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NEWS ARCHIVE:     Age: 607 days

Special Natural Resources Board Edition Published - February 24, 2016 by the Central Office

 

Natural Resources Board approves rules to modernize licenses

MADISON, Wis. - A package of rules aimed at modernizing the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' customer service licensing system gained approval Wednesday from the Natural Resources Board.

If approved by Gov. Scott Walker, the rules will modify use of carcass tags for some species and facilitate use of the new "Go Wild" licensing system, which is a combination paperless and plain paper system. Under the new rules, DNR will continue to contract with more than 1,000 vendors statewide, offer sales at DNR Service Centers and provide for online purchases through a new website - GoWild.Wi.Gov. Phone sales, however, will be discontinued.

"The changes make it easier and quicker for people to get out and Go Wild without having to wait for regular retail hours or for a license to arrive by mail," said Mark Rappe, of DNR's bureau of customer and outreach services. "The new Go Wild licensing system secures licensing and registration information electronically and provides several methods of proof. These include the optional personal conservation card, a validated Wisconsin driver's license, a plain paper copy or display on a mobile device."

Implementation of the new system is part of a broader Go Wild campaign that encourages people to head outdoors and enjoy the numerous recreational opportunities made possible by the sound management of Wisconsin's natural resources. Rappe said GoWild.WI.Gov also acts as a portal to help plan adventures that make the most of Wisconsin's great outdoors. The site links to information on hunting and fishing opportunities, Wisconsin's unparalleled network of state parks, trails and natural areas and a variety of maps.

No fee increases are planned as part of the upgrade. License options will include hunting licenses, fishing licenses, Conservation Patron licenses and boat, snowmobile, ATV and UTV registration renewals.

In addition to eliminating the old thermal paper licenses, the Go Wild system will change the way carcass tags are handled. Customers who purchase a license, either at a vendor or at home, will be able to print out a paper copy of their harvest permits, such as turkey or goose. The permits will have information and additional space for validation.

The rules approved by the Natural Resources board retain the requirement to immediately validate the carcass tag upon harvest, but do not require the validated tag to be attached to some species such as deer, bear, wild turkey, sharp-tailed grouse and sturgeon as long as the hunter is with the carcass. This allows a hunter to keep the validated carcass tag in a pocket while removing game from the woods or water to help reduce loss or damage of the paper carcass tags.

Durable tags remain for some limited-draw species such as bobcat, fisher and otter, and these species also carry the requirement to attach the carcass tag immediately upon recovery and register in-person.

Also under the new rules, a person may obtain a reprint, which is a printed hard-copy of the original hunting, trapping or fishing approval or safety certificate. With the ability to reprint products from the convenience of your home, there is no need to drive to a license agent to purchase a duplicate if you lose your license or carcass tags.

The new Go Wild system will launch in March. During the current transition period, customers who wish to purchase products such as fishing licenses or a snowmobile trail pass must place their purchases at a DNR service center or call the customer service line and purchase products over the phone at 1-888-WDNRINFo (1-888-936-7463).

To learn more, visit DNR.Wi.Gov and search "Go Wild."

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State Natural Resources Board approves second phase of DNR land sales

MADISON - The state Natural Resources Board approved the second phase of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources land sales at its Feb. 24 meeting in Madison.

Phase two parcels were made available for public review in August 2015 and sent to the board in early February 2016 for final review. In all, 81 parcels, totaling 5,633 acres received final approved for sale - the board removed one parcel from phase two sales and reclassified five parcels. For more information, visit dnr.wi.gov, keywords "land sales" and select the button labeled "parcels for review and sale."

State law directed the Natural Resources Board to offer 10,000 acres of land for sale by June 30, 2017 - proceeds from these land sales will repay outstanding public debt related to the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship program. The department currently owns approximately 1,517,454 acres in fee title ownership and 300,267 acres in easements. The sale of 10,000 acres represents less than one percent of the department's total land ownership.

To date, 18 of 22 phase one parcels have been marketed, resulting in 11 sales totaling 394 acres and generating approximately $637,000 in sale proceeds.

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Wisconsin Natural Resources Board accepts donation for Lake Michigan coastal research

MADISON, Wis. - The Wisconsin Natural Resources Board on Wednesday accepted a $51,000 donation from the Natural Resources Foundation to conduct a comprehensive coastal assessment of the factors contributing to shoreline erosion and reduced water quality along a 4.2 mile stretch of Lake Michigan shoreline in Kenosha County.

Cathy Stepp, DNR Secretary accepts $51,000 gift from the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin represented by Camille Zanoni, Director of Development.
Cathy Stepp, DNR Secretary accepts $51,000 gift from the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin represented by Camille Zanoni, Director of Development.
Photo Credit: WDNR

The research area covers the city of Kenosha's Southport Park Beach and includes properties owned by the city of Kenosha Wastewater Plant, WE Energies and village of Pleasant Prairie as well as the Chiwaukee Prairie State Natural area, which last year was designated as a wetland of international importance. Steve Galarneau, director of DNR's Office of Great Lakes, said among other issues, the assessment will help identify the causal factors that affect shoreline erosion, water quality, and inter-related issues along this section of shoreline.

The project aims to develop a framework that sets priorities for implementing proposed improvements and, where possible, incorporates natural erosion protection. DNR will conduct the work in partnership with UW-Madison's College of Engineering. Funding for the project originated through a competitive grant awarded to the Natural Resources Foundation by the Fund for Lake Michigan.

"The support from partners including the Fund for Lake Michigan and the Natural Resources Foundation is absolutely essential to projects like this," said DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp. "We anticipate results from this groundbreaking work will inform best practices for managing erosion in a number of locations along the Lake Michigan shoreline. We're grateful for the continued support for this important work."

Galarneau said the coastal assessment will result in a consensus plan and implementation strategy for water quality improvement and shoreline restoration along this stretch of shoreline. The benefits are expected to include improved public beach water quality and public access, understanding of the coast's sediment volume, restored natural shoreline processes, recommended design of coastal structures and beaches and prevention of future problems. The state-of-the art methodologies employed in the project could be applied to additional Great Lakes coastal areas.

To learn more about Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, visit DNR.wi.gov and search "Great Lakes."

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City of Columbus awarded 21st annual Laboratory of the Year award

MADISON - The Department of Natural Resources has recognized the City of Columbus as the 2016 Registered Laboratory of the Year. The award is presented annually to recognize laboratories for their outstanding commitment to producing high quality data.

From left to right: Cathy Stepp - DNR Secretary, Kevin Neu - Operator, John Nehmer - Head Operator, Ryan Hoffman - Operator
From left to right: Cathy Stepp - DNR Secretary, Kevin Neu - Operator, John Nehmer - Head Operator, Ryan Hoffman - Operator
Photo Credit: WDNR

Laboratories such as the Columbus Wastewater Treatment Plant, perform the vital function of monitoring the quality of treated water discharged into the environment assuring that it meets all applicable standards for protecting public health and natural resources.

"Getting good results and resolving problems when they do come up are obviously a source of pride for City of Columbus lab staff," said Steve Geis, DNR Environmental Science Services section chief.

There are currently 362 laboratories in the state that provide chemistry data to DNR to ensure protection of the environment.

The Columbus treatment plant lab is under the leadership of Lead Operator John Nehmer, and Plant Operators Kevin Neu and Ryan Hoffman.

"I learned a great deal from previous operators and have passed that knowledge along. They are to thank as are City management personnel, who allow us to keep our lab equipment up to date with modern reliable instruments," said John Nehmer, City of Columbus lead operator.

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Read more: Previous Weekly News

Last Revised: Wednesday, February 24, 2016

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