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10675 Big Arbor Vitae Dr
Arbor Vitae WI 54568

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Wisconsin DNR Weekly News

Syndicate content Wisconsin DNR Weekly News
Weekly News from the Wisconsin DNR Web Site.
Updated: 17 min 28 sec ago

Preliminary 2017 bobcat harvest information now available

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 12:38pm
- - MADISON - Hunters and trappers harvested 548 bobcats in Wisconsin, according to preliminary harvest data for the 2017-18 bobcat seasons. Preliminary data combines both state and tribal harvest information, and final harvest information should be available by mid-June. With the addition of the southern management zone, 2017 marks the fourth year of statewide bobcat harvest. - BobcatPhoto credit: DNR - Bobcat harvest is divided by northern and southern management zones. In 2017, the harvest goal for the northern zone was 550 and the harvest goal for the southern zone was 200 for a total harvest goal of 750 bobcats statewide. Both zones saw harvest goal increases for the 2017 season, with a substantial increase in the northern zone.

New fisher and otter management zones in effect for the 2018-19 trapping season

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 12:38pm
MADISON - Wisconsin trappers will observe a change to the number and configuration of fisher and river otter management zones for the 2018-19 season. New, simplified zones are now identical for fisher, otter and bobcat. - - Wisconsin is now divided into two fisher and otter management zones, split by HWY 64.Photo credit: DNR - - Previously, Wisconsin was divided into six fisher zones and three otter zones. The number of fisher zones made population data collection and analysis challenging, and two of the six zones were without management goals or population models. For otter, the central and southern zone seasons and permit levels were similar enough for the zones to be merged into one, while the northern zone remains unchanged.

Updated 2017 Wisconsin wildlife reports now available

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 12:38pm
MADISON - Results are available for a number of wildlife surveys completed during the second half of 2017, which include data collected from small game, big game, waterfowl and non-game categories. - - The following reports for 2017 are viewable on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website at, by searching keyword "reports."

Free Fun Weekend is June 2-3

Tue, 05/15/2018 - 1:08pm
Free fishing and free admission to state parks and trails among offerings - - MADISON - Free Fun Weekend is June 2 and 3 in Wisconsin, so save the date and get ready to get outdoors. - - On June 2 and 3, Wisconsin residents and visitors can fish for free, hike or bike state trails for free, enjoy free admission to state parks and forests and ride public ATV trails for free.

"Universe in the Park" returns for its 22nd season to Wisconsin State Park System properties

Tue, 05/15/2018 - 1:08pm
First sessions May 26 at Blue Mound and Kohler-Andrae state parksMADISON - Visitors to Wisconsin State Park System properties will have more opportunities than ever to view and learn about the night sky by participating in the "Universe in the Park" outreach program conducted by students and staff of the Department of Astronomy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This year students will be putting on 54 program at 25 different properties starting May 26 and running through Oct. 13 - - "Universe in the Park," (exit DNR) which began in 1996, is predicated on the idea that the best environment in which to enjoy astronomy is outside under dark skies, according to Prof. Eric M. Wilcots, who coordinates the program.

Public meetings set for the draft Northern Lake Michigan Coastal regional master plan

Tue, 05/15/2018 - 1:08pm
Public comment period open through June 12 - - STURGEON BAY, Wis. - The public will have an opportunity at two open house meetings and through a comment period to provide input on a draft master plan for Department of Natural Resources lands in Door and Oconto counties and parts of Marinette and Shawano counties. The draft Northern Lake Michigan Coastal regional master plan establishes the level and type of resource management and public use permitted on these department-managed properties. - - Whitefish Dunes State Park is one of the properties included in the Northern Lake Michigan Coastal regional master plan.Photo credit: DNR - - State-owned lands covered by this master plan include state parks--five on the Door Peninsula--as well as State Natural Areas and numerous wildlife and fisheries areas. The state parks covered by this plan include Rock Island, Newport, Peninsula, Whitefish Dunes, Potawatomi, Grand Traverse Island and Copper Culture Mounds.

Helpful tips can help Wisconsin homeowners avoid potential conflicts with black bears

Tue, 05/15/2018 - 1:08pm
MADISON - Black bears have begun to emerge from their dens throughout Wisconsin and homeowners are encouraged to take precautions to avoid potential conflicts. - - Black bears normally avoid contact with people, but when food sources are available bears can quickly learn to associate humans with food. - - "Bear are opportunistic feeders and will take advantage of available food sources," said Brad Koele, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources wildlife damage specialist. "Bird feeders, garbage cans, grills, and uncontained compost or pet food left outside can be targets for hungry bears - it's important to make these attractants inaccessible to bear at all times of the year but particularly in the spring time when natural food sources are limited."

