Natural Resources

Snow is Piling Up
5:31 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Snowfall Not Uncommon In November, Says NWS

Cold weather and significant snowfall in November may seem unusual, but the National Weather Service says it’s not that atypical.

Dan Miller with the National Weather Service in Duluth says significant snowfall in November happens about 25 to 30 percent of the time.

 “I think we need to put a little bit of a perspective on it.  Yeah it’s a little early bit early and yeah it’s a lot colder than it was in October.  But really in the scheme of things this isn’t really that far off of the rails in terms of being wildly abnormal.”

Opening Weekend Figures Show Decline
5:40 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Buck Harvest Down For Northern Region and Statewide

Last winter's severity cut down the number of deer in the woods.
Credit Michele Woodford / Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Hunters registered more than ten thousand bucks in the northern district during opening weekend.  That’s down by about 12 percent compared to last year according to the DNR’s preliminary figures.

DNR Wildlife Biologist Jeremy Holtz says part of the decline is likely due to last winter’s taking a toll on the herd. 

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Caution urged
4:22 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Thin Ice Is Potentially Hazardous Says Warden

Credit Pixabay.com

The DNR's Chief Warden is cautioning hunters and others outdoors this weekend to be very wary of ice conditions.

The early cold has frozen over some lakes, but the conditions vary. Some lakes have not frozen over.
Warden Todd Schaller  says use extreme caution...

"....make sure they know the ice thickness before they venture(out), and to realize that ice is never considered 'safe'. It's always unpredictable..."

Schaller says the ice will vary by conditions...

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Natural Resources
5:23 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Comment Period Reopens on Northern Long-Eared Bat Listing

Northern long-eared bats are being threatened by white nose syndrome.
Credit Steven Thomas / US Fish and Wildlife Service

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is again taking comments on whether to add the northern long-eared bat to the endangered species list.  Some groups are questioning estimates of the bat’s fragility. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says populations of the northern long-eared bat are dropping precipitously due to the deadly fungal disease white nose syndrome.  It’s wiped out millions of bats in the eastern U.S. and was found to have spread to Wisconsin earlier this year. 

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Wildlife Matters with Jeremy Holtz
10:54 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Why Windstorms Can Be Good For Wildlife Habitat

Fallen trees are a good choice for firewood, but also helpful for animals.
Credit Rob Burke

Many people gather firewood from fallen or dead trees on their own lands or from national forest or state-owned property.  In today’s Wildlife Matters, DNR Wildlife Biologist Jeremy Holtz says in some cases, managers may choose to leave those trees alone for the benefit of wildlife.  

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Some Zones Going Over Limit
10:35 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Wolf Hunt Approaches Quota

Now in its third year, Wisconsin's wolf hunt continues to be controversial.
Credit Brooks Tracy / USFWS

Wisconsin’s third wolf hunt is probably nearing its end as hunters approach the season’s quota.

As of Wednesday a hundred and forty two wolves have been taken out of the total licensed quota of 150. 

But some opponents are crying foul, saying the hunt is overly aggressive toward the state’s wolf population.

Wisconsin state Director of the Humane Society Melissa Tedrowe says the population can’t sustain the harvest.

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Massive Federally Funded Project
10:10 am
Thu November 20, 2014

NEON Gathers Data on Changing Ecology

A nationwide project gathering enormous amounts of ecological data has a regional hub right here in the Northwoods. It's called NEON: the National Ecological Observatory Network.

The federally-funded NEON project is wrapping up the first of what could be 30 years collecting data on broad-scale ecological systems. 

The Northern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan region is one of about 20 nationwide where the research is focused. 

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Changing Deer Patterns
4:38 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Snow Could Be Both Challenge and Aid To Deer Hunters

Biologists say deer may already been in mid-winter mode because of how much snow has already fallen.
Credit Michele Woodford / Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Hunters may want to do some extra scouting before the gun-deer season opens this Saturday. Deep snow conditions are likely to change how deer are moving around. 

DNR Wildlife Biologist Jeremy Holtz says snow on the ground will help hunters see and track deer, but several feet of snow could make it challenging to traverse the terrain.  He says it will also affect where the deer are to be found.

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Slow At First, Spread Is Inevitable
8:19 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Northwoods Prepares for EAB Spread

Thirty eight counties, including Oneida, are under firewood quarantine because of the emerald ash borer.
Credit USDA

Forestry experts were on hand in Rhinelander last night to answer questions from the public about the emerald ash borer.

Though Oneida County has a relatively low abundance of ash trees, DNR Urban Forestry Coordinator Don Kissinger says the greatest impact will be in cities, where ash trees are some of the most popular to line streets and backyards. 

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Hunt begins Saturday
4:53 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Stepp Says Safety, Mentoring Key To Deer Hunt

Credit commons.wikimedia.org

The Wisconsin 9-day gun deer hunt begins on Saturday. During the 2013 hunt, there were 8 gunshot wounds,  but none proved to be fatal. DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp says while incidents are unfortunate, it's important to remember there are hundreds of thousands of hunters in the woods. She says the department has worked hard to educate hunters ....

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