Natural Resources

Two controversial proposals
4:49 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Draft Bill Would Cut BCPL Land Acquisition Power, Give Local Stewardship Veto

A conservation easement for the Twin Lakes Legacy Forest was purchased with Stewardship funds.
Credit Buck Vaughn / The Conservation Fund

Two Republican legislators want to see major changes within the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands. 

The organization was founded in the mid 1800s to sell millions of acres of school trust fund lands.  It now maintains a loan fund for municipal projects, with the interest going to pay for school libraries.  BCPL also owns and manages about a small amount of land, about 80-thousand acres for timber. 

Read more
Trail pass
4:11 am
Mon February 16, 2015

Snowmobile Registrations To Change July 1


Starting later this year there will be some changes for snowmobile registration in Wisconsin.

DNR Administrator Gary Eddy..


".....that will go from $30 every two years to $30 every three years and in addition to that, all snowmobiles operating in Wisconsin will be required to display an annual Wisconsin trail pass. That is separate from your registration...."

Read more
Bills before Congress
3:14 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Bills To Return Wolf Status Draws Ire of HSUS

Canis Lupus

Bills have been introduced in Congress that could restore Wisconsin's wolf hunt -- and let farmers once again kill wolves which hurt their crops and livestock. House Republican Reid Ribble (8th-Wisconsin, Sherwood)  and Minnesota Representative John Kline have introduced bills to nullify a pair of decisions from federal judges last year. The includes the one from Washington district judge Beryl Howell in December, which restored grey wolves to their endangered status in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan.

Read more
Natural Resources
5:30 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

State Invests in Conservation Easement for Twin Lakes Forest

Credit Buck Vaughn / The Conservation Fund

The state has acquired a conservation easement on almost 14,000 acres of forest in Iron County.

The Twin Lakes Legacy Forest is predominantly northern hardwood, with a mix of other forest types, which used to be owned by a paper company. 

As Conservation Fund Midwest Vice President Tom Duffus explains, it was most recently owned by a timber investment group in Brazil. 

“So we bought it from that organization to try and stop this trend of private forests becoming smaller and less viable for timber.” 

Read more
Natural Resources
11:07 am
Tue February 10, 2015

Field Notes: Stalking Plants Under Ice

Credit Paul Skawinski

Today we debut a new series of natural history commentaries, featuring scientists from two Northwoods field stations: UW-Madison’s Trout Lake and Kemp Research Stations.

Today researcher Susan Knight asks why some aquatic plants stay green all winter. 

Read more
Natural Resources
8:57 am
Tue February 3, 2015

Now Rare, Prairie Chickens Once Common In Wisconsin

Greater prairie chickens are found on the Buena Vista Wildlife Area near Stevens Point.

Northern Wisconsin is densely forested, but doesn’t feature a lot of grassland.  

 Wildlife biologist John Toepfer says it wasn’t always this way.  He studies prairie chickens, which were once abundant in the state.  WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski spoke with Toepfer after a recent talk in Stevens Point, about the history and future of the grassland birds.  

Read more
Often leads to a career
9:35 am
Fri January 30, 2015

CNNF To Hire Temporary Full-Time Workers

Credit Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

Temporary job listings have been posted by the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

Spokesperson Hilary Markin says the jobs often attract young people looking for a career or folks who have some time to give...

"....every year the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest and other area forests hire temporary students to work in fisheries, on our trails and even archeology and fire suppression. Those are some of the specialty areas that we hire...."

Read more
Opens Door to Spring Rule Changes
4:38 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Scope Statement Gives DNR More Flexibility Setting Walleye Limits

Wisconsin DNR is looking for a way to manage angler take of walleye, without reducing bag limits down to one.
Credit Eric Engbretson / US Fish and Wildlife Service

Wisconsin’s Natural Resources Board has again laid the groundwork for giving more flexibility to the DNR, when it set bag limits for walleye later this spring.

The agency adjusts harvest regulations on northern lakes in the ceded territory, after the state’s Chippewa tribes declare how many fish they plan to harvest. 

As Fisheries Management Section Chief Steve Hewett explains, a scope statement passed Wednesday means DNR could later decide to use size limits or season restrictions to help control angler walleye harvest.    

Read more
Working with local clubs
3:23 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Snowmobilers To See New USFS Map For National Forest

On the trail

The U.S. Forest Service has released the final policy for managing snowmobile and other “over-snow” vehicle use for all national forests, including the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in Wisconsin.
Spokesperson Hilary Markin says  the new policy will provide users  with an additional tool....

Read more
Potential Compromise Solution
3:53 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Animal Welfare Groups Push for Lesser 'Threatened' Status for Gray Wolf

Gray wolves are back on the endangered species list in most U.S. states.

A coalition of animal rights groups is pushing to downgrade federal protections for the gray wolf, hoping to compromise with opponents who want to remove protections altogether.

The groups are asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list the gray wolf as threatened rather than endangered.   

Wolves are currently endangered in Wisconsin and Michigan, thanks to a court ruling in late December that put the wolf back under federal protection. 

But some members of Congress are pushing to change that status through legislation.    

Read more