad River watershed.

 

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Controversy Over Water Levels
12:58 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

DNR Plans to Change Rest Lake Dam Flows

Lake Manitowish is part of the Manitowish Chain of Lakes, which many property owners worry would be disrupted by a change at Rest Lake Dam.
Credit www.vrbo.com

DNR managers are proposing a new operating plan for the Rest Lake dam in Manitowish Waters.  But property owners want more time to give input. 

The draft order calls for reducing the fall water drawdown to 1 foot, compared to the current three-and-a-half foot drawdown.

DNR Northern Region Director John Gozdzialski explains taking out less water in the fall means there will be more water in the winter and early spring. 

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A Case of Bad Timing
6:25 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Loons Abandon Nests Facing Droves of Black Flies

Loons in the Northwoods are suffering due to high numbers of black flies pestering them while they try to nest.
Credit Mitch Mode

As many of us in the Northwoods are being driven crazy by mosquitoes, loons are being harassed by blackflies. 

High numbers of loons are having trouble staying on their nests this year due to a surge in a certain kind of black fly that only targets loons.  

Walter Piper, a researcher from Chapman University who has been studying loons in the Northwoods for twenty two years, says it’s the most abandoned nests he’s ever seen.  WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski spoke with Piper about what that means for the loon population.

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Public Support Expected for New Plan
11:37 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Minocqua Town Board Approves Smaller Park Pavilion

Credit thepointhouseinn.com

A modified proposal for a new pavilion in Minocqua’s Torpy Park is moving forward, but residents will have the final say. 

The Minocqua Town Board has recommended approval of a plan that calls for a 30 by 80 foot structure and removal of a single tree. 

Town Board Chair Mark Hartzheim says the structure would be 55 percent smaller than the one originally proposed that had drawn significant public outcry.

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Detailed Survey
6:11 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Most Trout Anglers Satisfied With DNR Management

Credit Bill Blevins via http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Oatka_Creek_brown_trout.jpg

A survey of Wisconsin trout anglers finds more than half are satisfied with DNR regulations. 

The DNR says the survey was the most comprehensive of Wisconsin trout anglers ever done, with more than 500 anglers returning the nearly 20 page survey. 
DNR sociobiologist Jordan Petchenik says its goal was to get a better measure of what trout anglers are doing and thinking. 

“Not just their behavior, in terms of their time on the water, but also in terms of their preferences and their assessment of the program itself.”

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Combining Several Trail Maps
6:07 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Vilas County Debuts Silent Sports Map

Vilas County hopes to better publicize its silent sports with a new map.
Credit en.wikipedia.org

Vilas County says a new silent sports trail map is getting a warm reception.

The map released last month combines details of more than 60 paddling, hiking, biking and ski trails in the county.    

Cindy Burzinski, Director of Vilas County Tourism and Publicity, says in the first two weeks that the map was available, they distributed 5000 copies. 

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Wide-Ranging Panel
10:00 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Science on Tap to Host Mining Forum

The popular science conversation series Science on Tap takes a different approach this week in tackling a controversial topic.  Instead of hosting one speaker at a brewpub, it’s assembled a panel at a large venue to discuss the proposed iron mine in the Penokee Hills. 

Organizer Tim Kratz says since the program began, people have been asking for a program about the Penokee Mine. 

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Questions About Environmental Protection
1:00 pm
Sun June 1, 2014

LDF To Hold Referendum On ATV Trail

ATVs could bring visitors, or environmental damage.
Credit Wisconsin DNr

A proposal for an ATV trail in Lac du Flambeau goes to a referendum this week. Tribal members will cast votes this Thursday on whether they want to allow a 23-mile ATV trail to cross the reservation.

The Lakeland ATV Club has proposed to construct and maintain the trail, which some say would benefit the tribe by bringing more visitors and tourists.

But others have voiced concern about noise, dust and the environmental impact of the trail.

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In Response to Public Demand
5:23 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Plan for Smaller Torpy Park Pavilion Moves Forward

Public outcry over a plan to take out more than a dozen trees in downtown Minocqua has prompted a revision.
Credit en.wikipedia.org

The Minocqua Plan Commission has given its blessing to a new shelter design plan for Torpy Park.  

The Minocqua Lions Club’s original plan drew public outcry when it proposed to remove 13 trees to make way for a large structure.  Many argued that the old white pines are essential to the aesthetics of the downtown park. 

Minocqua Town Chair Mark Hartzheim says the revised plan calls for a building about half the size of the original design.

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License Required to Bore Holes
4:33 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Gogebic Taconite Plans More Drilling, Data Collection in Penokees

Gogebic Taconite is working to collect environmental baseline data at the site of a proposed iron mine.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Gogebic Taconite has indicated it plans to drill more holes in the Penokee Range this summer, though the DNR says the company hasn’t yet applied for the needed permission.

DNR hydrologist and mining project lead Larry Lynch says the DNR must first grant a license for any exploratory drilling. 

“So in order to get that they have to give us the locations of the holes, what their target depths might be, how they intend to maintain the site, handle stormwater…basically give us a good description of what they intend to do.” 

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