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ARCHIVED Weekly News Published January 18, 2011

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Green Tier program sees impressive expansion in 2010

Program rewards businesses for superior environmental performance

MADISON - Participation in a unique Wisconsin program that rewards businesses and organizations for their commitment to superior environmental performance has increased to 46 participants, with the number of participating facilities more than doubling from 42 in December 2009 to 86 in December 2010.

Growth of the Green Tier program has been dramatic since the program was created in 2004, according to the 2010 biennial Green Tier report by the of Natural Resources.

Green Tier is a unique program in the nation that provides a range of tools to create a powerful, sustainable force for economic growth and environmental health. Through Green Tier, businesses, communities and trade associations are rewarded for their commitment to superior environmental performance, helping them lower their costs and become more competitive.

"Green Tier is a great example of the state partnering with businesses to help improve their bottom line and protect our natural resources," DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp said. "This is a unique program that demonstrates how job growth and increased profitability can be found through a business' environmental leadership."

Green Tier participants who commit to an environmental management system receive recognition and regulatory flexibility including: innovative permitting, reduced inspection frequency with a functional environmental management system, limited civil immunity, reporting options tailored to business needs which also accomplish superior environmental performance, publicity, use of the Green Tier logo, a single point of contact at DNR, and more. Businesses that voluntarily audit their own environmental compliance and commit to correcting violations also face significantly less financial risk and limited liability.

Legislation passed and signed into law in 2009 made Green Tier a permanent tool for Wisconsin businesses. It repealed a sunset date for Green Tier and updated elements of the program to create efficiencies and clarity, and expanded the program's ability to improve business and environmental results.

"The report shows growth in businesses participating in the Green Tier program and the benefits they've seen through their efforts," Stepp said. "The results are clear. Companies participating in Green Tier are seeing measurable improvements to their operations and their bottom line, all while being great environmental stewards."

Green Tier works for Wisconsin businesses

Following are examples of successes by businesses participating in Green Tier:

More information on Green Tier success stories is available in the 2010 biennial Green Tier report (pdf; 13.87 MB).

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark McDermid - (608) 267-3125

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DNR deer research effort to begin in Shawano and Rusk county areas

MADISON - Citizens within roughly 30 miles of Clintonville in Shawano, Waupaca and Outagamie counties and parts of Menominee County and in the area of Park Falls, Exeland and Winter in Price, Rusk and Sawyer counties soon may witness something never seen before in Wisconsin; a low-flying helicopter ranging through the skies with a live deer slung underneath. The event is the first stage of a multi-year effort by wildlife researchers to follow and document the causes of death in bucks, does and fawns due to predators, hunters, vehicles and natural events.

Flights are expected to take place beginning Jan. 21 in the Shawano County area and Jan 28 in the Rusk County area. Operations in each area are expected to last 4 to 5 days and will take place on public and privately owned lands in cooperation with landowners who are assisting the researchers.

Researchers will capture 60-90 adult deer each in the Shawano and Rusk County areas with nets from a helicopter, transport each deer to a processing area where scientists, biologists and volunteers will weigh, sex, age, take blood samples, install radio transmitters and ear tags, assess body condition and perform ultrasounds, and release the deer. Radio transmitters will allow deer to be monitored until the deer dies. Bucks will be monitored mainly for cause of death. Does will be monitored for cause of death and whether or not they deliver fawns.

Flights will take place during late January/early February in 2011 through 2014. Deer will also be captured with box traps and netted cage traps set out on cooperating landowner properties and monitored by field staff and volunteers.

During mid-May through mid-June of 2011 and 2012, scientists, biologists and volunteers will capture and put radio collars on 40 fawns each in the Shawano and Rusk County areas and subsequently monitor each fawn for cause of death during their first year until the radio collar falls off as it is designed to do as the animal approaches its first birthday.

"Critical to the success of this effort are landowners in the study areas willing to allow us to capture deer on their properties and volunteers to help us process deer and monitor them through the seasons," said Chris Jacques, DNR research scientist and lead researcher for this project.

Volunteers can sign up on a DNR website.

"This is a multi year effort and we will need volunteers throughout the project," adds Jacques. "This is an opportunity to literally do hands-on research with deer. It's a real boots on the ground effort. Volunteers are needed to accompany biologists and assist in processing captured deer and in monitoring survival and movements of marked deer. We're telling folks that we'd like at least a full day of their time each time they participate on deer capture events. You'll probably come home cold, tired and dirty but you'll be making a real contribution to our knowledge of white-tails in Wisconsin and helping to support science-based wildlife management."

