Natural Resources

Response to Preapplication
2:22 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

DNR Outlines Permit Requirements for GTac Mine

The Wisconsin DNR has responded to Gogebic Taconite’s initial plan for an iron mine in the Penokee Range. 

The company filed its pre-application notification last June…which consisted of preliminary plans and a stated intent to file a mining permit.

The DNR has responded with a list of required permits and environmental data that the company will need to prepare. 

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Severity Index high
5:10 pm
Sun March 9, 2014

Harsh Winter Likely Means High Deer Kill

Hard times for the deer
Credit commons.wikimedia.org

  It seems like almost everyone has been complaining about our long, cold winter. A DNR wildlife biologist says this one likely will take a toll on the animals in the wild. Jeremy Holtz says they calculate how hard the combination of snow depth and chill will be on animals like deer and come up with a severity index....  

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Surveying Public Perceptions
3:00 pm
Sun March 9, 2014

No More Lead Fishing Tackle On Three Vilas Lakes

Lead fishing tackle will no longer be allowed on Pallette Lake and two others.
Credit Joshua Mayer / http://www.flickr.com/photos/wackybadger/7967970190/sizes/m/

Lead fishing tackle won’t be allowed on three lakes in Vilas County.  Starting April 1st, the DNR is prohibiting any tackle containing lead on Escanaba, Nebish and Pallette lakes.   All three are research lakes in the Northern Highland American Legion state forest.

DNR fisheries research scientist Greg Sass is based at the Escanaba Research Station in Boulder Junction.  He says small pieces of lead like split shot and jig head can be harmful to wildlife like loons. 

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Predators and Prey
10:23 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Wildlife Matters: Wolves, Deer, and a Balanced Ecosystem

Wolves often target the sick or weak individuals in a deer population.
Credit Derek Bakken

In his continuing series, "Wildlife Matters", DNR biologist Jeremy Holtz says sometimes good intentions don't always end up with the best results.

Next time, Jeremy will be talking about turkeys surviving our long, cold winter.

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Record-setting year
3:07 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

So How Cold Has It Been?

Lake(s)- effect snow
Credit NASA

In-between chattering teeth, there's been lots of talk about just how cold the last 90 days has been....  

"....one of the coldest winters, not just for the last 10 years, but some of the coldest we've ever seen here in northern Wisconsin and most of the Upper Midwest...."

 That's WJFW-TV 12  Chief Meteorologist Matt Benz who says statistically, this winter has been a record-setter... 

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Fragmentation Helps Some, Not All
4:00 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Wisconsin's Birds Face Changing Habitat

Black-throated green warbler
Credit Dan Pancamo / http://www.flickr.com/photos/pancamo/5682217366/sizes/m/

Anna Pidgeon is an avian ecologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a guest at this week’s Science on Tap discussion.  

WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski spoke with Pidgeon about her research on how habitat loss and climate events may influence the range of some songbirds.

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Time depends on where you live
4:35 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Ice Shelters Need To Be Removed This Month

Carrol Lake shelters
Credit deanbakerphotography.com

Though winter is holding on with a vice-like grip, the DNR is reminding those with ice shacks that it's not long until they need to be removed from lakes and rivers.

DNR Conservation Warden Tom Van Haren says the middle of March is a key time to remember....

 

"....for most waters, there's a north-south line in the state...Highway 64 is the dividing line. If you're north of the Highway 64 line then you have to have your permanent shelters removed beginning the first Sunday afte March 12 each year.....

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Avid Group of Birders
4:34 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Wisconsin Home to Plethora of Birds and Birders

Trumpeter swans one species many birders may travel to see in Wisconsin.
Credit USFWS Mountain Prairie

A third of Wisconsin residents age 16 and over are birders.  That’s according to a new survey from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which ranks Wisconsin’s percentage of birders second highest in the nation, tied with West Virginia. 

The report defined birders as those who traveled at least one mile to watch birds, or reported paying close attention to the birds around their house. 

Ryan Brady, research scientist with the Wisconsin DNR in Ashland, says he’s not surprised by the high number. 

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Meager Food Available
9:47 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Birds Face Shrinking Winter Food Supply

Robins returning in time for spring may be unprepared for wintry conditions.
Credit Marc Evans

Deer aren’t the only wildlife having a hard time finding food this winter.  

Wildlife rehabilitator Marge Gibson of the Raptor Education Group says she’s worried about many of the region’s birds.  She says the rehab center near Antigo is seeing birds like red-tailed hawks, chickadees and even robins.    

“What is unusual is the way that they’re coming in.  People are finding them really not moving very much – they’re kind of in a hypothermic state.  Their breathing is slowed, their heartrate is slowed, and they go into almost a torpor state.” 

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Not Well Adapted
3:02 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Wild Turkeys Face Difficulty Finding Food in Severe Winter

Wild turkeys have a hard time finding food in deep snow.
Credit Robert Engbert

Many wild turkeys may be struggling to survive the harsh winter in northern Wisconsin.

Bird expert Laura Erickson says in an average winter, turkeys are protected by their fat reserves.  But a severe winter like this one is another matter. 

“The problem is that they need a lot of food.  And with the deep snows we’ve been having, it’s virtually impossible for them to find the acorns or other food items that they would normally get on the ground.”   

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