Natural Resources Board to meet May 23 in Madison

Tue, 05/15/2018 - 1:08pm
- - MADISON - A request for approval of antlerless deer harvest quotas, antlerless permit levels and a deer hunting season framework for 2018 and a request for an easement purchase of more than 20,000 acres in Sawyer county are among the items the state Natural Resources Board will address when it meets May 23 in Madison. - - The board will convene at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 23, in Room G09 of the State Natural Resources Building (GEF 2), 101 S. Webster St., Madison.

Wisconsin State Parks encouraging visitors to get active and stay healthy with new OutWiGo initiative

Tue, 05/08/2018 - 12:17pm
- - MADISON - Wisconsin State Parks are kicking off a new initiative called OutWiGo -- pronounced "Out-We-Go" to promote good health through the great outdoors. People looking to get moving, get motivated or just get outside will be encouraged throughout the year to visit a Wisconsin State Park System property to participate in outdoor activities with the goal of improving their overall health and wellness. - - Wisconsin State Parks are encouraging people to stay fit and healthy in the outdoors.Photo credit: DNR - - "Wisconsin State Parks provide a lot of great opportunities to get outside, recreate and be healthy," said Ben Bergey, Wisconsin State Parks director. "What makes our parks extra special is they offer something for everyone. Visitors can head out for a hike, dust off the bike, kick back in a kayak, or hit the brakes and soak in the beauty."

White-nose syndrome continues to ravage cave bat populations

Tue, 05/08/2018 - 12:17pm
- - - Gains - made in treatment, vaccine research will help surviving bats and other states - - MADISON - Winter cave and mine surveys in 2018 show that white-nose syndrome continues to ravage Wisconsin's cave bats and the steep loss of these beneficial insect-eaters is likely to be seen this summer in nighttime skies, state endangered resources officials say. - - "We're still seeing new sites with infection and bigger declines in the numbers of bats we're surveying in winter," says J. Paul White, Wisconsin Bat Program lead with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Pepin County was added to the list of those with hibernacula infected with the disease.

Enjoy the flood of migratory birds at your feeder, festivals and birding hotspots

Tue, 05/08/2018 - 12:17pm
- MADISON - Millions of migratory birds have flooded into Wisconsin in the last week and more are on their way, so bird lovers will want to grab their binoculars and get ready for the big show. - - "The next two weeks are going to be awesome," says Ryan Brady, a conservation biologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and bird monitoring coordinator for the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative. "Migration is catching up thanks to warm south winds. We're getting birds around the time they'd normally be here."

Pope and Young Club to hold archery rendezvous at MacKenzie Center June 8-10

Tue, 05/08/2018 - 12:17pm
- POYNETTE, Wis. - The 2018 Pope and Young Club Bowhunters Rendezvous will be held June 8-10 at the MacKenzie Center in Poynette. - - The Rendezvous will begin at 9 a.m. June 8 and run through 5 p.m. June 10. This event is a family-oriented bowhunters' shooting event and social gathering that is great for all ages and skill levels.

DNR highlights successes during Clean Air Month this May

Tue, 05/08/2018 - 12:17pm
- - MADISON - Throughout the month of May, the Department of Natural Resources is highlighting clean air successes and reminding citizens that DNR is committed to clean air in Wisconsin. - - Clean Air Month is held annually each May to recognize positive trends in air quality in Wisconsin. The DNR's Air Program provides information about air quality, tips for reducing air emissions and links for signing up for air quality notices.

2018 Wisconsin Volunteer Stream Monitoring award recipients announced

Tue, 05/08/2018 - 12:17pm
- - STEVENS POINT, Wis. -- The University of Wisconsin-Extension and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources recognized individuals and organizations for their efforts leading to increased participation in stream monitoring, collecting stream data, and sharing their knowledge and data with awards presented recently at the Water Action Volunteers Symposium in Stevens Point. - - Stream monitoring award recipients and program staff attending the event included (from left): Patricia Cicero accepting for Jaime Weigel; DNR Monitoring Section Chief Tim Asplund; John Zehren and Joe Fritsch, Southern Brown Conservation Club; John Delaney, Valley Stewardship Network; Bob Jozwowski, Central Wisconsin Trout Unlimited; Bill and Debbi Hiller; Jean Abreau; Ilana Haimes, DNR Water Action Volunteers Coordinator; Peggy Compton, UW-Extension Coordinator for Water Action Volunteers.Photo credit: Doug Moore - Outstanding Organization: Central Wisconsin Trout Unlimited Riverkeepers

More lakes opening up in time for fishing season opening day

Tue, 05/01/2018 - 12:31pm
Get a line on regional conditions from DNR regional fisheries supervisors - MADISON - More northern Wisconsin waters are opening up in time for the May 5 inland fishing season opener and walleye are likely to have finished spawning in many places and ready to put on the feedbag, state fisheries officials say."It's been a long winter. Time to get outdoors and have some fun," says Justine Hasz, Wisconsin's fisheries director.

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

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

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 -

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

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

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,, 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.