Natural Resources

Conservation Congress meetings
6:11 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Anglers Favor More Trolling

Credit en.wikimedia.org

Wisconsin anglers could use motor-boats to troll for fish statewide, under a proposal endorsed at the annual conservation hearings. The D-N-R announced the results this week of votes taken at all of the Conservation Congress proceedings on Monday night in each of the 72 counties. At least some trolling on all lakes statewide was endorsed by 62-percent of the nearly 59-hundred sporting enthusiasts who voted on the question. It's been a hot topic in the popular fishing areas of northern Wisconsin.

Kari-Lee Zimmerman is the DNR's Conservation Congress Liason....

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Fourth Annual Event
1:59 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Sustainability Fair to Celebrate Earth Day

Credit Joshua Mayer / https://flic.kr/p/8B9N13

Earth Day is April 22nd, and organizers are gearing up for the fourth annual Sustainability Fair in Rhinelander.

Co-chair Ann Eshelman says it’s going to be the biggest one yet, with about 30 exhibitors ranging from green contractors to local farms.  

“It’s a wide variety of exhibitors.  We have people in the construction business, we have people in the gardening business, we have people in the retail business.  And we also have a lot of organizations that are conveying information about their sustainability mission.”

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Deer donation program
6:06 pm
Sun April 13, 2014

Venison Donation By Hunters Down From Prior Years

Credit commons. wikimedia.org

More than 90,000 pounds of venison were donated following the 2013 gun-deer harvest as part of the DNR deer donation program.

Wildlife damage biologist Dan Hirchert says hunters again have been generous....

".....the program was set up for hunters to shoot additional deer and have somewhere to go with those deer. In that regard, any deer that are donated to the program are a bonus. We look at it as another source of good will. We can provide meat items to folks all around the state that need(it)...."

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Bat Populations In Trouble
10:00 am
Sun April 13, 2014

White Nose Turns Up in Wisconsin

White nose syndrome is caused by a fungus that fatally interrupts bats' hibernation.
Credit Marvin Moriarty / US Fish and Wildlife Service

Biologists have found the first trace of a deadly bat disease in Wisconsin.  Bats tested positive for white nose syndrome at a mine in southwestern Wisconsin.

The Grant County location where white nose was found…is within flying distance of an Illinois site where the syndrome turned up in 2012.  Biologists are guessing a bat from that location carried the disease to Wisconsin. 

White nose has also been found for the first time in several locations in the Upper Peninsula.

The Wisconsin DNR’s Paul White says it’s likely the disease will spread throughout the state.

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Ears Open for Cranes
3:47 pm
Sat April 12, 2014

Listening for Early Morning Calls

Hoping to spot a crane on the Nokomis Flowage in the early dawn.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Birders were out before dawn this weekend for the annual Midwest Crane Count.  

     

“We’ll it’s about 6 oclock in the morning.  The rain is coming down lightly, but we’re out here counting cranes, or trying to.  Listening for their territorial calls or their guard calls.” 

Oneida County Coordinator Bob Dall explains that every spring, volunteers spread out to document sandhill crane populations, as well as rare sightings of whooping cranes.

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Weighing Environmental Impacts
3:00 pm
Sun April 6, 2014

LDF Considers ATV Trail

ATVs and UTVs are welcomed by some, but others fear the environmental damage they may bring.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Lac du Flambeau officials are wrapping up an environmental assessment of a proposed ATV/UTV trail. The Lakeland ATV Club wants to build a trail that would pass through the reservation. 

Lac du Flambeau spokesperson Brandon Thoms says the proposed trail would be about 23 miles long.

“It runs from the Oneida county border of the reservation – which would be the southwest corner of the reservation – east to the Woodruff Arbor Vitae area.” 

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Updates and Changes
4:09 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Deer Will Be Included at Spring Hearings

After a tough winter, the state of the deer herd will be one topic of discussion at the DNR's spring hearings.
Credit Michele Woodford / Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Deer enthusiasts may want to attend the DNR’s spring hearings on fish and game.  For the first time, the hearings will also include updates on deer herd status after a grueling winter, as well as hunting regulations. 

DNR District Wildlife Supervisor Mike Zeckmeister says it’s a good chance to check in with the public. 

“It should be a great opportunity to give a quick update on what the deer herd is looking like in their particular county, and also to be able to give a really good briefing on changes to the deer season as a result of the deer trustee report.”

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Raising Larger Fingerlings
4:01 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Tribal Fish Hatcheries Receive Walleye Grants

The DNR wants to help hatcheries raise larger fingerlings for stocking efforts.
Credit Eric Engbretson / US Fish and Wildlife Service

Fish hatcheries in Mole Lake and Lac du Flambeau will be getting money from the DNR to raise larger walleye fingerlings.  It's part of a round of grants to nine hatcheries statewide totaling $2 million.

  

  The Wisconsin DNR wants to stock lakes with bigger walleye fingerlings, because they have higher survival rates.  This round of grant money will pay for infrastructure like ponds and tanks….that will allow hatcheries to raise more of those 6 to 8 inch fingerlings.

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Preventing Spread of Pathogen
11:29 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Avoid Oak Wilt: Don't Prune Too Soon

If an oak tree rapidly loses its leaves, it could be due to oak wilt.
Credit Ronald Billings / Texas Forest Service

Now that it’s April, experts say don't prune oak trees until after July…if you want to keep them safe from the oak wilt pathogen.  Oak wilt is a deadly fungus that gets transmitted through tiny sap beetles. 

DNR Forest Health specialist Brian Schwingle says oak wilt works in a similar way as Dutch elm disease, which devastated North American elm populations in the 20th century.  Both are fungal diseases spread through beetles.  But Schwingle says out of the two, oak wilt is much easier to prevent. 

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Wildlife Matters - Rabbits Across the Northwoods
9:32 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Rabbitat: By A Hare

Snowshoe hare
Credit Karl Friedrich Herhold

Today we have the next installment from Wisconsin DNR wildlife biologist Jeremy Holtz as part of his regular contribution "Wildlife Matters". 

Today he tells us about a key member of the food chain.

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