Arbor Vitae Town Office
10675 Big Arbor Vitae Dr
Arbor Vitae WI 54568


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Mon-Fri: 9:00am - 3:00pm
Sat-Sun: Closed


Phone: 715.356.3120
Fax: 715.356.1071


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Wildlife Alerts and Information

Wisconsin, Minnesota DNRs to discuss bag, size limits on Mississippi

Wisconsin DNR Weekly News - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 12:31pm
- LA CROSSE, Wis. -- Departments of Natural Resources in Wisconsin and Minnesota will hold five public input meetings in mid-May to kick off a multi-state review of bag and size limits for gamefish on the Mississippi River between Hastings, Minn., and the Iowa border. - - The public meetings will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. as follows:

7 steps to add native plants to your yard to benefit birds, bees, butterflies and other wildlife

Wisconsin DNR Weekly News - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 12:31pm
[EDITOR'S NOTE: Join us for a Facebook Live stream from the Native Plant Fundraiser for the Endangered Resources Fund on Wednesday, May 9, via the Wisconsin DNR Facebook Page. The live video will begin around NOTE TIME CHANGE: 11:20 a.m. Make sure you're notified when we go live by clicking the "Follow" button on our Facebook page. Can't tune in? No worries! The video will be saved on our Facebook page under the "Live Videos" tab and in our feed.] - - - - MADISON -- Adding even one or two native plant species to a property, whether a city lot of hundreds of acres, can make a difference for birds, bees, butterflies and other wildlife, state conservation biologists say. They encourage gardeners to dip a toe in the water - or jump right in - this planting season by following these steps. - SLIDE SHOW | 11 photosNative Plants for Wildlife Habitat - - - Figure out what kind of soils you have, how moist or dry those soils are, what growing zone you are in, and the amount of sunlight your property receives to determine what kind of native plants will work for your area. Consider wildlife needs when creating the list of plants to include. Providing multiple species in flower throughout the growing season will allow multiple types of animals -- birds, bees, butterflies and more -- to use your garden. Plants with open, bowl-like flowers are good for bees while those with more specialized flowers, like blazing stars, mints, milkweeds etc., can be good for butterflies, hummingbirds and bees. Colors also are important in attracting a variety of animals. Hummingbirds, for example, are attracted to bright flowers. Many plants in the aster family, including coneflowers, sunflowers, asters, and goldenrods, are excellent food sources for songbirds by attracting insects in the spring and providing seeds in the fall. Native shrubs such as serviceberries, dogwoods and viburnums can supply food and shelter for song birds as well. Native grasses can be used as host plants for butterflies and habitat for songbirds. Do some prep work before you put your new native plants in the ground. You'll have to remove the existing vegetation. This may be done most easily with a rototiller, although smothering the existing vegetation with mulch for up to a year is also effective and less destructive to soil. You may also spray a systemic herbicide a few weeks before planting. Amending soils may be a good idea, particularly if they are compacted. Incorporating organic materials such as compost or peat moss can battle compaction by improving water infiltration, allowing young plants to establish. Generally, it is unnecessary to fertilize native plants; fertilizing may only encourage weeds. Decide whether to use seed or plants. Plants will establish faster but cost more. Seed can be cheap but some species are difficult to establish by seed and others will not appear aboveground for a few years. Seeding is generally more effective for prairie or wetland plants, whereas woodland plantings generally require starting with plants. Favor seed and plants that are locally-sourced (generally within 50 miles to the north/south, and 100 miles east/west), open pollinated, and seed-grown, as they will more reliably support Wisconsin's native wildlife. In a prairie garden, decide what ratio of grasses to flowering plants, or "forbs," you want. Grasses can establish quickly and become abundant, so plant a greater percentage (by weight of total seed mix) of forbs. In a prairie garden, tall forbs may flop over if not supported within a matrix of grasses. Consider using a cover crop of an annual grain like oats or rye if planting a prairie garden with seed. Once the plants are in the ground, keep up the weeding, especially in the first couple seasons, to allow native plants to gain a strong foothold. Ultimately, a native plant garden can lessen the amount of time you spend watering, mowing and fertilizing your yard, but it may take a few years. - For more information on what native plants will do well in your area to support a variety of wildlife, for specific recommendations for pollinators and for birds, and where to get native plants, check out these resources:

