MADISON - During the first three years of Wisconsin's electronics recycling program, households and schools have taken nearly 100 million pounds of old TVs, computers and other electronics to registered collection sites, keeping harmful materials out of landfills and putting valuable resources to new and productive uses.
"This is an impressive figure," says Brad Wolbert, recycling and solid waste section chief for the Department of Natural Resources. "It shows Wisconsinites' commitment to doing the right thing when it comes to their old electronics."
In 2010, Wisconsin's electronics recycling law banned many consumer electronics from landfills and incinerators and created a manufacturer-funded program, called E-Cycle Wisconsin, aimed at helping collect and recycle used electronics. During E-Cycle Wisconsin's most recent program year, participating collectors took in 39.1 million pounds of electronics, or about 6.8 pounds per capita -- one of the highest collection rates in the country.
"Electronics recycling supports the local economy, and it's much cheaper and more convenient for Wisconsin residents than it used to be," says Wolbert. "With the recycling options that exist today, it's unfortunate that a few people are still putting electronics in the trash."
Wolbert said a recent DNR survey showed that landfill and transfer station operators still see electronics arrive at their facilities in trash loads daily or weekly. While the amount has decreased significantly since the electronics disposal ban took effect, recyclable materials are still being buried in landfills.
According to E-Cycle Wisconsin's recent annual report, recyclers in Wisconsin and nearby states process almost all of the electronics collected under the program. Nearly all of the metal, plastic and other materials in electronics can be separated and recycled into new products. Many electronics recyclers have opened new facilities, expanded existing facilities, added shifts or hired new employees as a result of the increased volume of electronics being collected.
There are now more than 400 permanent electronics collection points in the state, many of which accept items for free or a small charge. The number of registered collection sites has increased 70 percent since E-Cycle Wisconsin began in January 2010.
"As we buy new TVs, tablets and other devices this holiday season, it's important to remember that old electronics can have a valuable future once they leave the house and should not be put in the trash," Wolbert says. "Electronics collectors around the state are ready to accept old electronics when new ones arrive under the tree."
The annual report and a list of collection sites by county is available by searching keyword "E-Cycle" on the DNR website.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Sarah Murray, 608-264-6001.
MADISON - During this year's holiday season, people can help the environment and their pocketbooks by taking a few simple recycling and waste reduction steps.
"From recycling holiday lights and buying environmentally friendly gifts, to creative reuse of materials in decorations and gift-wrapping, the holiday season offers plenty of opportunities to reduce waste, help the environment and save money," says Elisabeth Olson, waste reduction educator for the Wisconsin Department of Natural resources.
Giving and sharing during the holiday season can add up to additional waste with extra gift wrap, extra packaging, disposable dishes, leftover food and more. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the volume of household waste increases by 25 percent between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. That's about one million extra tons of waste sent to landfills across the country each year.
For a variety of ideas for things people can do to reduce waste during the holiday season search the DNR website for "Recycling For All Seasons."
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Elisabeth Olson, 608-264-9258
MADISON - Jared Duquette will join the Department of Natural Resources - Bureau of Science Services as DNR's deer and elk research scientist, taking over coordination and guidance of DNR's ongoing multi-year deer research project into causes of death in white-tailed deer, fawn mortality and recruitment and deer population distance sampling techniques. Duquette is currently finishing a Ph.D. program at Mississippi State University and will be stationed in the department's Science Operation Center in Madison.
Duquette is a native of St. Charles, Mich., and a graduate of Central Michigan University (B.S. 2004) and Ohio State University (M.S. 2008). He has research experience in a number of areas including predator-prey relationships among white-tailed deer and wolves, coyotes, bobcats and black bear in the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Duquette says his hometown and his upbringing led to his interest in wildlife research and people.
"I credit my family for my love of wildlife and the outdoors," said Duquette. "They're big into hunting and fishing and introduced me to those sports as soon as I could walk. I grew up in a farm community where everyone was outdoors all the time. As I grew up and spent more and more time outdoors I developed a 'wonderment' about how things worked and why wildlife do the things they do. The upper Midwest is home for me, I grew up on the same latitude as Madison and I'm used to the cold and snow.
