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ARCHIVED Weekly News Published June 4, 2013

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Cold spring results in drop in turkey hunting success

Hunters experience poor weather during early time periods

MADISON - Turkey hunters ran into poor hunting conditions during the first half of the spring turkey hunting season, resulting in a preliminary registration total of 37,804 turkeys, which according to Department of Natural Resources officials is an 11 percent decrease from the spring 2012 turkey season.

Unseasonably cold weather persisted into May throughout the state, with deep snow in the north and rain, snow, and wind throughout the early season in the south.

"It really was an amazing contrast, weather-wise, from 2012's hunt," said Scott Walter, upland wildlife ecologist for the Department of Natural Resources. "Last year, we were snow-free statewide by opening day, with winter flocks broken up and hens initiating nests. This year, spring didn't arrive until mid-season, and hunters had to deal with some challenging conditions, especially in the northern zones where many hunters had to don snowshoes to get in the woods after a turkey."

According to Walter, the poor weather likely reduced hunter effort and made harvesting a bird more challenging because gobblers were still tied to winter flocks of hens.

"Hunters simply won't spend as much time in the woods in inclement weather. The persistent winter weather therefore presented a double obstacle for hunters, and is the major reason we saw a drop in harvest and success," said Walter.

Zone 1 again produced the highest overall turkey harvest at 11,054 birds, followed by zones 3 and 2, where hunters registered 9,468 and 8,955 turkeys, respectively. The highest hunter success was in zone 2 with a preliminary success rate of 21 percent, followed by zones 1 and 3 at 18 percent, and zone 5 at 17 percent. Success rates were between 12 percent and 15 percent for zones 4, 6, and 7. Overall, the statewide success rate was 18 percent, compared with 21 percent last year.

Though harvest was down, the number of permits issued for this year's hunt increased by 5 percent, from 201,984 to 211,307.

"The increase in permits is likely due to hunters purchasing more leftover permits for the later time periods to take advantage of better hunting weather," said Walter. "Harvest during the first two time periods was down 34 percent statewide compared to 2012, yet we actually harvested more total birds during the last four time periods this year. It's clear that hunters who were able to do so took advantage of over-the-counter permits to enjoy a later-season hunt with good weather conditions and turkeys that were finally engaged in normal breeding behavior."

Telephone, online registration working well

This season was the second spring turkey hunt in which hunters could register turkeys through phone-line or online registration systems, first introduced with the fall 2011 turkey hunt and in place for all future spring and fall turkey seasons. No in-person registration will be available.

"Hunters seem to have transitioned to the new systems well," said Krista McGinley, DNR assistant upland wildlife ecologist. "The majority of hunters have expressed satisfaction with the new systems, frequently citing their convenience. Quite a few hunters stated that they were able to register their turkey via cellphone right in the field."

2013 fall season

Although the recent severe winter may have proven challenging for turkeys, biologists note there is reason for optimism regarding this fall's hunt.

"We had a great hatch last year," Walter said. "There was a large cohort of jakes headed into this spring's hunt. With poor weather limiting hunter success this spring, hunters should see additional opportunity both this fall and next spring as these jakes mature into adult gobblers."

However, the prolonged winter may have resulted in localized mortality, especially in the north.

"That's something that's very difficult to detect," Walter added. "We know prolonged severe winter weather can reduce survival in northern turkey populations, especially where agricultural foods are not available. At this point, we haven't heard solid evidence for any unusual mortality associated with the hard winter, but there are definitely folks who've been speculating about such an impact."

A successful nesting and brood-rearing season propels turkey numbers upward. Generally speaking, dry conditions during June keep newly-hatched chicks from getting chilled and suffering from exposure, leading to good production in all upland game bird species, according to Walter.

"Things have been wet so far this year during the nesting season. However, most turkey nests hatch around the first of June in Wisconsin. Dry weather over the next month will help those chicks survive the critical first few weeks," said Walter.

The fall 2013 wild turkey season will run from Sept. 14 through Nov. 21, with an extended season only in Turkey Management Zones 1 through 5, from Dec. 2 through Dec. 31. The deadline for applying for a fall permit through the lottery process is Aug. 1. Applications cost $3 and can be purchased through the Online Licensing Center, at license sales locations, or by calling toll-free 1-877-WI LICENSE (1-877-945-4263).

