Natural Resources

Concern Over White Pines
5:43 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Torpy Park Controversy Prompts Town Meeting

A special town hall meeting is taking place Tuesday evening in Minocqua, regarding the fate of a group of trees in Torpy Park. 

The Minocqua Lions Club wants to build a new shelter in Torpy Park, and in the process remove about a dozen white pines estimated to be over a hundred years old. 

Many locals are up in arms about the plan, and have been contacting town officials and spreading the word through social media.  They say they like the atmosphere the trees provide, and say the trees are a vestige of old growth forest in the Northwoods. 

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Quest for Habitable Planets
4:00 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Antigo Astronomer Searches for Signs of Distant Life

Globular cluster Terzan 7 is on the other side of our galaxy.
Credit NASA / https://flic.kr/p/jXLDrB

Maggie Turnbull lives in Antigo and works as a freelance astrobiologist.  

  It’s the study of the origin and future of life in the universe.  Turnbull has gained international recognition for her work cataloging star systems that could support life, and is now working with NASA on a telescope to better look at those systems.  WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski spoke with Turnbull over the phone.  

She says the problem is that stars give out so much light, it’s hard to even see the planets that orbit them. 

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Reflecting on the Cycle of Life
3:00 am
Tue May 6, 2014

The Darker Side of Winter

Credit Michele Woodford / Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

At the tail end of winter, many animals are still struggling to find food as we wait for green leaves to grow.  WXPR Contributor John Heusinkveld of UWSP’s Treehaven has this reflection on how a harsh winter may have a big impact on the deer population.  

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At risk for car strikes
6:00 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Wildlife Matters: Eagles and Cars in the Northwoods

Credit Michele Woodford / Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Next, we hear from DNR wildlife biologist Jeremy Holtz with his commentary, "Wildlife Matters". 

He says even though eagle numbers have rebounded, this time of the year can be deadly for our national symbol.

"Wildlife Matters" with DNR wildlife biologist Jeremy Holtz is heard most weeks during Morning Edition on WXPR.

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Summer Approaches
10:00 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Boat Monitors Prepare To Defend Lakes Against Invasives

A training session demonstrates the difference between native and invasive species of milfoil.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Our lakes may still be covered in ice, but volunteer lake monitors are gearing up for a season of keeping invasive species at bay. 

Dozens of volunteers gathered this week in Rhinelander for a refresher on rules and protocols.  Oneida County Aquatic Invasives Coordinator Michele Sadauskas says they’re a fraction of those working in Oneida County alone.

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Wolf hunt to continue in 2014
4:00 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

19 Percent Drop In Wisconsin Wolf Population

Winter numbers show a sizable drop in the state's wolf population, but it is still higher than the target of 350 wolves.
Credit Retron en.wikipedia.org

Two seasons of wolf hunting have resulted in Wisconsin's first major decline in the grey-wolf population. 

The D-N-R issued a preliminary report this week, showing a drop in wolf numbers from a low number last year of 809 to a low number this year of 658. It's the first major decrease in the Wisconsin wolf numbers since the D-N-R started tracking the species' recovery about 35 years ago. The state had 25 wolves back then.

DNR wolf ecologist Dave MacFarland talked with Ken Krall about the numbers from a census done during the winter months.

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Year-Round Presence
4:00 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Harvest Camp Turns One

The Lac Courte Oreilles Harvest Camp is moving to a nearby location after its first year of existence.
Credit Monie Shackleford / WXPR News

The Lac Courte Oreilles Harvest Camp celebrated its one-year anniversary this weekend.  

On Saturday, April 26th, a group of about thirty people gathered in Iron County to feast on pancakes and locally produced maple syrup they call “Penokee Gold.”   

Paula Mohan came from Madison for the event.

“I wanted to come for the pancakes and the Penokee Gold and all the other food and the fact that it is the one year anniversary," Mohan said. "I was last here in February and it’s kind of nice to be here because it is not twenty below and there are no bugs yet."

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Recent law changes
3:36 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

All Snowmobiles Need Trail Passes in 2015

Circa 1910
Credit Minnesota Historical Society-en.wikipedia.org

Two recently-signed laws are designed to help promote snowmobiling in the Northwoods and elsewhere.  One change will affect most riders.

Act 142 goes into effect in 2015. Snowmobile registration will cost $30 and will be extended to three years from the current two. A key provision of the law is ALL snowmobiles on public trails will be required to display a trail pass. But there is a way to pay less.

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Caution advised for fast moving water
3:30 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

High Water On Rivers For Opening Of Fishing Season

The danger zones
Credit Wisconsin Valley Improvement Company

The recent rain combined with runoff from the Northwoods means the Wisconsin River can be dangerous.

Peter Hanson with the Wisconsin Valley Improvement Association says that’s especially true near dams...

 

"We just ask that they watch what they’re doing, pay attention to their surroundings, listening for any warnings maybe that the dam is producing, whether it would be sirens, or staff that’s in the area. All of those large dams are all signed appropriately. They’ve got buoys out in front of the dams to keep boats away."

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Encased in Ice
3:35 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Loons Spared From Ice Storms This Year

Loons return to the Northwoods in late April to find a nesting site.
Credit Mike Baird via https://flic.kr/p/JAwGP

With the ice slowly melting, loons are starting to return to the Northwoods. 

Though this winter has been long, one wildlife rehabilitator says it’s been much better for loons than last year.

Marge Gibson from the Raptor Education Group remembers that last spring she treated dozens of loons that had been caught in ice storms while in flight. 

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