Options for buying native plants bloom in Wisconsin -

Wisconsin DNR Weekly News - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 12:31pm
[EDITOR'S ADVISORY: This news release has been updated to correct the location for the Northern Native Plant Sale on June 2.  It will be in Bayfield. ]MADISON -- May is planting time and adding even a few native plants to your property can help increase habitat for native birds, bees, butterflies and other wildlife. - - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Wisconsin Native Plants [PDF] publication lists native plants that will do well in Wisconsin's different regions and its last page links to specific guides for plants to benefit pollinators, birds and more.

Public comments sought on re-issuance of wetland and waterway general permit for utility projects

Wisconsin DNR Weekly News - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 12:31pm
MADISON -- The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources seeks public comment on a proposed update of a previously issued general permit for utility projects impacting wetlands and waterways. The department will hold an informational public hearing on May 10, 2018 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Room G09 at the Natural Resources State Office Building located at 101 S. Webster Street in Madison. - - The proposed updated general permit provides a streamlined process for those routine utility projects that result in minor impacts to waterways and wetlands. The updates to the permit address specific activities that utilities must perform when constructing and maintaining their facilities.

DNR is now accepting applications for Forest Fire Protection grants

Wisconsin DNR Weekly News - Tue, 05/01/2018 - 12:31pm
MADISON -- Wisconsin fire departments and county/area fire associations can now apply for Forest Fire Protection grants from the Department of Natural Resources. These grants help strengthen the ability of local fire departments and county or area fire organizations to assist the DNR forestry staff in suppression of forest fires. All applications, downloadable from the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, by searching for keywords "fire grants," are due to the DNR by July 2, 2018. This grant program provides funds for the purchase of forest fire suppression equipment and training, including: personal protective equipment, forest fire training, forest fire prevention, forest fire tools and equipment, communication equipment, dry hydrant installation, rural fire mapping and off-road, all-wheel drive, initial-attack vehicles. Successful applicants will receive a grant from the DNR that covers 50 percent of eligible costs. This program is operated as a reimbursement program, which means that fire departments and fire associations must make all purchases and pay all costs, then request reimbursement from the DNR by the reimbursement deadline.

2018 fishing opener to feature hungry walleye, pike and panfish after a late ice out

Wisconsin DNR Weekly News - Tue, 04/24/2018 - 1:52pm
- - Waters in southern two-thirds of Wisconsin are open while northern lakes are in play - MADISON - Opening day of the 2018 regular inland fishing season follows the coldest and snowiest April on record, meaning it's a pretty good bet many of anglers' favorite fish species will be hungry and ready to bite, state fisheries officials say. - - "May fifth is approaching fast, although if you live in the north you might still think we are in the middle of winter with all of the ice," says Wisconsin Fisheries Director Justine Hasz. "For those of you in southern Wisconsin the waters have been open for a few weeks and are starting to warm up nicely.

Buying a license is quick, convenient, and discounted options make it easy to invite a friend

Wisconsin DNR Weekly News - Tue, 04/24/2018 - 1:52pm
MADISON -- Buying a license is easy and convenient. All licenses are available for purchase through Go Wild, DNR Service Centers or at one of our sales locations unless otherwise noted. - - Wisconsin residents and nonresidents 16 years old or older need a fishing license to fish in any waters of the state. Residents born before Jan. 1, 1927, do not need a license and resident members of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty are entitled to obtain a free fishing license when on furlough or leave.

Application period for Wisconsin elk hunt to open May 1

Wisconsin DNR Weekly News - Tue, 04/24/2018 - 1:52pm
- - - - MADISON - As anticipation and excitement build around Wisconsin's first managed elk hunt in state history taking place this fall, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources announced that the elk hunting license application period will open May 1. - - Wisconsin's First Elk Hunt - - "The most common question I've been asked is how many people we expect to apply for a tag," said DNR deer and elk ecologist Kevin Wallenfang. "With 600,000 deer hunters and over 120,000 people applying for bear tags each year, a chance to pursue yet another great big game animal in Wisconsin is going to be very appealing for a lot of hunters. We encourage everyone to throw their name in the hat to be one of five lucky people with an opportunity to hunt elk come October."

