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ARCHIVED Weekly News Published December 27, 2012

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More than 30 candlelight events planned this winter at Wisconsin state park properties

MADISON - Thanks to the pre-holiday snowfall that hit Wisconsin, most of the state is reporting adequate snow cover for the more than candlelight events scheduled at Wisconsin state park properties this winter. Most of the events offer cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, or a combination of those activities along trails lit by hundreds of candles.

Candlelight events kick off Jan. 5 with events at Blue Mound, Harrington Beach and Mirror Lake state parks. The Blue Mound event will also feature the grand opening of a new "Friends Shelter" at the park. The Friends of Blue Mounds raised $500,000 for construction of the shelter, which will serve as a heated warming house in the winter for skiers and snowshoers, as well as an area for naturalist programs in the summer.

People should check the candlelight ski events page of the Department of Natural Resources website for specific activities going on at each park. Most events are for cross-country skiing and hiking or snowshoeing only, but a few properties only offer skiing or hiking or snowshoeing. Snowshoeing and hiking are done on separate lit trails from ski trails, as hiking is not allowed on cross-country ski trails once they are groomed for skiing. Most of the trails lit with candles range from 1 to 2 miles in length.

Many of the events held throughout the winter include additional activities, such as bonfires and hot chocolate and other refreshments for sale. Some events offer grills for cooking food or roasting marshmallows. Many of the events are organized by friends groups for the parks, which provide the much of the volunteer labor for the events.

Candlelight events have become some of the most popular winter activities at Wisconsin state park properties. An estimated 1,500 people turned out for a candlelight event at Blue Mound State Park last February, the largest turnout ever at the park. About 900 people turned out for a candlelight ski and hike at the Pike Lake Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest and more than 800 turned out for an event at Willow River State Park. The Chippewa Moraine State Recreation Area and Ice Age National Scientific Reserve, which does not have cross-country ski trails, attracted 215 visitors for a candlelight snowshoe hike.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul Holtan, Office of Communications parks, forest and trails recreation, 608-235-2126 or the properties listed under the candlelight ski events page.

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2012 Wisconsin hunting and trapping seasons factsheet available

MADISON - People interested in getting a head start on planning for the 2013 Wisconsin hunting and trapping seasons can begin their planning by downloading a copy of the 2013 Wisconsin Hunting and Trapping Seasons factsheet from the Department of Natural Resources website.

The factsheet lists season dates and permit application deadlines for deer, turkey, bear, small game and furbearer seasons. It does not include dates for waterfowl seasons, which are not set until late summer under a federal framework established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

To download the factsheet, search the DNR website for "season dates" and then click on the link for "season dates for 2013 [PDF]."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Meaghan E. Cibarich, DNR rules and regulations assistant, 608-266-2194

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2013 DNR Compliance Calendars available to gas station operators in Wisconsin

MADISON - Operators of gasoline dispensing facilities in the state of Wisconsin will soon be receiving a copy of the 2013 Compliance Calendar from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The calendars offer several helpful tools, including fact sheets summarizing regulations, highlighted regulatory changes and extra space for important record-keeping.

The calendars are a business tool published by the agency's Small Business Clean Air Assistance Programand help operators comply with environmental regulations. Calendars will be mailed to owners or stations in early January.

"The DNR's compliance calendar is extremely popular with our customers year after year, and is one more way we're helping Wisconsin businesses follow the law," said Bart Sponseller, DNR air program director.

"Plus, if operators keep their calendars on file for five years, it can serve as their official record," said Sponseller.

Sponseller added that this year's calendar highlights important regulatory changes in 2013, including options for how gas station operators can decommission their Stage II vapor recovery systems that were installed to meet ozone nonattainment requirements.

The DNR offers two such calendars through the Small Business Clean Air Assistance Program - the agency has already published a 2012-2013 compliance calendar for dry cleaner operators. Copies of both calendars can be ordered by contacting the Small Business Clean Air Assistance Program at 855-889-3021, or via email at DNRCleanAir@wisconsin.gov.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Lisa Ashenbrenner, 608-266-8401

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A look back at natural resources issues, highlights of 2012

MADISON - From the launch of a new Department of Natural Resources website and a launch of a variety of social media tools, to a spring and summer drought that put emergency burning restrictions in place across much of the state, to the first modern wolf hunt of modern times and efforts to implement a plan to expand hunting and allow trapping for the first time in Wisconsin state parks, here is a look back at the natural resources issues and highlights of 2012.

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

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Read more: Previous Weekly News

Last Revised: Thursday, December 27, 2012




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