"I'm looking forward to continuing and adding to the excellent work the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is doing to communicate and work with hunters and citizens and to switching from the largely academic work I've been doing for the past couple of years while completing my Ph.D. to on-the-ground agency work."
Duquette also has research experience with Wisconsin's other iconic mammal - the badger. While working on his master's degree at Ohio State he collaborated with the Ohio Division of Wildlife on a badger project. The division had been receiving an increased number of badger sightings and wanted to know if it was coincidental or if populations were actually increasing.
"I've always felt it was important to communicate and work with people including those with limited exposure or knowledge of wildlife and the outdoors," says Duquette. "I'm not a behind-the-desk guy at heart. I'm really looking forward to working with hunters, landowners and the public on the research projects the department has underway and contributing to our common goals."
In his free time, Duquette hunts waterfowl and deer, volunteers in his community and plays a little guitar and harmonica.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Karl Martin, wildlife and forestry research section chief, 608-224-7138
MADISON - Wisconsin wildlife researchers are moving into the third winter season of a five-year study into the causes of death in white-tailed deer, and they are again seeking volunteers to assist with this groundbreaking study.
A wealth of data have already been collected thanks to the help of hundreds of volunteers who have helped with the capture and radio-collaring of adult deer during December and January, according to Mike Watt, the Department of Natural Resources research scientist who coordinates the project.
Volunteers are needed again and can sign up online by searching for "deer research" and clicking on the link for "wildlife and forestry research" and then selecting the "get involved" tab. or by contacting Mike Watt at 608-221-6376 or by email email@example.com.
"For a hunter or for anyone interested in whitetail deer this is a fantastic opportunity to work alongside wildlife biologists and research scientists," Watt said. "Volunteers are asked to give at a minimum a full day in the field checking traps, taking blood and parasite samples, performing ultrasound exams to see if the does are pregnant, installing radio collars and ear tags and releasing the animals. This is hands-on work with live animals and for most, is a once in a lifetime experience."
There are two study areas, one in northwest Wisconsin in the vicinity of Winter and one in east central Wisconsin in the vicinity of Shiocton. They were chosen for the northern forest and farmland habitat types they represent. For more information on early research findings search the DNR website for "Wisconsin deer research news [PDF]."
Volunteers have helped researchers capture adult deer during the past two winter capture seasons. A variety of capture methods are used including drop nets, box traps and net traps. The radio collars alert researchers that the deer wearing the collar has died. Researchers then locate the dead animal and attempt to determine the cause of death.
"Determining causes of death in deer is vital to the accuracy of our deer population estimates," Watt said "In addition to deer harvested by hunters we have a suite of predators in Wisconsin, including black bears, bobcats, coyotes, and gray wolves, that may have some impact on deer. What we are less certain of are the relative roles that each of these predators plays in deer survival.
"Hunters are encouraged to treat these deer like any other deer in the woods, ignoring a collar or ear tag and shooting if they would normally shoot it or pass on it that is something they would normally do based on their personal hunting practices.
"The data gathered though this project will be used in fine tuning deer survival and recruitment estimates in a variety of habitats and will also better define the roles played by hunters, predators, environment and habitat in the causes of death among deer in Wisconsin," he said. "Having a better understanding of these factors will help biologists in determining harvest recommendations and ultimately season structures."
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Mike Watt (608) 221-6376
CLEVELAND - Lake Michigan anglers and others have until Dec. 17, 2012, to submit ideas for how the state should distribute among Lake Michigan ports the chinook salmon it will be stocking in 2013 under an agreement among the states surrounding the lake.
The states and Michigan tribes agreed to adjust stocking levels to sustain great fishing on the lake by restoring the balance between game fish and their prey. Low levels of the main prey fish and strong natural reproduction by chinook in Michigan tributaries spurred the agreement to reduce chinook stocking lake wide by half. Wisconsin will lower stocking by 38 percent, sending 724,000 chinook to ports in the spring. Michigan will take a much larger cut.
"If you could not attend the Dec. 1 meeting about chinook distribution, or would like to provide additional comments to what you gave us already, we'll be accepting comments until December 17 via email, phone or letter," says Brad Eggold, DNR supervisor for southern Lake Michigan.