CDACs consider prolonged winter when making final recommendations for 2018 deer season

Wisconsin DNR Weekly News - Tue, 04/24/2018 - 1:52pm
MADISON - As more snow hits northern Wisconsin and local concerns rise about its impact on the deer herd, County Deer Advisory Councils (CDAC) are wrapping up their portion of the annual antlerless harvest quota-setting process for the 2018 deer season. - - While winter 2018 will not go down in history as one of the more severe winters on record, it has stubbornly persisted, reminiscent of 2014 when ice still covered northern lakes for the spring fishing opener in May. Councils take winter data into account, and this has led several to recommend reduced antlerless harvest quotas, compared to original recommendations in March.

Admire raccoon kits from afar - mom is near!

Wisconsin DNR Weekly News - Tue, 04/24/2018 - 1:52pm
MADISON - Despite the snow on the ground, spring is here and mammals and birds are busy raising inexperienced young. - - State wildlife officials remind everyone that the best way to enjoy Wisconsin's wildlife is from a distance. Raccoon young, called kits, are born sightless but are capable of walking, climbing and running when they are 6-8 weeks old. If you see raccoon kits, their mother is likely nearby even though you don't see her.

Volunteers triple the number of rare plant populations checked

Wisconsin DNR Weekly News - Tue, 04/24/2018 - 1:52pm
One rare bloom last reported near Boscobel in 1884 MADISON - A rare, beautiful blue bloom last reported in Boscobel in 1884, a tripling in the number of rare plant populations checked on, and a decline in statewide populations of the delicate lady's slipper orchid are among discoveries made by volunteers and shared in the recently released Rare Plant Monitoring Program annual report for 2017 [PDF] (exit DNR). - - The volunteers, trained by Department of Natural Resources Rare Plant Monitoring Program coordinator Kevin Doyle, are deployed to check up on many of the 5,000 reported populations of Wisconsin's rarest plants.

Wisconsin celebrates trees and forests this week

Wisconsin DNR Weekly News - Tue, 04/24/2018 - 1:52pm
MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker issued a proclamation recognizing Friday, April 27, 2018 as Arbor Day in Wisconsin and April 22-28, 2018 as Forest Appreciation Week. Arbor Day is an annual observance celebrating the role of trees and forests in our lives and promotes tree planting and care. Wisconsin has celebrated Arbor Day on the last Friday of April since 1883. - - Tree planting is fun for forest stewards of all ages - especially on Arbor Day.Photo credit: DNR - - "Wisconsin's urban and rural forests all serve a vital role in the economy, environment and culture of our local communities and the state as a whole," said Jeff Roe, urban forestry team leader at the Department of Natural Resources. "The investments by individual homeowners and forest landowners are key to ensuring Wisconsin continues to have healthy and sustainable urban and rural forests for future generations to enjoy."

Wisconsin Waterfowl Association installs nest boxes for ducks at Jackson Marsh Wildlife Area

Wisconsin DNR Weekly News - Tue, 04/24/2018 - 1:52pm
WEST BEND, Wis. - Local conservationists are making a difference for wildlife at Jackson Marsh Wildlife Area. - - Tim Thielke, Jim Freck, Al Klug and Dennis Guttman adopted Jackson Marsh through Adopt-a-Wildlife-Area.Photo credit: DNR - - On April 7, Tim Thielke, Jim Freck, Al Klug and Dennis Guttmann of the Wisconsin Waterfowl Association held a work day to install six wood duck boxes and six mallard hen houses on the property.

