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ARCHIVED Weekly News Published April 10, 2012

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Gypsy moth aerial spraying to start soon

MADISON -- Some Wisconsin residents will see and hear loud, low-flying planes as early as sunrise beginning in mid- to late April. Planes will be spraying for gypsy moth caterpillars, an invasive and destructive pest that feeds on the leaves of many species of trees and shrubs.

Stay updated

Gypsy moth caterpillar Gypsy moth caterpillar

Spray dates and times are weather dependent. People can sign up online to receive email notifications about spray plans at (exit DNR). People also can listen to a recorded message about state spray plans by calling the toll-free Gypsy Moth Information Line at 1-800-642-6684. Press menu option 1 for updates.

Spraying is expected to begin in southern Wisconsin in mid- to late April and end in northern Wisconsin in July or August. People can also view maps of the specific spray areas on the website.

Spraying will be completed by two programs

The Slow the Spread Program (exit DNR), conducted by the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, focuses its efforts in western Wisconsin where gypsy moth populations are low or just starting to build for the first time. The objective is to slow the westward spread of gypsy moth. This year's Slow the Spread treatments are planned in the following 22 counties: Barron, Bayfield, Buffalo, Burnett, Chippewa, Clark, Douglas, Dunn, Eau Claire, Grant, Green, Iowa, Jackson, La Crosse, Lafayette, Monroe, Pepin, Polk, Rusk, Sawyer, Trempealeau and Vernon. This spraying includes portions of Belmont Mound State Park and the Black River and Brule River state forests.

The Gypsy Moth Suppression Program, conducted by the Department of Natural Resources, serves mainly eastern and central Wisconsin where the gypsy moth is well established. In these counties, spraying is done to reduce the number of caterpillars and prevent damage from very high populations. This is a voluntary program that works with landowners and local governments. It has one gypsy moth spray treatment planned this year: Governor Thompson State Park in Marinette County. The campground and boat landing number 13 will be sprayed.

Know what to expect

Spraying depends on favorable weather conditions—calm winds, no precipitation and high humidity. Planes may start spraying as early as 5 a.m. The planes fly very low and loudly over treatment sites and surrounding areas. Planes will remain in the area until the completion of the day's spray plans and as long as weather conditions remain favorable. Spraying may last into the late morning or afternoon.

Spraying could occur any day of the week, including weekends.

Most sites will be sprayed with Foray, which contains Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki (Btk). Btk is a naturally-occurring soil bacteria that kills gypsy moth caterpillars when they ingest it.

Btk is not toxic to people, bees, pets or other animals. However, some people with severe allergies may wish to stay indoors during nearby spray activities or avoid areas to be sprayed on the day that spraying occurs.

The formulation of this bacterial insecticide used by the state's cooperative gypsy moth program is listed with the Organic Materials Review Institute as acceptable for use in certified organic food production.

The DNR Suppression site in Marinette County will receive one application of Btk, while some DATCP Slow the Spread sites in western Wisconsin will receive two applications of Btk, three to five days apart, weather permitting.

In areas with endangered species of butterflies and moths, a gypsy moth-specific product called 'Gypchek' will be used instead of Btk.

The Slow the Spread program also will spray a mating disruptor to additional sites in western Wisconsin between mid-June and early August. The pheromone in the mating disruptor makes it difficult for male moths to find female moths in low, isolated populations, preventing reproduction.

For more information about the programs or gypsy moths, visit the website Or, call the toll-free Gypsy Moth Line at 1-800-642-MOTH (1-800-642-6684) to hear a recording of the programs' current spray plans or talk to staff.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Colleen Robinson Klug, DNR, 608-266-2172 or Nkauj (pronounced 'gow') Vang, DATCP, 608-224-4591



Looking for a new place to turkey hunt?

More than 30,000 acres now available through Voluntary Public Access ProgramLooking for a new place to turkey hunt?

