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Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

June 2005

Readers Write

In Praise of Isherwood
Thanks from Bud Jordahl
Trapping Contract
Big Chip for Generations
Magazine Should Work with Schools
Devil's Doorway Daredevil
Appreciates Wetland Protection
Foundered vs. Floundered
Novice Trout Angler
Update: Interactive Shipwrecks

In Praise of Isherwood

I have always enjoyed the beautifully written articles of Mr. Isherwood, but I think the essay, The pleasure of dead trees (December 2004) is one of the finest pieces he has ever written. Please encourage him to do this more often. All of your articles are thought provoking and well written. Keep up the good work.

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Charles Mueller

Hear, hear, for Justin Isherwood's eulogy on a tree. One's soul is rich who sees beauty in a dead tree or a gnarled jack pine.

George Ellis
Eagle River

I think this picture should have been taken when the leaves were on the other trees to show the contrast. Anyway – it's my sculpture! I hope you'll forward one picture on to Justin Isherwood and tell him his article inspired me to keep the tree up and not cut it down. Our forest is in the DNR forest management program and I'm working with Mike Sieger, the local DNR forester [in Waukesha] to regenerate a hardwood forest. Good luck in your endeavors.

Leesley B. Hardy
Tucson, Ariz.

Thanks from Bud Jordahl

Thanks for giving Gathering Waters conservancy (The perfect partner December 2004) such splendid publicity. This will really help spread our message to an important segment of Wisconsin conservationists. I have long admired the splendid job you do with the magazine. We have come a long way since I first started reading the magazine some 55 years ago. I did write some articles for the old magazine (Conservation Bulletin). This issue was filled with great articles. Give Lisa Gaumnitz my congratulations for a splendid piece on water (The core of recovery ). And I have known Maggie Heino (Where sleeping bears lie) for many years. My wife and I went to the bear dens many years ago. Again, congratulations and thanks!

Harold C. (Bud) Jordahl

Trapping Contact

I was reading one of your articles that talked with Scott Peterson (Caught in time, October 2000). It said that he was in charge of the Wisconsin trapping education program. I live in Missouri and I am a trapper. I would like to contact Scott Peterson to learn more about using the whole animal that I trap. I have looked and looked on the Internet and am unable to find what I am looking for. If you could give me a way to contact Scott Peterson I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.

Janis Dillard
Lockwood, Missouri

Janis, we would suggest you visit Wisconsin Trappers Association. The organization's Education Director has provided an address, a phone number and an e-mail address. We'll bet that he or a colleague would be happy to help you. We're sure that just as in Missouri, the trappers up here are very interested in sustaining their activity and are very willing to share what they have learned through years of practical experience.

Big Chip for Generations

Love the story about the Chippewa Flowage (A meander through the Big Chip, October 1997). My family has been coming here since the early 1900's. My grandfather helped plant the large pines at Pat's Landing. Now, we bring our kids here to enjoy the same things that were enjoyed 100 years ago. My hope is that this awesome place can continue to be enjoyed for many years to come!

Mary Bykowski

Magazine Should Work with Schools

I am a retired high school biology teacher and taught 25 years on the Kensai Peninsula in Alaska. During that time I worked with [the U.S.] Fish and Wildlife [Service] and Alaska Fish and Game on many interesting projects in conjunction with my classes. They included moose research at the moose pens, lake surveys with seining, mapping and chemistry, lynx tagging, frog inventory for future use, stream shocking and more. This was a wonderful experience for my students and pointed many of them in a life science career.

I have a few ideas that I want to share and need people in the right places to be receptive. I believe that your magazine should have a regular department to report on a school class project that was conducted in conjunction with the DNR. It would require advance planning and coordination to have enough projects to make the regularity possible.

Right now, I have the first of those projects forming. My neighbor, while logging a few weeks ago, dropped a tree on a bear den. No one got hurt – bears or logger – but very scared. A sow and three cubs came out and left. We think she is back as we can't see through the den like we could that day. I suggested to the Antigo High School wildlife management teacher to use his class to tag and follow these animals for a year or two. He was very excited but not clear how to proceed.

You recently had an article (Where sleeping bears lie, December 2004) in which Maggie Heino was coordinating tagging of bears in the North woods. I've tried to contact her with negative results. Can't find her phone number on the internet and contacting the Antigo DNR station, they were not aware of her.

So if you think any of this is a good and workable idea, I would like to help the process. Even Heino's number would get us going and maybe having your magazine involved would be the deciding factor.

John Stengl

We can certainly put you in touch with Maggie Heino to discuss whether the Birnamwood site would be appropriate for her research. As for our willingness to devote a column to school research projects, you hit the nail on the head that we wouldn't want to start such a program without having enough quality pieces in hand to guarantee we could continue it on a regular basis. And although our magazine would seem to supplement classroom topics well, teachers and school libraries don't widely subscribe. Some students find our website useful for research projects and can find all the stories we've published since 1996 at Wisconsin Natural Resources, though they won't find all the fantastic photos that are in the printed version. We agree that wider exposure to the issues and columns we carry would complement middle school and high school biology and conservation courses, as well as school conservation clubs.