Spring walleye fishing tips from a longtime fish manager

Wisconsin DNR Weekly News - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 1:02pm
MADISON - Walleye will be high on anglers' target list when the regular fishing season opens May 5. It's a good bet many anglers will be stalking ol' marble eyes whether from a boat, shore, or they may even need tip-ups in the still frozen northern lakes. - - Steve Gilbert, a longtime fisheries manager and now a fisheries supervisor in northern Wisconsin, shares his walleye fishing tips. He displays a 27.9 inch walleye he caught on the Peshtigo River in 2016. Photo credit: contributed - - Longtime fisheries manager and supervisor Steve Gilbert shares his walleye fishing tips honed over three decades of fishing for the species and managing walleye populations in northern Wisconsin.

Hundreds of walleye waters will offer great fishing in 2018

Wisconsin DNR Weekly News - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 1:02pm
MADISON - Anglers in Wisconsin will likely find far more walleye waters to fish than they'll have time to visit in 2018. - - "Walleye are found naturally in our larger lakes and rivers and Wisconsin represents the heart of North American walleye distribution," says Justine Hasz, Wisconsin's Fisheries Director.

Still time to donate to the Endangered Resources Fund

Wisconsin DNR Weekly News - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 1:02pm
Help Wisconsin bats and over 700 rare species and State Natural Areas - - MADISON - International Bat Appreciation Day is today, April 17, and one easy way to show appreciation for Wisconsin's native bats is to donate to the Endangered Resources Fund. - - "Donors to the Endangered Resources Fund provide critical support for Wisconsin's native species and State Natural Areas that make Wisconsin a special place," says Drew Feldkirchner, director of DNR's Natural Heritage Conservation Program. "If you didn't get a chance to donate on your Wisconsin income tax form, you can donate online at any time."

Wisconsin-grown trees and shrub seedlings still available for spring 2018 planting

Wisconsin DNR Weekly News - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 1:02pm
MADISON -- The Spring 2018 Reforestation Program seedling sales are still in full swing. While the weather hampered some of our harvesting efforts, we have been busy at the Wilson State Nursery in Boscobel, lifting, grading and preparing seedlings for distribution to the landowners and managers of the states forestlands. - - "The seedlings grown at the state nurseries are high-quality native species grown from seed harvested in Wisconsin," Joe Vande Hey, Reforestation team leader, said. "Planting these Wisconsin-grown trees and shrubs is a great way to improve wildlife habitat, increase the value of the land, reduce soil erosion, improve overall aesthetics and possibly generate income for the landowner."

2018 revision to the Broad Incidental Take Permit and Authorization for activities with no or low impact to endangered resources in Wisconsin

Wisconsin DNR Weekly News - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 1:02pm
MADISON -- The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources proposes to revise the Broad Incidental Take Permit and Authorization for No and Low Impact Activities. A number of activities that have no or low impact on endangered or threatened plants and animals are covered by this broad incidental take permit and authorization. Incidental take refers to the unintentional loss of individual endangered or threatened animals or plants that does not put the overall population of the species at risk. - - The Broad Incidental Take Permit and Authorization for No and Low Impact Activities was originally approved in 2013 and has been revised on an annual basis. This 2018 revision will serve to include new no and low impact activities and to update the transportation section for consistency with other sections of the permit.

Stocking of 740,000 catchable size trout underway to provide more fishing opportunities

Wisconsin DNR Weekly News - Tue, 04/10/2018 - 1:49pm
MADISON - Stocking trucks are rolling from state fish hatcheries now and will deliver about 740,000 catchable-size trout to inland waters in time for opening day of the 2018 regular inland trout season. - - Catchable-size trout provide a variety of angling opportunities.

Ecologists ask for public's help in reporting occupied bald eagle nests in southeastern Wisconsin

Wisconsin DNR Weekly News - Tue, 04/10/2018 - 1:49pm
MADISON - State ecologists conducting aerial surveys for occupied bald eagle nests this spring are asking for the public's help in locating nests in southeastern Wisconsin. - - Bald eagles are on their nests in southern Wisconsin, including this one along the Lower Wisconsin Riverway in the Spring Green Area, and DNR aerial surveys for occupied nests are underway. Photo credit: Michael Balfanz - - The discovery last year of a bald eagle nest in Kenosha County leaves Milwaukee and Walworth counties as the only remaining counties with no confirmed active bald eagle nests, though conservation biologists believe it is only a matter of time before the nation's symbol sets up housekeeping there too.