MADISON -- A new program to provide additional land for public access has opened up more than 30,000 acres in 31 Wisconsin counties for hunters getting ready for the spring turkey hunting season. The Department of Natural Resources Voluntary Public Access (VPA) provides financial incentives to private landowners who open up their land to public hunting, fishing, trapping, and wildlife observation.

Wisconsin received $1.9 million dollars through a competitive grant authorized in the 2008 Federal Farm Bill to implement this program. In March, the VPA program expanded into an additional 12 counties making nearly all southern two thirds of the state eligible.

"We have 178 lease agreements signed in 31 counties totaling just over 30,000 acres," said program coordinator Melissa Keenan. "The land enrolled ranges from agriculture land to grassland, wetland, and forest."

A number of properties are nearby or adjacent to state wildlife areas while other properties are on their own, creating additional access areas where no public lands were available before. Properties are open year round to all hunting, fishing, and trapping seasons.

"We treat these like state wildlife areas meaning access is limited to foot travel only and only portable stands and blinds are permitted," said Keenan.

Property boundaries are marked with white signs in green writing stating "Private Land Leased for Public Access." Users are asked to be respectful of landowners rights and appreciative of the privilege they have been given.

"The only way this program is going to be successful and available in the future is if landowners are satisfied with the program and are willing to continue opening up their land to the public," said Keenan. All visitors are encouraged to reference the VPA Code of Conduct and the Frequently Asked Questions (PDF) sheet prior to visiting VPA properties.

In order to evaluate the success of the program, Keenan urges users to fill out a survey located at each VPA property entrance. "We're hoping to find out how people found out about the properties, how far they traveled, and if they were successful with harvesting fish or game on the properties," said Keenan.

Maps and additional information on individual properties can be found on the VPA webpage by visiting and search keyword "VPA." Any questions can be directed to Keenan at or

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Melissa Keenan - (608) 266-5560 or Bill Cosh - 608-267-2773



GE Healthcare donation provides final link in Glacial Drumlin State Trail

Trail now continuous from Madison to Waukesha, project spanned 26 years

MADISON - The Glacial Drumlin State Trail, a 52-mile walking and biking path in Wisconsin, will now stretch continuously from Madison to Waukesha. GE Healthcare has donated the final portion of land needed to complete the project, from Cottage Grove to Madison.

"This trail project, 26 years in the making, is now complete thanks to the generosity of the landowners along the corridor," said Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp. "I want to personally thank GE Healthcare for their donation and for their commitment to making Wisconsin such a great place to live, work and play."

The wooded land donated by GE Healthcare begins east of Interstate 90, and runs east for nearly a half-mile.

Working with Dane County, the City of Madison and the Village of Cottage Grove, DNR will now begin the planning process leading to opening the trail for users. It is uncertain when the trail will be officially ready for use.

Development of the Glacial Drumlin State Trail, which runs on an abandoned railroad corridor, began in 1986. It currently travels through 10 small towns from Cottage Grove to Waukesha, but will soon extend to Madison. It is estimated that the trail has about 200,000 users per year.

DNR worked very closely with GE and now officially owns the land, but GE retains access rights to the land should it ever be needed in the future.

"From the moment I spoke with the DNR about their need and intent for this parcel of land, I knew it was something special and that we had to make it happen," said Todd Reynolds, facilities manager at GE Healthcare in Madison, and a member of the team that worked to contribute the land. "There is a very strong connection between the trail, GE Corporate's HealthAhead programs, and our culture of providing a positive impact in the community. Our employees and people in the community will benefit from the land contribution in many ways for years to come."

For more information search the DNR website for Glacial Drumlin State Trail. For information about GE Healthcare, visit (exit DNR).

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Dana White-Quam, DNR (608) 275-3302, Bob Manwell, DNR, 608-264-9248 or Brittany Darga, GE Healthcare (414) 721-3945



DNR seeks input from business - retrospective review of rules

MADISON - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is responsible for implementing more than 3,700 pages of rules dealing with a wide range of subjects, from flora and fauna to air, water, and land, many of which affect small business.