Devil's Doorway Daredevil

When I received a recent issue with the Devil's Doorway on the back cover (Wisconsin, Naturally, February 2005), I was prompted to write concerning other rock formations at Devil's Lake. When I was about 16 or 17 years old (1938-39), my brother and another friend visited Devil's Lake and rented a state-owned cottage for $10 a week. We saved our money from caddying at a local golf club. We hitchhiked up from Oconomowoc. We climbed the bluffs and climbed the formations. I went to the top of Cleopatra's Needle. I was told later that nobody had ever done that before! (Someone said a clown from the circus had done it with ropes.) My question is, is there a record of anyone else ever having done this? A friend from Oconomowoc did a hand-stand on the top and edge of the Turk's Head, both witnessed by my brother Emery Tuttle, now in Texas. In later years, 50s and 60s, I took my family – three daughters – and camped in a tent on many occasions. What a great time we had!

Jim Tuttle (age 82)

According to Richard Evans, Devil's Lake park superintendent, rock climbing at Devil's Lake is a popular activity and is permitted but not encouraged. The park does not keep records of climbers. His advice to climbers – be experienced, climb with a partner, have a cell phone, use safety equipment and stay within your limits.

Appreciates Wetland Protecion

As a retired Navy, full-time student in environmental science at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, I am very glad to see success in saving our wetlands. Only recently have I grown to truly appreciate the many advantages of a natural or constructed wetland for everyone's good. Shows a good stewardship of the land. Thanks for your efforts.

Jim Mutchie
Corpus Christi, Texas

Foundered vs. Floundered

In a recent article (Ghosts of our coasts, February 2005 insert) the author spoke of a ship that "foundered" and then went down. Shouldn't it have been "floundered" and then went down? Great article though!

Dennis King

Dennis, I think this verb confuses lots of people, but I believe we've made the right choice. It has a specific nautical meaning "to sink below the water." Here's what the American Heritage Dictionary Second College edition says about this usage: "The verbs founder and flounder are often confused. Founder comes from a Latin word meaning "bottom" (as in foundation) and originally referred to a ship's sinking; it is now used as well to mean "to fall utterly, collapse." Flounder means "to move clumsily, thrash about" and hence "to proceed in confusion." If John is foundering in Chemistry, he had better drop the course; if he is floundering, he may yet pull through.

Novice Trout Angler

This will be my second year fly-fishing. My fiancÚ has gotten me hooked. I'm also new at tying flies but what a great hobby. We have been fishing Prairie river and I just love that river and all of Wisconsin's parks. We'll be taking our first trip there in a few weeks or so and I can't wait. What an adventure. Thanks for listening.

Teresa Foster
Wakefield, Mich.

Update: Interactive Shipwrecks

Readers who enjoyed the February 2005 insert and poster (Welcome Aboard: Discovering Wisconsin's Maritime Trails) will like a new CD-ROM produced by the Wisconsin Historical Society. Wisconsin's Great Lakes Shipwrecks: Dive into Wisconsin's Past" is an interactive multimedia educational tool that's fun to boot. The CD-ROM is easily navigated, and contains a wonderful mix of photos, video and colorful graphics. don't forget to turn up your speakers so you don't miss the sound effects and narration.

From the main menu, users opt to explore shipwrecks, learn about the tools used by underwater explorers, learn the WHS underwater archaeology mission, or skip right to the "fun stuff." Shipwreck exploration provides colorful descriptions of each ship and the circumstances that caused its demise. The "explorer's tools" section describes SCUBA gear, underwater tools for recording and documenting finds, and conservation methods for preserving artifacts so they don't decay when brought to the surface.

The fun comes when you find yourself on the deck of the interactive schooner and take a virtual tour from the top of the mast to the cargo hold below the deck. If you didn't know what jibs and stays were, you will when you're done. There's even a diving game where users try to beat the clock and rack up points by taking underwater pictures of artifacts before running out of air in their tank.

It is available for $19.95 at Wisconsin Historical Society located on the Capitol Square, 30 N. Carroll St., Madison, WI 53703 as well as other museum shops and bookstores around the state. To order by phone, call toll free: 888-999-1669. In Madison, call 608-264-6555. Or visit Wisconsin Historical Society.

If you're intrigued by tugboats, check out the story of the Steven M. Selvick, a hard-working tug that lies at the bottom of Munising Bay in Lake Superior. Superior Legacy is a booklet and CD available for $15. Send check or money order to Dave De Groot, 7221 Outagamie County Rd., Kaukauna, WI 54130.