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ARCHIVED Weekly News Published March 19, 2013

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Public asked to participate in two surveys on deer management in Wisconsin

First survey looks at 2013 season; second survey focuses on deer trustee report

MADISON -- Providing valuable input and shaping decisions on the future of deer management in Wisconsin is not just reserved for deer hunters. State wildlife officials want to hear from anyone interested in deer, from farmers to landowners to wildlife watchers.

The Department of Natural Resources has launched two new surveys to collect feedback from what is hoped to be a diverse set of interests representing hunters and non-hunters.

One survey, called the Deer Management Unit Survey will provide the valuable local perspective the DNR and the Natural Resources Board will consider for the 2013 hunting seasons. Survey participants will be asked to choose their preferred deer management unit for which they will provide input. It can be the unit the participant hunts in, lives in or is the most familiar with.

The survey asks whether the respondent hunts and if so, by which methods and on private land, public land or both and the type of deer the responded is interested in harvesting. Additional topics include:

The second survey, called the Deer Trustee Implementation Survey, focuses on broader long-term deer management in Wisconsin and ways that it can be enhanced.

This survey asks for county of residence, landowner status, interest in white-tailed deer management, and whether or not the respondent hunts. The survey also asks about:

Additionally, opportunities to participate in meetings

A series of 34 public meetings to gather public input on what people would like to see for a 2013 deer season structure began around the state this week and run through the end of the month. Local wildlife biologists will be on hand to answer questions and talk about the current status of the local deer herd. They will listen to ideas and observations, and discuss possible strategies to manage the herd.

To find a meeting location and time [PDF], visit dnr.wi.gov and search keywords "Deer Hunter Forum."

The public also has an opportunity to play an active role in shaping the long-term future of deer management in Wisconsin by participating in a series of Wisconsin's Deer Trustee Report implementation meetings. The report contains 62 recommendations assembled by James Kroll, along with Gary Alt and David Guynn, who were commissioned by the Gov. Scott Walker as the state's deer trustees to perform an objective evaluation of deer management practices.

Four action teams have been formed to help move ideas from recommendations to implementation on the ground. Each action team will be responsible for reviewing an area-specific grouping of recommendations pulled from the report. The team focus areas are: Deer Management Assistance Program; herd health and chronic wasting disease; regulations and season structure; and science and research.

Action teams will meet simultaneously, so groups are encouraged to send multiple representatives if there is interest in serving on more than one action team. Additionally, those interested in joining a team must attend the April 6 and all subsequent meetings. There will be additional opportunities for input to the action teams, but membership will be finalized on April 6.

Action team meetings are currently all scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the UW-Stevens Point location above. The dates are April 6 and 27, May 18, June 8 and 29, and July 20, 2013. All meetings are scheduled to be completed by July 20 in order to meet deadlines for the official rule making process. People who want to commit to serving on one of the action teams should attend the April 6 meeting.

Both surveys will be available at the local DMU meetings, the Spring Conservation Congress Spring Hearings and the deer trustee meetings as well as online. Hard copies can also be obtained by visiting a local DNR customer service center and ask for a print out of the survey(s).

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Eric Lobner, 608- 235-0860 or Kevin Wallenfang, 608-261-7589

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Now accepting proposals for citizen-based monitoring projects funding

MADISON -- Organizations are invited to apply for financial assistance to help establish or expand their efforts to recruit and train volunteers to collect information about plants, animals, water and other components of the natural world.

Proposals for the Citizen-Based Monitoring Partnership Program (exit DNR) are due by midnight, Friday April 26, 2013, to the Department of Natural Resources.

"Citizen-based monitoring engages and informs thousands of citizens and students across the state every year and empowers them to directly contribute to the conservation of Wisconsin's natural heritage," said Owen Boyle, DNR coordinator for the Citizen-based Monitoring Program. "We're pleased to again offer organizations seed money to help start or expand programs so that even more people can get outdoors and get involved."

Anywhere from 18 to 25 programs are selected annually to receive up to $5,000. DNR awards $100,000 every year to help organizations and programs advance their citizen-based monitoring projects. For every dollar DNR spends on Citizen-based Monitoring, the state receives more than $3 worth of volunteer time and natural resource data. Since 2004, 180 projects have benefited from $850,000 of funding.

fawn collaring
Volunteers of all ages helped DNR researchers locate fawns to be fitted with radio collars so researchers can track the fate of the young deer through their first year.

"Monitoring projects are one of the most powerful tools for detecting long-term or large-scale changes in the natural world. Because of the large number of volunteers, data can be collected over large geographic areas and long spans of time," said Boyle.

Hundreds of citizens have volunteered for the 150 projects and organizations that make up the Wisconsin Citizen-based Monitoring Network. These volunteers put in thousands of hours each year to carry out natural resource monitoring projects such as assessing eagle populations, checking brook trout for gill lice and collecting rain, hail and snow totals.

"We run by the philosophy that far more can be accomplished by working together than working alone. Every year we are impressed and thankful to see how dedicated volunteers are to Wisconsin's natural resources," said Boyle.

People who have an interest in being a part of a monitoring project, can check "Who's Who of Citizen-based Monitoring in Wisconsin" (exit DNR) to find a program of interest.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Owen Boyle, 608-261-6449

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Wisconsin's Green Tier welcomes Patrick Cudahy

MADISON - Patrick Cudahy LLC is Wisconsin's first meat processing facility to join Wisconsin's environmental Green Tier program.

Patrick Cudahy LLC, has produced premium meats including bacon, sausage, deli and specialty meats in Cudahy, Wis. since 1888. The company, which employs 1,100 people, is celebrating its 125th Anniversary and joining Green Tier to further its environmental efforts.

