Natural Resources

How People Feel About Wolves
5:07 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Wolf Survey Reveals Favorable Attitudes Towards Wolves

Credit Derek Bakken

Most Wisconsinites support a wolf hunt in the state, but only a minority of people want to see the wolf population decrease from its current level.  That's according to some of the draft findings of a recent DNR survey of how people feel about wolves. 

The DNR mailed out surveys to almost 9,000 residents, about half of which were returned and analyzed. 

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Harvesting a Traditional Food
4:52 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Wild Rice Season Behind Schedule

Oneida County lake as seen from above, partially covered with bright green wild rice beds.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Wisconsin’s wild rice season is getting a late start, thanks to this year’s long winter and cool summer. 

Though Labor Day weekend often marks a key time for harvesting the traditional Ojibwe food staple, this year hardly any rice is mature and ready for picking.  That’s according to Wildlife Biologist Peter David with the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission.

“I have heard very few reports of rice being ready at this point, there probably are a couple of odd riverbeds.  But by and large, things are not ready to go.”

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Natural Resources
4:00 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Raising Bigger, Stronger Weevils for a Better Tomorrow

Researcher Amy Thorstenson hopes lake groups will be able to raise weevils and use them as a biocontrol for Eurasian water milfoil.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

As many property owners and lake groups know, Eurasian water milfoil is a problem without a great solution.  It’s an invasive plant that grows in dense mats in lakes throughout Wisconsin.  It can be treated with chemicals to keep the growth down, but that comes with side effects as well as a hefty price tag.  But some researchers think there could be a way to use tiny bugs called milfoil weevils as a biocontrol on some lakes.  But the idea is more complicated than it seems. 

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Mining and Other Great Lakes Issues
3:29 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Tribes Feel Positive Takeaway from EPA Meetings

At least one tribal leader is optimistic after the recent meetings between Midwest tribes and the EPA this week.

Lac du Flambeau Spokesperson Brandon Thoms says according to tribal President Maulson, the discussions were positive. 

“It showed that there’s definitely a willingness between the EPA to work with the tribes, and President Maulson indicated that the tribes are understood that they have a vested interest.” 

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Wildlife Matters with Jeremy Holtz
4:00 am
Fri August 22, 2014

To Bait or Not to Bait? And Other Bear Hunting Questions

Bear hunting and bear baiting is highly regulated in Wisconsin.
Credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/lazymonkey/348519518/

Bear hunting isn’t for everyone.  But its increasing popularity means that for those who do it, the wait times are getting longer and longer...up to nine years in some regions of Wisconsin.  In today’s Wildlife Matters, DNR Wildlife Biologist Jeremy Holtz weighs his options heading into his first bear hunting season.  

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Science and Hydrology
3:23 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Presentations to Examine Penokee Wetlands

Two presentations this week will focus on the wetlands around the Penokee Hills. 

Tracy Hames, Executive Director of Wisconsin Wetlands Association, will be giving a talk in Mercer on Thursday, and Hazelhurst on Friday.

Hames says his group has been researching the hydrology of the Penokee Hills, in hopes of understanding the possible impacts of an iron mine proposed for the area. 

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Penokee Mine One Top Issue
1:44 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Tribes To Talk Mining, Great Lakes Funding With EPA

Gogebic Taconite’s mine proposal isn’t the only topic the state’s Chippewa tribes plan to discuss when they meet with the EPA this week.

Sokaogon Chippewa Community Chairman Chris McGeshick  says the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is also on the agenda. 

McGeshick says the initiative hopes to focus its dollars within Great Lakes basins, but he hopes to clarify that the tribes can apply for other projects as well.

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Supporting More Cutting
7:30 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Sen. Johnson Tours County, National Forest Lands

Sen. Johnson toured an aspen clear cut in Forest county to see its regeneration.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Another U.S. Senator was in the Northwoods Tuesday to talk about forestry issues.

Senator Ron Johnson toured Forest County and National forest land with representatives from the Great lakes Timber Professionals. 

Johnson says opportunities for harvesting timber in the Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest are being wasted.  He says he plans to put together some numbers estimating what kind of revenue that forest could generate, and says changes should be made in the way national forest management is funded.

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Federal Authorities Search for Suspect
7:02 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Bayfield County: Three Ospreys, One Owl Dead

Ospreys are federally protected, so shootings of them are rare.
Credit Public Domain Images

An Antigo wildlife rehabilitator says the recent case of several ospreys dead in Bayfield County is a rare situation.

Marge Gibson of the Raptor Education Group says last month her rehab center took in an adult male osprey that had been shot in the wing.  Authorities soon found the ospreys’ abandoned nest and its two chicks. 

“When the bird didn’t come back, the youngsters started calling loudly, doing food begging calls.  They were not old enough to leave the nest by themselves, and finally ended up jumping from the nest just in desperation to be fed.”

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Controversy Over Cutting
6:55 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Sen. Baldwin Tours Laona Sawmill, Voices Support for National Forest Timber Harvest

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin toured Nicolet Hardwoods Monday.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin visited Forest County today to learn about the economic importance of the logging industry. 

Baldwin has supported higher levels of cutting in the Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest, saying she wants the forest to meet its harvest goals. 

“When I hear how a well-vetted plan about how the forests in this area would be managed over the years – when I see that they haven’t even gotten close to achieving those goals, when they’ve been put together with a lot of stakeholder involvement, that’s disappointing and I want to know why.”

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