Comments can go to Brad Eggold, Wisconsin DNR, 600 E. Greenfield Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53204 or firstname.lastname@example.org or 414-382-7921.
Eggold and other DNR fisheries managers heard ideas on how to distribute the fish planned for stocking from anglers and others attending the Dec. 1 meeting of the Lake Michigan Fisheries Forum. The Forum is an independent group of interested stakeholders facilitated by UW-Sea Grant. DNR fisheries biologists presented information about how DNR has distributed fish in the past, along with information regarding suggestions anglers made earlier this year to factor license sales into the equation and reduce stocking in Strawberry Creek in Door County.
The materials presented at that meeting are available by searching the DNR website for "Lake Michigan Fisheries Forum" and clicking on the link for management reports." More documents will be added over coming days so check back again, Eggold says.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Brad Eggold (414) 382-7921
MADISON - A direct end-of-year donation to the Endangered Resources Fund will help preserve Wisconsin's rare plants and wildlife and provide a great gift that doesn't require assembly or charging, or clutter the house, according to Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp.
"A direct donation to the Endangered Resources Fund is a direct investment in the species and State Natural Areas that make Wisconsin so special," Stepp says. "It's a great gift for family and friends who love the outdoors. It's also a gift that keeps on giving - the donation is tax deductible for the giver and the state matches the donation amount so we can do even more together to save these natural treasures."
Private donations to the Endangered Resources Fund are critical in protecting and restoring rare species and can be applied to the species or natural area of the donor's choice.
A new "Help protect our endangered resources" feature on the DNR website links to online giving for the Natural Resources Fund and to specific funds targeted to trumpeter swan recovery, bald eagle work, and bat conservation. The web page is the final in DNR's year-long series highlighting the 40th anniversary of the state's endangered species act and includes videos, slideshows and other media.
The features tell the stories behind the successful recovery of Wisconsin species and the innovative partnerships and approaches being used to keep rare species from becoming endangered. They can be reached from DNR's home page, dnr.wi.gov, by searching for "ER 40" and clicking on the numbers if the right hand corner to reach each individual feature.
Private contributions to Wisconsin's Endangered Resources Fund also are vital for the state's and local communities' recreation opportunities and economies: fully 48 percent of Wisconsin adults 16 and over said they participated in wildlife watching activities, ranking the state third in overall participation, and resulting in $1.489 billion in direct expenditures, according to the "2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation State Overview (exit DNR)."
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Erin Crain (608) 267-7479; Kurt Thiede (608) 266-5833
MADISON -- The December issue of Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine challenges readers to get out and shoot - but with a camera this time - and participate in the Department of Natural Resources Office of the Great Lakes' Great Lakes photo contest.
"Get hooked!" casts an invitation to join in planning the future of the Driftless Area. This southwest part of the state has the highest concentration of trout waters in the Midwest. The DNR is updating its plans for the area and hosting open house meetings in 2013.
"Lake Michigan's salmon fishery thrives" describes a stocking program that has been so successful that it needs adjustments. To make those adjustments, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and states, such as Wisconsin, have been actively tagging salmon to learn more about them.
Get into the holiday spirit with a look at Wisconsin's wreath-making industry and follow directions for making your own fragrant front door decoration.
Join an author in his interpretation of eagles playing aerial tag in "Eagle tag: musings about promiscuous play, or is it something more?" Another author shares a new tradition - bow hunting on Christmas. Find out if he is successful on his try.
"Bow or gun?" asks several hunters why they grab what they do when they head to the woods. And find out what these hunters have in common.
"More than just luck of the draw" helps bear hunters understand Wisconsin's annual bear hunt permit process.
"Little worms, big consequences" relays research showing that ground-nesting birds, such as the ovenbird and hermit thrush, may be silenced by invasive earthworms.
People looking for a last minute gift idea should check out "Good winter reads and gifts," which offers a little something for everyone from books to calendars and a gift subscription to Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine.
Gypsies take center stage when "Creature Comforts" visits a Gypsy Vanner horse stable, and the "Wisconsin Traveler" column embraces the season of snow.
