Natural Resources

Polar Vortex revisited?
4:32 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

BRRRRRR! Deep Cold Settling Into Northwoods


Wisconsin is back in the deep freeze, but forecasters say it will be warmer for New Year's Eve revelers.  For now, though, the Badger State is shivering through its coldest temperatures of the season, thanks to clear skies and cold Canadian air blowing our way.

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People going through ice
10:27 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Safety Officials Say Be Extra Cautious On Ice

Careful on the ice

Safety officials are reminding people to take it easy out on
the ice after a number of incidents of people falling into bodies of water over the

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ATV club request starts process
4:40 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Master Plan Process Begins In Jan. For Woodboro Lakes

Credit Wisconsin DNR

A  Master Plan is needed as the state considers a request to build an ATV trail in the Woodboro Lakes area west of Rhinelander.

Woodboro Lakes Wildlife Area is a heavily wooded 3,600 acre property. An ATV club asked for the trail earlier this year.

DNR Planner Yoyi Steele says this property has no Master Plan, even lacking an old plan that could be amended. So the department needs to start from scratch. The board presented a trail feasibility study to the Natural Resources Board...

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Often perched on poles and signs
4:00 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Snowy Owls Make Another Rare Appearance in Northern Wisconsin

Snowy owls spend most of their time in the Arctic, but will sometimes venture south in search of food.
Credit Sylvia Duckworth

A substantial number of snowy owls are spending the winter in Wisconsin again.

DNR Wildlife Biologist Jeremy Holtz says for the third year in a row the owls are venturing south from their arctic homes in search of food. 

He says the birds prefer to perch in high places near open areas. 

“In general, you think about owls being rodent eaters, so typically they’re going to set up shop in places where they’re gonna have a good view, and they can pick up small rodents that are moving around on top of the snow.” 

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Year end appeal
4:34 am
Fri December 26, 2014

Conservation Fund Finds Support In All 50 States


A Foundation to preserve the outdoors has seen donations from across the U.S., two Canadian provinces and the Armed Services.

The Cherish Wisconsin Outdoors Fund has brought in $90,000 since it's beginning in 2013. The legislature created the fund to protect, restore and imprve habitat for Wisconsin's plants and animals.

Lindsay Renick Mayer from Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin says the Cherish Fund was established in cooperation with the DNR and the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin..

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Gray Wolf Returns to Endangered Species List
5:43 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Federal Judge Blocks Future Wolf Hunts in WI, MN, MI

Wolves were removed from the federal endangered species list in 2012, prompting three years of wolf hunting in Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Credit Brooks Tracy / USFWS

Wolves are once again considered an endangered species in Wisconsin.  

A federal judge Friday ruled in favor of the Humane Society, and called the 2012 delisting of wolves “arbitrary and capricious.” 

Wisconsin State Director Melissa Tedrowe says the Humane Society is happy that wolves are back under federal control. 

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Wetlands still unfrozen
5:34 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Many Northwoods Snowmo Trails Remain Closed


Snowmobile trails in Vilas county remain open but travel on them is not advised, other counties remain closed.

Oneida county trails remain closed according to a message from the Oneida County Forestry Department.

In Forest county, Forestry/Parks Administrator David Ziolkowski says those trails also are closed. He says the wetlands remain unfrozen...

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First Round of Recommendations
4:30 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Council Recommends Increasing Oneida County Deer Herd

A citizen's advisory council feels there aren't enough deer in Oneida County.
Credit Michele Woodford / Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Oneida County’s Deer Advisory Council is asking for an increase in the deer herd for the next three years. 

The council met last week to finalize its first round of recommendations to the DNR.

As chair Ed Choinski explains, it will be a few months before the council sets specific recommendations for the number of antlerless permits. 

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Exceeding Federal Standards
11:49 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Expera Works With DNR To Curb Sulfur Dioxide Emissions

Expera Specialty Solutions has until April to make a plan for reducing sulfur dioxide emissions at its Rhinelander paper mill. 

The EPA has flagged the Rhinelander area as a nonattainment area for sulfur dioxide, because the Expera facility is emitting more than the federal standard of 75 parts per billion. 

DNR Air program director Bart Sponseller says the agency is working with Expera to evaluate solutions. 

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Public input on four possible options
3:26 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

DNR Wolf Management Plan Coming In January


The public is expected to provide input on a  new DNR wolf management plan.

DNR carnivore specialist David MacFarland outlines what the agency will be doing...

"....the Department is in the process of developing a new wolf management plan that will serve as a guide to future management. We're at a point where we're going to be releasing a public draft. That will be done in early January...."

MacFarland says after that will be a public input period which will include written comments on the plan.

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