Emily Bright

Feature Contributor

Emily Bright is a freelance writer, educator, and radio producer living in Eagle River. She is the author of the poetry chapbook Glances Back and the co-author of Powerful Ideas in Teaching: Creating Environments Where Students Want to Learn. Find her at www.emilykbright.com.

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A talk this week will focus on forest ownership and conservation.


Adena Rissman is on the faculty in UW Madison, studying relationships between people and natural resources.


She says major changes in public and private land ownership patterns have shaped forest conservation.  


Drizzling rain on Memorial Day was no deterrent for Eagle River residents and visitors, who showed up at the Veterans’ Memorial Park to honor those who gave their lives in service to this country. Former marine officer Dick Leinenkugel of the Leinenkugel beer family spoke in honor of the nearly one million service members who have died, including 55 Vilas County residents since the Civil War. Citing  a former Catholic chaplain in the marines, Father Dennis O’Brian, Leinenkugel said,

A sewing machine can be a tool for creativity or the means for providing livelihood for your family. One Wisconsin woman turned her love of sewing into an international organization that has helped thousands. WXPR’s Emily Bright spoke with Margaret Jankowski of The Sewing Machine Project when she spoke at Many Ways of Peace in Eagle River...

Remember that old MasterCard commercial, asserting that that value of some things are priceless? What about clean water? Emily Bright brings us a new Vilas County study that puts an economic value on its surface water—and it might be higher than you think.

"Are you really going out today?"

"Oh, yeah. I surf all winter in New York so, it’s all good."

Sometimes a family's history has some interesting stories. WXPR's Emily Bright tells us sometimes there are stories in a family's past that are very unusual. This feature comes in two parts: Act 1: A Prohibition Mystery and Act 2: The Matchmaking Photograph.

This is the first of some Northwoods family stories...and perhaps yours could be a part of that, too. If you want to have your genealogy story told, contact Emily Bright at 715-362-6000.

Tom Freeman

In their heyday in the earlier part of the 1900s, boathouses were far more than just a place to store your boat. Now more than 30 years have passed since new boathouses have been built. Emily Bright spoke to one Manitowish Waters man dedicated to documenting this unique Northwoods architecture....



A debate at the Eagle River City Council meeting Tuesday night   whether to continue to add fluoride into its water highlighted the importance of oral hygiene—not just for your teeth, but for your overall health. WXPR’s Emily Bright has more...


Dr. Atul Gawande’s book "Being Mortal" zoomed onto bestseller lists when it came out in October, and 6 months later it’s one of Amazon’s top 50 most popular books. People are hungry for a way to talk about health care and—yes—death. WXPR’s Emily Bright reports that the same is true in the Northwoods.

Wisconsin DNR


The Vilas County Board voted Tuesday to allow ATVs to ride on defined sections of county trunk highways as part of a larger ATV route that spans Eagle River, Conover, Lincoln, and Phelps. ATVs will be allowed to run on the road where signage permits, but they must stay as far to the side as practicable. There is no set date for when those signs will go up, though ATV riders are hopeful that they can start this spring.

Meanwhile, Vilas, Forest and Oneida counties could be joining forces to provide public transportation to some of its residents.

Emily Bright / WXPR News


  More than any other instrument, violins have a mystique. We assume the best violins were made centuries ago—so when in recent studies, blindfolded violin masters preferred modern instruments over multi-million dollar Stradivari, many people were shocked. WXPR’s Emily Bright spoke to one Wisconsin luthier who wasn’t surprised at all.   

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Warm weather has drawn people out of their homes for a number of spring activities including one popular Northwoods pastime: tapping trees for maple syrup. As Emily Bright reports, the season has begun, and much earlier than last year.

Maple syrup enthusiasts have been out tapping trees this week, as the warm daytime temperatures and freezing nights make sap start to run. Speaking from the winter farmers’ market, Tonya Hofrichter of Hofrichter farms in Deerbrook says the sap has had a slow start.

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An Eagle River event highlighting traditional ways of living through the winter is coming to an end.  Klondike Days will have its last hurrah this Saturday, March 7th. 

  Klondike Days President Terry Tryggeseth says it’s hard to point to any one factor that’s led to the end of Klondike Days on this its 25th anniversary.

“The event has, if you will, run its course. Participation by the public has weaned a little bit of the years. Of course having two years back-to-back of bitter, bitter cold didn’t help us by any means.”

Emily Bright / WXPR News


"When I grab my saw, I'm ready to carve," says Ken Schels.  "I'm hungry.  I wanna make some sawdust. I look forward to it."

Schels may not look like a poet when he’s hauling trees to his sawmill or wielding his chainsaw at a carving competition, but he thinks deeply about trees. Dressed in a plaid flannel and cap, Ken shows me around his Eagle River workshop, stopping at an 11 foot conference table he cut from a single tree from Conover. Trees, Ken says, will tell you a story.

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Eagle River businesses can soon look forward to their customers arriving by ATV and UTV. As WXPR's Emily Bright reports, the Eagle River town council has voted to allow ATVs and UTVs on nearly all city streets. 

Emily Bright / WXPR News

Eagle River claims it’s the Hockey Capital of Wisconsin, and for the 3 days of the Pond Hockey Championship, you believe it. Over 300 teams come from across the country to play, drawn by the cold winters that typically ensure good ice conditions.  It’s a tough but nostalgic sport that seems to keep teams coming back again and again. 

Rinks separated by snow banks are packed in so close it’s hard to tell where fans’ cheers and referee whistles are directed. Bill Trosien is playing for his 7th year.