The 2013 Fall Turkey and 2014 Spring Turkey regulations are included in the 2013 Wisconsin Small Game Hunting Regulations pamphlet, available on the hunting regulations page of the DNR website and in hard copy at DNR service centers and license vendors. For more information, visit wi.dnr.gov, search keyword "turkey."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Scott Walter, Upland Wildlife Ecologist: 608-267-7861 or Krista McGinley, Assistant Upland Wildlife Ecologist: 608-261-8458

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Record number of bald eagle nests found

Aerial surveys now underway to count eaglets

RHINELANDER - State biologists take to the skies again this month to count how many young bald eagles hatched this spring, buoyed by April aerial survey results suggesting a record number of occupied nests in a record number of counties.

"We're really close to having eagles nesting in all Wisconsin counties," says Jim Woodford, the Department of Natural Resources conservation biologist coordinating the survey this year. "We're well beyond what we would have thought possible in the state."

Earlier this spring, an eagle nest was documented for the first time in Racine County, a homeowner has reported one near the Racine-Kenosha county line, and reports are coming in of adult eagles in Walworth County.

Eaglet nestling
A startled eaglet was captured on film by a helmet cam worn by a DNR biologist who climbed the tree to retrieve the bird to collect a blood sample.
WDNR Photo

Last year, new breeding territories were documented throughout the state and, in particular, in northwest and north central Wisconsin and along the Mississippi River in southern Wisconsin, according to the Wisconsin Bald Eagle and Osprey Surveys 2012 [PDF].

Preliminary results from the April aerial surveys suggest that the number of breeding pairs will climb past the record set in 2012 of 1,337 breeding pairs, Woodford says. That 2012 total was up 50 pairs from 2011, and is a far cry from the 108 breeding pairs documented in 1973, when the first survey was done, Woodford says.

"What we're seeing is that eagles are much more tolerant than they were," he says. "Their ability to acclimate to humans and our activities has increased."

That increased tolerance and milder winter temperatures means more eagles are living in Wisconsin year-round. "If there is open water year-round, the eagles will stay here," he says. The cold spring doesn't appear to have affected nesting.

The bald eagle has enjoyed a remarkable recovery in Wisconsin and nationwide since being placed on the state and federal endangered species lists in the 1970s. Wisconsin played an important role in that recovery, a story told in a special 2012 web feature on bald eagle recovery.

Eagles were removed from Wisconsin's endangered list in 1997 and from the federal list in 2007, although the bird and their nests remain protected under the federal Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. That law prohibits the killing, possession, sale or import of any bald or golden eagle, alive or dead, including any part, nest, or egg, unless allowed by permit.

Wisconsin's aerial surveys, which started in March and run through June, are part of the nation's longest running statewide bald eagle survey. This year is the 41st the survey has been conducted, and they've been a foundation of Wisconsin's successful program to restore bald eagles to the sky, Woodford says.

Wisconsin's eagle recovery efforts took flight in the 1960s when volunteer Chuck Sindelar of Waukesha started spending summers riding shotgun in a small plane, peering into eagle nests. Sindelar paid for the contract pilot out of his own pocketbook so he could check out the reports of eagle activity reported by citizens. In later years, Dave Evans, a Duluth volunteer, and Ron Eckstein, a DNR biologist, would follow Sindelar's aerial surveys by climbing the trees where Sindelar found active nests. Together, the three banded more than 3,000 eaglets, yielding information to help better understand Wisconsin eagles and how to manage their habitat.

DNR named Sindelar a "Comeback Champ" in 2012 for his help in eagle restoration.

DNR pilots now fly the surveys, which are typically done twice a year with state endangered resources and wildlife management staff doing the counting. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service staff survey nests by watercraft within the Upper Mississippi National Wildlife & Fish Refuge.

DNR staff use the information from the aerial surveys to help protect and manage eagle nesting territories. Throughout the state, DNR staff are contacted by public property managers and private landowners and make recommendations to protect eagle nests from disturbance. On public and private properties, all nests are fully protected and habitat is managed to promote tall snags and large, super canopy white pines.

The surveys also allow other important research to occur. For instance, DNR research scientist Mike Meyer is in the third year of a study to collect blood samples from eagles to determine the levels of environmental contaminants. A photo gallery showing Meyer and others working with eaglets can be found on DNR's Flickr account.

"Nest protection and management continue to be important in the longterm conservation of our bald eagle population," Woodford says. "The surveys are a critical part of that because we need the best information possible to make those recommendations."

Donations can be made to the Adopt an Eagle nest fund to help support the aerial surveys, rescue and rehabilitate sick, injured or orphaned eagles, and work with landowners to protect and manage nest trees and winter roost sites. Go to dnr.wi.gov and search for "Adopt an Eagle."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Jim Woodford (715) 365-8856; Dan Goltz 608-485-0876

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Pro angler Joe Bucher and Wisconsin Foodie help prevent spread of aquatic invasive species

Help highlight need to drain water from bilge, live well, buckets

MADISON - Pro angler Joe Bucher and Wisconsin Foodie (both links exit DNR) chef and host Kyle Cherek are teaming up with the state to help raise awareness among anglers of key steps they must take to avoid spreading invasive species to more lakes and rivers.

