Wisconsin DNR

Wisconsin DNR

Many species of pollinators are in sharp decline in Wisconsin.

Recently, a DNR program was granted more almost $70,000 to aid in helping Monarch butterflies. The grant was to help the insects during their annual trek to Mexico over the winter. The grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to restore and enhance critical monarch butterfly habitat along the Mississippi River.

But the DNR's Owen Boyle says the populations of the once-common Monarchs have fallen by 90 percent in the last 25 years.

Bobcat Population Healthy, Growing: DNR

Oct 4, 2017

MINOCQUA – The state’s bobcat population is robust and growing, according to two specialists from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources who recently briefed the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board (NRB) on the elusive creature.


Wisconsin has more than 17 million acres of forested lands and changes in color mean the trees are starting to get ready for winter. Peak fall color varies each year, and 2017 is one of the wettest on record, which could have an impact on color this year.

DNR silvaculturalist Colleen Matula says the change of colors is begun by the sun...

Courtesy: Wisconsin DNR

New small-scale dredging projects guidelines for the state's lakes, rivers and streams has been finalized.

The DNR went to public comment about the general permit changes with more than 700 comments given by the public.

DNR Section Chief Martin Griffin says traditionally they had a permit to allow 25 cubic yards from streams but did not have a comparable dredging permit for lakes. So the decision was made to expand the idea of allowing small dredging to inland and the Great Lakes...

Kitty Kohout

One of Wisconsin's plant invaders can give you a nasty burn and it's in its prime right now.

DNR Invasive plant coordinator Kelly Kearns talks about wild parsnip....

"...it will be in a rosette stage anywhere from one to several years. The flowering year, it sends up a flowering stalk usually in June at some point and it has a series of large yellow umbrella-shaped flowers a top. This plant can burn your skin. It has a chemical in it that interacts with your skin in the sunlight and cause burns...."

Coast Guard Compass

High water on state rivers has prompted the DNR law enforcement section to ask boaters to be very careful when heading out.

DNR Chief Conservation Warden Todd Schaller says recent storms packing torrential downpours have fueled floods and strong fast currents. He says the public should think safety when planning water trips by first checking local conditions and to always wear a life jacket on the water.

Conservation Warden Michael Sealander in Vilas county agrees, saying a life jacket is necessary...

Wisconsin DNR

With the spring breeding season beginning for many Wisconsin turtle species, DNR biologists are again asking citizens to submit their observations of where turtles and other wildlife are found crossing roads.

Conservation biologist Andrew Badje says females are coming out of the wetlands, lakes and rivers and they're looking for places to nest upland in open sandy or gravel areas. Badje coordinates the turtle conservation program...

Wisconsin DNR

A walk in the woods this time of the year will reveal Northwoods wildlife beginning the annual cycle of a new growing year. DNR wildlife researchers are out doing a survey and a spokesperson says be careful as your drive by.

DNR wildlife specialist Brian Dhuey says the surveyors collect data from roadsides, so that's why they are there and there's no need to be concerned...


The time after the snow leaves is one of the peak times for wildfires to break out in Wisconsin and a fire suppression expert says the public is instrumental in preventing them. The DNR has suspended burning in many parts of Wisconsin.

Wildfire Prevention Specialist, Catherine Koele, says the fire danger rose to high as the warmer weather moved in....

Courtesy: Wisconsin DNR

Property owners in Oneida and Marinette counties are being recruited by the DNR to voluntarily join Snapshot Wisconsin, a citizen-science effort to capture images of all types of wildlife.

Spokesperson Susan Frett says a statewide wildlife monitoring project that's being rolled out on a county-by-county basis. The program began in 2016....

Courtesy: Wisconsin DNR

The DNR is kicking off an effort to look at recreational opportunities and needs across Wisconsin.

The project, officially called a Recreation Opportunities Analysis, or ROA, aims to identify future recreational needs across the state, and the DNR role.

DNR recreation specialist Cameron Bump says in areas like the recreation-heavy Northwoods, this study will look at the entire registration offerings in a region and the state...


Independent auditors have found Wisconsin's state forested lands are examples of being well-managed and some of the states most valuable resources.  Those assessments from a recent audit of state managed woods.

DNR forest certification coordinator Mark Heyde says the audit teams gave glowing reviews of management practices on state lands. Department owned lands are certified under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and the Forest Stewardship Council. Heyde was asked what this audit means for the public..

Wisconsin DNR

Last year, the legislature directed the DNR to find ways to increase the allowable acreage for forest productivity from the state forests.

A DNR spokesperson says public comment on the variances is open until the end of the month.

The DNR's Carmen Hardin is Forest Management Bureau Director. She says the DNR is in the process of getting public comment on the proposed variances, which means a larger amount of acreage in the forests would be available for forest production...


Hunters around the Northwoods looking for an easy way to learn more about their hobby are reminded to join the Department of Natural Resources staff for live chats throughout the coming months.

Public Affairs Manager for the Fish, Wildlife and Parks division of the DNR, Sawyer Briel says the live chats on the DNR’s website are easy to use.


Wisconsin DNR

The legislature will decide in a few months whether it is viable to move the DNR's Division of Forestry out of Madison to a northern community closer to the state's large forests.

Rhinelander, Wausau and Hayward have been identified as finalists should the move be approved in the upcoming budget.

Executive Director of Oneida County Economic Development Corporation Roger Luce is asking Oneida county residents to support Rhinelander's application. Luce says the group supported both Minocqua and Rhinelander's initial application before Rhinelander was named a finalist.