Natural Resources


With several inches falling throughout the day Monday, significantly more snow is in the forecast for Monday night and Tuesday.

Forecasters are predicting another 3-6 inches for the Rhinelander area Monday night, with higher amounts near the Upper Michigan border.

An additional 3-5 inches are forecast for Tuesday, with snow likely to continue into Tuesday night in the Upper Peninsula.  

Many area schools let out early Monday afternoon, and most organizations canceled public meetings scheduled for Monday and Tuesday.

A webinar Thursday will give lakeshore property owners information on  a new DNR initiative boosting private sector involvement to care for Northwoods lakes.

The Healthy Lakes effort will help fund a limited number of local projects focusing on simple ways to improve fish habitat, improve native plantings, divert and clean runoff water and promote beauty.

The DNR's Carroll Schaal says  this grant program was carved out the lake protection grant program.....

Karen Laubenstein / US Fish and Wildlife Service

You never know what kind of wildlife you might run into when you’re out and about in the Northwoods.

In today’s Wildlife Matters, DNR Wildlife Biologist Jeremy Holtz says some sightings are easier to prove than others. 

A UW Madison researcher says close to forty percent of the state’s lakes could contain invasive species. 

According to the Wisconsin DNR, that figure is currently documented at less than ten percent. 

But Jake Vander Zanden of the UW Madison’s Center for Limnology says his team surveyed a random sample of Wisconsin lakes to estimate how many might be affected by invasive species statewide, and came up with a much higher number. 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Deer Advisory Councils have been meeting across Wisconsin as part of a reform effort within the DNR to manage the state's deer herd. The councils will release preliminary recommendations beginning next Monday.

DNR big game ecologist Kevin Wallenfang says each county councils will make recommendations on local deer populations. Wallenfang says beginning Monday, more input on the recommendations will be sought....

Submitted photo

It’s been over a year since monitors found Wisconsin’s first inland lake invasion of a plant called yellow floating heart in Forest County. The latest inspection did not reveal any new plants. 

It’s chilly grey day in late October, and it’s the last time this year that Forest County Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator John Preuss will check for yellow floating heart. 

“What I look for is the shape of the leaf.  And when it’s flowering…and the seed pods are kind of tear dropped shape.” 

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

The state Natural Resources Board is set to weigh in on a proposal for an ATV route through the Woodboro Lakes Wildlife Area near Rhinelander.

The Nokomis ATV club has requested ATV access on 3/4 mile of state-owned trail that’s currently only open to foot traffic and snowmobiles in winter. 

The ATV trail would also extend south on county forest property for another 3/4 mile.

DNR Wildlife Biologist Jeremy Holtz explains that a feasibility study found the proposal to be workable, providing a few conditions are met.

Mitch Mode

A conference on loons this weekend put the spotlight on citizen involvement in scientific research. 

Wildlife rehabilitator Marge Gibson of Antigo’s Raptor Education Group says the two-day Loon Symposium was unique in including citizens that collect observational data on loons.

“They are providing such a huge benefit to loon observation, and even giving this information back to the researchers.  And that to me was so exciting to see.” 

Mike Baird via

New state mercury emissions rules for power plants could have significant benefits for loons.

A Northwoods researcher is hoping to quantify those benefits over the next decade. 

Wisconsin DNR Toxicologist Mike Meyer says when loons consume mercury through eating fish, it can inhibit the birds’ reproduction.

Wisconsin Historical Society

It’s duck hunting season in the northwoods and while plenty of artificial decoys will be used by waterfowlers to lure birds within gun range one thing they won’t be using is live decoys.  

  This technique of waterfowl hunting was regulated out of existence in 1935, partly because of the severe drought of the early 1930s that devastated waterfowl populations.  But the practice was once common and even celebrated.