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Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

February 1997

Readers Write

Learning 'Bout Bears

I just finished reading Dave Weitz's October story, Bear Raising Experience. It's articles like this that help us enjoy Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine from cover to cover.

A few years ago I was invited to join Wildlife Manager Mike Gappa on a bear-tagging experience in northern Clark County. A hibernating sow was tranquilized in her den. She and her three cubs were weighed, measured and sampled for further study. The visitors present were impressed with Mike's knowledge and his interest in sharing pertinent facts. Among other things, we learned that the sow does not defecate or urinate in her den during hibernation, yet she still nurses the cubs and keeps them healthy.

Mike was an excellent instructor and a true credit to his profession. Your article brought that across very well.

Bud Meyer
Wild Rose

Overall Happy

I thought the October issue was one of the very best I have received, and I've been reading this magazine a LONG time. I was born on my grandfather's farm in the Town of Bridge Creek, Eau Claire County in 1916.

Verne C. Gilbertson
Ontario, Calif.

Future Wolves

To continue wolf discussions, my biggest objection to wolf recovery is anticipating what problems may occur 20 to 30 years from now. The problems caused by a large number of wolves in Minnesota (now more than 2,200) are immense. A lot of people believe this is way too many and there should be a hunting and trapping season. In fact, the Minnesota Legislature passed such laws years ago but a federal judge ruled these seasons could not take place under the Endangered Species Act. What saves this situation from public revolt is that wolves were downgraded to "threatened species," and wolves that have proven to kill livestock can be destroyed.

Now, the animal rights and wolf-loving protestors are interfering with federal trappers as they do their best to deal with livestock losses. When the long overdue hunting and trapping seasons are finally set up, you can be sure protestors will fight this in court. I sense this is what we will also be up against in Wisconsin 20-30 years from now.

What does DNR care about this? I think they believe the bigger the wolf problem, the more wolf-related jobs will be created. That's the way it is in Minnesota. I think their pro basketball team should have been named the Minnesota Fools instead of the Timber Wolves – that's what wolves are making of them.

Lawrence Krak

More Fish Art

The article on fish printing (August 1996) was enjoyable. I am aware of another form of fish scale art that a few readers might like to try. The 60 flowers and five butterflies crafted into this wreath were made by painting fish scales and gluing them to wires and springs. Each petal was carefully cut, serrated, bent and twisted to form flowers. A woman in my neighborhood recalls friends of her grandparents who formed such art in the late 1800s. They were the fisherfolk of Jones Island in Milwaukee. They crafted scales into intricate pansies, daisies, violets, carnations and even Japanese lanterns. Minute stamens and pistils made the crafts appear very authentic.

Raymond E. Johnson
Hales Corners

Old Hunts

Just a note regarding your fine article on bow hunting. I hunted deer from 1924 until a few years ago. I still enjoy deer hunting, but now I use a camera to respect my 90+ years.

If memory serves me correctly, there were no deer hunters using rifles in Vilas County in 1931. Those were the days when deer hunting was a biannual event – we only hunted in even-numbered years until laws changed in 1937. That year a three-day hunt opened. So in 1931, the few bow hunters would have had the woods to themselves.

Melvin Guenther


As field biologists and botanists continue to inventory plants and animals across the state, they find pockets of rare, native species worth preserving. These field census work documents both the number and distribution of these rare species. Species whose future appears to be jeopardized can be proposed for protection as "state endangered species;" animals and plants which seem likely to become endangered in the future can be listed as "state threatened species" and afforded some protection.

The following species have been proposed for state listing:

Proposed removal from the endangered or threatened status because their number have grown sufficiently:

  • bald eagle (Halieetus leucocephalus)
  • Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis)

Proposed change from threatened to endangered because their numbers continue to dwindle, despite protection:

  • swamp metalmark butterfly (Calephelis mutica)
  • red-necked grebe (Podiceps grisegna)
  • regal fritillary butterfly (Speyeria idalia)

Proposed change from endangered to threatened because their numbers show slow recovery:

  • pygmy snaketail dragonfly (Ophiogomphus howei)

Animals proposed for addition as state endangered species:

  • red-tailed prairie leafhopper (Aflexia rubanura)
  • snowy egret (Egretta thula)
  • black redhorse (fish) (Moxostoma duquensnei)
  • St. Croix snaketail dragonfly (Ophiogomphus susbehcha)
  • warpaint emerald dragonfly (Somatochlora incurvata)
  • Hine's emerald dragonfly (Somatochlora hineana)
  • Lake Huron locust (Trimerotropis huroniana)

Animals proposed for addition as state threatened species:

  • spatterdock darner dragonfly (Aeshna mutata)
  • Henslow's sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii)
  • yellow rail (Cotunrnicops noveboracensis)
  • spruce grouse (Dendragapus canadensis)
  • a prairie leafhopper (Polyamia dilata)
  • Butler's gartersnake (Thammnophis butleri)

Plants proposed for addition as state threatened species:

  • prairie moonwort (Botrychium campestre)
  • smooth-sheathed sedge (Carex laevivaginata)
  • Schweinitz's sedge (Carex schweinitzil)
  • neat spike-rush (Eleocharis nitida)
  • wolf spike-rush (Eleocharis wolfii)
  • fly honeysuckle (Lonicera involucrata)
  • mat muhly (Muhlenbergia richardsonis)
  • Louisiana broomrape (Orobanche ludoviciana)
  • western Jacob's ladder (Polemonium occidentale ssp. lacustre)
  • Lapland buttercup (Ranunculus lapponicus)
  • Satiny willow (Salix pellita)
  • fire pink (Silene virginica)
  • purple false oats (Trisetum melicoides)

Plants proposed for additioned as state threatened species:

  • dwarf milkweed (Asclepias ovalifolia)
  • large water starwort (Callitriche heterophylla)
  • cliff cudweed (Gnaphalium saxicola)
  • flat-leaved willow (Salix planifolia)
  • plains ragwort (Senecio indecorus)
  • snowy campion (Silene nivea)
  • clustered bur reed (Sparganium glomeratum)

Plants changing from endangered to threatened because their numbers show slow recovery:

  • seaside crowfoot (Ranunculus cymbalaria)
  • tussock bulrush (Scirpus cespitosus)

Proposed removal from endangered or threatened status because populations of this plan specie are more widespread than previously noted:

  • New England violet (Viola novae-angliae)