Research partners include the Department of Natural Resources, UW-Madison-Department of Forestry and Wildlife Ecology, UW's Applied Population Laboratory, UW-Stevens Point, Wisconsin Conservation Congress and Whitetails Unlimited, AFL-CIO, Union Sportsmen's Alliance, Safari Club International, Menn Law Firm, Ltd., and numerous Wisconsin citizens.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert Manwell (608) 264-9248

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State Natural Resources board to meet January 25-26

MADISON - Wisconsin's Natural Resources Board will meet at the state Natural Resources Building, 101 S. Webster St., in Madison, on Tuesday, January 25, and Wednesday, January 26. The public is invited to attend and may address the board about natural resources and environmental matters.

The board will convene on Tuesday at 1 p.m. for a seminar on the use of lead in ammunition and fishing equipment by hunters and anglers as a conservation issue. It will convene at 8:30 on Wednesday for its regular business meeting.

The Natural Resources Board agenda (pdf) is posted on the DNR website.

The board provides policy direction for programs administered by the Department of Natural Resources. The board's agenda includes resource management and environmental protection issues. Time is also allotted for the Board to hear input on natural resources and environmental and issues.

People interested in addressing the board must contact Laurie Ross, Natural Resources Board Liaison, at (608) 267-7420 or email laurie.ross@wisconsin.gov prior to 4 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 21. Only one topic will be permitted per individual within a five-minute period. Citizens are encouraged to discuss board policy issues rather than detailed day to day activities. Matters currently under litigation should not be brought before the board. Background on complex topics should be sent to Ross for advance distribution to board members to facilitate discussion. Agenda and public appearance information is available on the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board pages of the DNR website.

The public is welcome to attend and listen to the meeting. The seven-member board is appointed by the governor with consent of the state senate. Members serve without pay on a voluntary basis and are chosen from throughout the state.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Laurel Steffes - (608) 266-8109

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Friends of Rib Mountain State Park receives friends group of year award

MADISON -- Friends of Rib Mountain State Park recently received the Friends Group of the Year award by the Department of Natural Resources Bureau of Parks and Recreation.

"The Friends of Rib Mountain State Park have been and continue to be a valued asset to Rib Mountain State Park," said Bill Bursaw parks property manager, "and they have added great value to the outdoor recreation opportunities offered in the greater Wausau Area."

Bursaw said the group has been instrumental developing additional hiking and snowshoeing trails on the west end of the park, sponsors the popular "Concert in the Clouds" series held in the state park amphitheater, holds candlelight snowshoe hikes, and has purchased equipment and provided funding for seasonal internships through UW-Stevens Point. One of the internships included a park naturalist.

"We would not be able to get these things done without the assistance of the friends group," Bursaw said. "It is a great asset to the area to have such dedicated citizens involved and interested in this community facility."

The group is currently working on plans for a large open air shelter.

The award was presented at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum last October. Steve Engler accepted on behalf of the Friends of Rib Mountain State Park from Dan Schuller, director of the state parks program and John Waring, Friends of Wisconsin State Parks (exit DNR) Past President.

The DNR's friend's group award is given annually to a parks friends' organization that performs outstanding work for the properties they advocate. Friends of Wisconsin State Parks is a non-profit organization that is made up of a volunteer Board of Directors of 18 members, has more than 75 local friends groups with membership from all across Wisconsin.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Bill Bursaw - (715) 842-2522

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Wisconsin State Parks seek youth ambassador

MADISON - Social-media savvy youths between the ages of 16 and 28 who are also outdoors lovers have an opportunity to apply to serve as the State Park Youth Ambassador for the Wisconsin state parks program.

As part of a national campaign to recruit a youth ambassadors for each state, the Wisconsin state park program is seeking an ambassador to explore Wisconsin state parks, and to promote the nation's state park systems.

"This is an opportunity for someone aged 16-28 to collaborate on a nationwide media and marketing program," says Dan Schuller, Wisconsin state parks director. "Ambassadors will work with park staff and their own social networks to document their outdoor experiences with articles, blogs, and photo/video essays."

This is a volunteer position and does not include compensation or transportation to parks, but the ambassador will receive guidance from individual state parks and of the state park system in documenting and sharing their experiences at parks.

Details and application forms for the Wisconsin State Parks youth ambassador are available on the DNR website. Applications are due Feb. 1, 2011.

Currently, A.J. Marz is serving as the acting youth ambassador until a permanent ambassador is selected. People interested in applying for the ambassador position can view articles and photos from Marz's state parks visits on the America's State Parks website at [www.americasstateparks.org/ambassador_aj.html] (exit DNR).

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Jenna Assmus - (608) 264-8994

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Read more: Previous Weekly News

Last Revised: Tuesday, January 18, 2011




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