This month, DNR is launching a retrospective review of rules. This review is prompted by "Executive Order #61 Relating to Job Creation and Small Business Expansion," (PDF; exit DNR) issued on Feb. 22, 2012.

Eileen Pierce, DNR small business ombudsman, will lead this project. Pierce says the project is designed to:

All recommendations will meet the following criteria:

The Small Business Regulatory Review Board has the authority to review rules and determine whether agencies have fulfilled the requirements of § 227.114, Wis. Stats, which establishes methods for reducing the impact of rules on small businesses.

For this review, "small business" means a business entity, including its affiliates, which is independently owned and operated and not dominant in its field; and which employs 25 or fewer full-time employees, or which has gross annual sales of less than $5,000,000, according to section 227.114 (1), Wisconsin Statutes.

"The success of this project depends on your input. Please visit the project web site and submit your suggestions through the web survey form," Pierce says. "Your input will be most influential if received by May 31, 2012."

To submit comments, go to the DNR website and search for "small business," and then select "Retrospective review of DNR rules affecting small business."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Eileen Pierce at, or call her at 608-275-3296 (desk) or 608-279-5637 (cell).



Air, Air Everywhere 2012 poetry contest

MADISON -- Wisconsin teachers can help celebrate Clean Air Month this May by leading students through an activity or activities from the Air, Air Everywhere Teacher's Activity guide, which aims to teach third, fourth and fifth grade students about air quality and the importance of clean air.

Teachers can submit the poems or riddles created by students as part of the Department of Natural Resources "Where's the Air?" activities guide. DNR education staff will select one winner and two runners up that will be featured on the Wisconsin DNR EEK! (Environmental Education for Kids) website. The winner will receive an award certificate and a class set of "It all adds up to cleaner air" solar calculators. The teacher of the winning student will receive a certificate for a free Project Learning Tree, Project WILD, or Project WET workshop!

Contest requirements

The contest is open to Wisconsin's third, fourth, or fifth grade students only. Teachers can submit up to three entries per class. Any form of original poetry is acceptable. Entry must be 100 words or less and describe air and/or the importance of clean air. The writing must be the original work of the student.

Each entry must include the name of the author, their teacher, the teacher's email and phone number and the school address on the back. Entries must be received by Friday, May 18, 2012 to be eligible. Contest entries will not be returned and will become the property of the contest sponsor. Teachers of the winning students will be notified by June 1st, 2012. Mail entries to: Lindsay Haas, Wisconsin DNR, 141 NW Barstow Street, Rm. 180, Waukesha, WI 53188 o e mail to:

As part of the Where's the Air? (PDF) activity, students will complete simple sensory experiments to discover the characteristics of air and then write a poem or riddle describing air.

To find the complete Air, Air Everywhere guide go to the DNR website and search for "Air Everywhere." Hard copes may also be ordered by sending your name and mailing address to

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Lindsay Haas, DNR air education - 262-574-2113 or Bill Cosh, DNR spokesperson - 608-267-2773



Musical wildfire prevention message available online

MADISON -- Spring wildfire season is underway in Wisconsin. Recent warm and windy days have contributed to roughly 370 wildfires burning more than 900 acres throughout Wisconsin this year alone. Department of Natural Resources fire officials urge residents and visitors to use extreme caution before engaging in any outdoor activities with the potential for wildfire.

Every spring, the DNR develops various fire prevention outreach tools in hopes of preventing these unwanted, human-caused wildfires. This season brings a catchy tune that can be downloaded at no cost.

For the most up-to-date fire danger conditions and other fire safe information, visit the DNR website and search keyword "fire."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Catherine Koele, DNR wildfire prevention specialist - 608.266.2359 or Bill Cosh, DNR spokesperson - 608-267-2773


Read more: Previous Weekly News

Last Revised: Tuesday, April 10, 2012

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