"Congratulations to Patrick Cudahy for 125 prosperous years of business here in Wisconsin," said Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp. "We're pleased this long standing business is stepping forward as a leader in Green Tier to demonstrate that strong economic performance and environmental results can go hand in hand."

With support from top management, Patrick Cudahy uses a system approach that helps integrate environmental protection into business processes and decisions. This Environmental Management System, which also happens to be a requirement for participating in Green Tier, is a "plan-do-check-act" tool that helps a company understand its environmental impacts and set benchmarks to measure environmental improvements. It not only ensures the facility is complying with the law, but also works to continually minimize the facility's environmental footprint.

Past successes include:

"It is a requirement for my engineering team to address sustainability criteria in our projects," said Gene Bridges, VP of Engineering and Maintenance, Patrick Cudahy. "Moving forward I see many exciting green milestones that we will achieve: significant reduction in landfill waste and energy conservation are just the beginning."

With long term goals that include sending nothing to landfills, reducing energy use by 25 percent by 2020, reducing water use by 10 percent by 2016 and reducing toxic chemical usage wherever possible, Patrick Cudahy will be busy. Amongst other things, they plan to continue installing high efficiency LED lights and to evaluate the feasibility of converting remaining landfill wastes into alternative energy.

Patrick Cudahy joins Green Tier
Patrick Cudahy LLC is Wisconsin's first meat processing facility to join Wisconsin's environmental Green Tier program. Pictured from right to left: Gene Bridges, Vice President, Patrick Cudahy Mark McDermid, DNR Carter Hanson, Environmental Coordinator, Patrick Cudahy Dave Amacher, Vice President, Patrick Cudahy Gregg Breese, DNR

Patrick Cudahy received several awards from its parent company, Smithfield Foods, for efforts to reduce waste generation, energy consumption and water use. The U.S. Department of Energy also recognized the company for reducing energy usage by 15 percent in one year.

Patrick Cudahy is participating in Tier 1 of the program which is designed to encourage new goal setting and innovation. Green Tier encourages businesses and other organizations to voluntarily collaborate with DNR to move beyond compliance with regulations and to achieve superior environmental performance. To participate, an applicant must have a good environmental record, commit to exceeding environmental minimums and implement an internationally accredited Environmental Management System.

In exchange for a commitment to superior environmental performance, the DNR grants benefits to Tier 1 participants including a single point of contact with the department for easier communications and collaboration. Green Tier participation has grown throughout Wisconsin's business community in recent years as more companies have found business value through greater environmental performance.

For more information on Green Tier and Patrick Cudahy's involvement, is available on the Green Tier section of the DNR website

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Gregg Breese, DNR, 608- 608-267-0802 or Carter Hanson, Patrick Cudahy, 414-918-3226

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Wisconsin organizations and individuals recognized for contributions to fishing

MADISON -- Four groups and individuals were recognized as 2012 External Partners Award winners at a Department of Natural Resources fisheries management program in late February for their commitment and dedication to Wisconsin Fishing.

"We learned a long time ago that managing Wisconsin's outstanding fisheries is a job too big for government alone -- and we rely all the time on the help from fishing and conservation organizations from across the state," said Mike Staggs, Wisconsin fisheries director. "It's an honor to recognize these groups and individuals."

Galesville Volunteer Trout Club in Trempealeau County; Hayward Fly Fishing Company based in Sawyer County; Salmon Unlimited of Wisconsin, Racine County; and the Village of Cross Plains in Dane County, all received recognition for their contributions to fishing conservation and education. The award winners and a brief summary of their contributions follow:

Galesville Volunteer Trout Club was recognized for its work in angler education and raising trout in local streams. For the last six years, the Galesville Volunteer Trout Club has organized an event that draws over 250 kids a year during free fishing weekend. Each kid gets the choice of a fishing pole or a chance to win tackle boxes, tents, paddleboats or canoes through a drawing. This 100 percent nonprofit organization is able to have this successful event annually with the help of more than 60 sponsors. The club has also grown more than 70,000 trout for local streams since the clubs establishment in 1954, which has immensely taken pressure off the state hatchery system.

Hayward Fly Fishing Company was awarded for its creel survey work done in the Chippewa, Flambeau and Namekagon rivers. Husband and wife dual, owners and guides, Larry Mann and Wendy Williamson, along with the assistance of three additional staffed guides and the local DNR, were able get a first real look into the game species in the warm waters in the northwestern part of the state. The company collected the length and weight of all fish that were caught this past guiding season and look forward to collecting data for the upcoming fly fishing season.

Salmon Unlimited of Wisconsin, Racine, was recognized for their donated time, resources and financial support to the Lake Michigan fisheries over the last 30 years. The group continues to support young outdoor enthusiasts with the interest in pursuing a career in the field of natural resource management through financial scholarships. They also host fishing clinics, are active educators in angler education and supporters of the annual Root River Steelhead Facility Open House.

Jerry Gray, Director of Public Works and Warren Myers, Village Engineer from the Village of Cross Plains, were awarded for their innovative ways to protect trout fishing in Black Earth Creek. Major players in the re-meander efforts of the stream, they continue to go great lengths to protect the stream from runoff, sediment, chlorides and thermal impacts from urban development. These two men have made it their natural resource mission to preserve this world-class trout stream. From city improvements to using alternative ways to remove the village's snow, their top priority is to keep the creek healthy and thriving with aquatic life.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Mike Staggs, 608-267-0796

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Read more: Previous Weekly News

Last Revised: Tuesday, March 19, 2013




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