Michael Murphy

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports eight states in the Midwest have gotten more than $200 million dollars as part of the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. One of those projects is based here in the Northwoods. The federal funds were received for a study of bobcats.

DNR animal researcher Nathan Roberts based in Rhinelander is doing an extensive study on the elusive cat. He says they need to find out the population size so they know how many can be hunted and maintain a sustainable population ...


A DNR ecologist thinks the coming deer season in Wisconsin will be similar to last year's hunt. Big game ecologist Kevin Wallenfang says indicators from the bow hunting season and from from eyewitnesses find this season is shaping up like last year. While agricultural areas continue to see good deer numbers, the Northwoods is still trying to recover...

"....the northern part of the state is still in a recovery period following a bad winter a couple of years ago. Across the state, our reproduction was pretty good this year...."

Meyer Critical Of Parts Of DNR Reorganization

Jul 29, 2015
Wisconsin Wildlife Federation

The  D-N-R unveils a major reorganization this week that consolidates most air-and-water pollution enforcement into one division -- and moves hot-button issues to a new unit that supports businesses. Officials say the changes are designed to make the agency more responsive to all its users -- from business-and-farm permit applicants to hunters and anglers. It comes amid an 18-percent decline in the D-N-R's workforce over the past 20 years. The new Business Support and External Services unit is planned as a "one-stop" center for business help.


Some lands  outside the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest are among the parcels the DNR has put up for sale.

In the last budget, the legislature said the state had to put up for sale at least 10,000 acres of state-owned property located outside the scope of state project boundaries.

The DNR's Steve Miller says this includes some property outside the Northern Highland land and some land in Lincoln county. He says you can find the listings on the DNR website...


Biologists say habitat preservation is critical to preserving wildlife. The DNR reports turkey, pheasant and waterfowl hunters contributions have led to large increases in habitat preservation.

More than 500,000 acres of land have been restored for both turkey and pheasant hunters each  says DNR ecologist Krista McGinley.....

"....over three-quarters of pheasand and turkey stamp revenues has gone to restoring, maintaining habitat for those species in the state..."


The DNR's Spring Fish and Wildlife Public Hearings happen Monday in all of Wisconsin's 72 counties.  One topic area  is likely to draw considerable discussion.

DNR fisheries biologist Jon Hansen says they're studying 100 lakes...many in this region...to look at putting tighter restrictions on panfish to see if larger fish can be grown.....

"....we're interested in trying three different options for bag limits. We have an elaborate evaluation plan that we are going to evaluate over the next 10 years...".


Hibernation is ending for the Northwoods growing bear population, and conflicts with property owners can be avoided says a DNR spokesperson.

Wildlife damage specialist Brad Koele says the food you leave for birds and your pets also is tantalizing for bears...

"....garbage cans, grills, if anyone feeds pets outside coming to the pet food. Be aware, take a look around and reduce those attractants...."


Wildfire danger is increasing as the snow leaves the Northwoods and warmer, dryer air comes in.
Conditions have changed so fast that burning permits are not allowed in most places.

DNR Wildfire Prevention Specialist  Catherine Koele in Woodruff says the fire danger is very high in most places, with extreme fire danger the northwest corner of the state. She says conditions are prime for fire...


Time to get the ice shacks off your favorite fishing hole.

Anywhere south of Highway 64 the shacks had to be off the hard water this past weekend. North of Highway 64, the deadline is this coming weekend says DNR Recreational Safety Warden Jeff Dauterman in Antigo. He says the warming temperatures this week could mean your home away from home could become stuck in the ice...



A Foundation to preserve the outdoors has seen donations from across the U.S., two Canadian provinces and the Armed Services.

The Cherish Wisconsin Outdoors Fund has brought in $90,000 since it's beginning in 2013. The legislature created the fund to protect, restore and imprve habitat for Wisconsin's plants and animals.

Lindsay Renick Mayer from Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin says the Cherish Fund was established in cooperation with the DNR and the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin..


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.....


Travelers often remark when coming to the Northwoods about how clean our air is here. A recent federal report finds all Wisconsin counties should be designated as meeting U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards.

The EPA reviewed  data from all 50 states on fine particles. Wisconsin met or exceeded EPA standards from border to border.

Wisconsin DNR Air Management Specialist Anne Bogar says  the numbers show the state's air is cleaner...


The final meeting this summer to get public input on the draft operating order for the Rest Lake dam in Vilas county  is set for Saturday afternoon.

The DNR held two meetings in late June.

DNR Northern Region Director John  Gozdzialski says they want to hear from the public...

".....the purpose is to get feedback from the community, both those upstream and those downstream of the dam about their comments and concerns about the proposed operating order for the dam...."

Heikki Valve photo

The DNR is offering a series of training programs to help loggers and foresters determine how much woody debris to leave on the forest floor after logging.

Experts say when trees are removed during logging, nutrients stored in the soil are also carried away. The leftovers are called "woody biomass" and the DNR's Tricia Knoot says the leftovers are valuable for other wood-related industries. She says the goal is to give workers in the woods the info to leave some behind...

A public information meeting is set for July 12 on a DNR proposal for a public landing on state owned land on Mercer Lake about five miles west of Woodruff. Currently there's private resort access to the lake. Public access includes a carry-in location at the Mercer Creek culvert and undeveloped pathways across state land.
Fisheries biologist John Kubisiak says the state owns 54  acres on the lake and they've put together a draft plan to put in a public boat ramp...