Remember to consider the magazine as a thoughtful, inexpensive gift that can share what you value about the outdoors with family, friends, customers and professional colleagues. Six colorful issues are delivered to reader's doors all year for less than $1.50 a copy. Year-round the magazine shares ways and place to enjoy the Wisconsin outdoors for only $8.97. Subscribe toll-free at 1-800-678-9472, online at www.wnrmag.com or by mail. Subscription blanks and single issues are also available from our circulation office at P.O. Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Natasha Kassulke at 608-261-8446.
MADISON - Wild turkey and bear hunters are reminded that they have until Monday, Dec. 10, to apply for available permits for the 2013 bear and Spring turkey seasons.
This year, spring turkey applicants will need to provide their preferred zone and time period at time of application. If applying as a group, applicants will need to provide the group leader's customer ID number at time of application as well.
Applications for Spring Wild Turkey Hunts for People with Disabilities are also due Dec. 10. This opportunity exists for disabled hunters interested in participating in a spring wild turkey hunt on private lands. Approval and participation requires a separate application and authorization form.
The drawing for turkey permits will take place in late January or early February. Permits remaining after the initial drawing for the 2013 spring turkey season will be issued for sale one zone per day on a first-come, first-served basis in late March.
The regular spring turkey season starts Apr. 10 and consists of six seven-day time periods, the last period ending May 21.
By Dec. 10, bear hunters can apply for a permit or purchase a preference point for future years. In order for bear permit applicants to retain their accumulated preference points, they must apply at least once during any three consecutive year period or they will lose all previously accumulated preference points. If a zone is selected at the time of purchase and the hunter is selected in the February drawing, their preference points will be reset to zero, even if they do not purchase the harvest permit. Winners in the drawing will be notified by mail shortly after the drawing and may purchase their 2013 Class A bear license beginning March 6.
Bear hunters are reminded that harvest permits are strictly limited, and hunters must apply for several years before receiving a permit. The number of permits available for the 2013 black bear hunt has not yet been determined.
The 2013 bear season begins Sept. 4 and runs through Oct. 8 with hound hunters starting first in most zones.
Applications for either permit drawing cost $3 and may be purchased through the Online Licensing Center on the DNR website, at all authorized license agents, at DNR Service Centers (Hours for service centers vary; check the DNR website for service center days and hours of operation; DNR Service Centers are not open on Saturdays), or by calling toll-free 1-877-LICENSE (1-877-945-4236).
Applications postmarked after the Dec. 10 deadline, or those which have been filled out incorrectly, will not be considered for the drawings. Hunters can check their preference point status by visiting the Online Licensing Center, by calling Customer Service & Licensing toll-free at 1-888-WDNRINFo (1-888-936-7463), or by contacting a local DNR Service Center.
FOR MORE INFORMATION on Spring turkey hunting: Scott Walter, Upland Wildlife Ecologist, 608-267-7861; Krista McGinley, Assistant Upland Wildlife Ecologist, 608-261-8458
FOR MORE INFORMATION on bear hunting: Kevin Wallenfang, big game specialist, 608- 261-7589; Scott Roepke, assistant big game specialist, 608-261-7588
MADISON -- Though the muzzleloader deer season ends Dec. 5, hunters still have opportunities remaining this year to harvest a deer.
Hunters statewide can participate in the antlerless hunt that runs Dec. 6 through Dec. 9. Archery hunters can continue pursuing deer during the remaining late archery season that runs through Jan.6, 2013. Finally, a Holiday Hunt takes place in Chronic Wasting Disease units of southern Wisconsin starting Dec. 24 and ending Jan. 6, 2013.
Landowners and hunters in CWD units are reminded that there is no CWD landowner hunt this year. This CWD management zone-specific hunt previously enabled landowners and landowner-designated permit holders to hunt on private land in CWD zones from January to March.
For more information on remaining bow and gun deer seasons statewide and in CWD units, please visit dnr.wi.gov and search keyword, "deer."
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer Pelej, public affairs manager, 608-264-9248
EDITOR'S ADVISORY: The DNR will host an online chat about cougars with Adrian Wydeven, carnivore ecologist, and Jane Wiedenhoeft, assistant carnivore biologist at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 5. To participate, visit the DNR home page, dnr.wi.gov, and look for the advertisement or search the phrase "ask the experts."
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Ryan Marty, Office of Communications, 608-264-8976
The Weekly News is updated every Tuesday at noon.
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