The two TV personalities are part of a new campaign being launched by the Department of Natural Resources and partners to get more anglers to drain water from their live wells and buckets holding their day's catch before they leave the shore or the boat landing. Microscopic invasive species like spiny water fleas and zebra mussel larvae may be in the water and hitch a ride to the next lake.

Bucher and Cherek are featured in radio advertisements that air statewide this month to remind anglers of these steps to drain water and to encourage them to put their fish on ice as a way to keep the fish fresh and avoid problems with water-borne invasives.

Also as part of the campaign, DNR staff and volunteers will be handing out ice packs at boat landings on June 15-16 as part of a statewide effort and partnering bait shops and convenience stores will have reminders on the bait coolers for anglers who want to pick up extra.

To listend to the audio files, search the DNR website for Draining Campaign and click on the links under "hear the radio spots."

"Using ice isn't required but law, it's a great way to keep fish fresh and avoid problems with forgetting to drain water from your catch," says Bob Wakeman, who coordinates aquatic invasive species efforts for DNR. "We're glad to have Joe and Kyle help us get out the message on what to do and why it's important."

Wakeman notes that anglers have high awareness of some rules to avoid spreading invasive species - inspecting their boats, fishing gear and trailer for plants and animals and pulling off anything they see - but surveys show much lower awareness of rules related to draining water.

Wisconsin's invasive species laws prohibit the transport of lake or river water and "live" fish, or in other words, fish still in water. Once fish are out of water, they aren't considered live and can be safely transported home, Wakeman says.

Watercraft inspection surveys of boaters show that more than 90 percent of boaters say they are aware of Wisconsin's laws to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, up from just 21 percent in 2004. But knowledge of, and compliance with, draining laws is lower, evidenced by 2009 statewide survey results showing one-third of respondents thought it was legal to leave the landing with water on board and two-thirds thought it was legal to leave with live fish.

Deborah Seiler, aquatic invasive species outreach coordinator for DNR and UW-Extension, says the "drain" campaign came about based on feedback from anglers.

"Across the state, anglers were telling us the rules on fish and water transport just aren't as clear to them. The DNR listened, and we're trying to help spread the word," Seiler said.

At the end of the day, Seiler says, anglers remain some of Wisconsin's most passionate advocates for protecting lakes from invasive species.

"Although not everyone has gotten the message about water yet, we hear time and again from anglers that they will take time to remove and drain invasive species from their boats just because it's the right thing to do, and they want to keep lakes healthy for their children. No one wants to bring zebra mussels to a new lake just because they forgot to pull the plug," Seiler said.

These are the steps anglers should take every time they leave the water.

BUY minnows from a Wisconsin bait dealer. Leftover minnows can be taken away from any state water and used again on that same water. Leftover minnows may be used on another water body only if no lake or river water or other fish were added to their container.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Deborah Seiler, 608-267-3531; Christal Campbell 608-266-0061

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Live chat series, poster display, awards ceremony open Invasive Species Awareness Month

MADISON - A series of online chats, a State Capitol display of posters created by schoolchildren and a new feature page are just some of the activities and resources unveiled this week to launch Wisconsin's 10th annual Invasive Species Awareness Month (exit DNR).

Starting in 2004, Wisconsin has organized awareness activities about invasive species, nonnative plant and animal species whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health. The event is sponsored by the Wisconsin Invasive Species Council (exit DNR), which is comprised of representatives from state agencies, universities, organizations and industries, and is advisory to the Department of Natural Resources.

This year's theme encourages people to "Protect the places where you play," and is reflected in a new DNR web feature series that will highlight awareness month activities and more detailed information about terrestrial invasive species, aquatic invasive species, forest pests, and wetlands.

A June 6 live chat will focus on aquatic invasive species (AIS) and begins at 12 p.m.

To participate, visit the DNR home page and look for the chat box or search the phrase "ask the experts." You can also join the conversation via the DNR Facebook page at facebook.com/WIDNR and clicking the "Cover it Live Chat" box at the top of our page. From the "Ask the Experts" page, people also can view transcripts from a June 4 online chat on terrestrial invasive species and a May 22 chat on firewood.

Starting June 7, posters created by Wisconsin fourth- and fifth-grade students for the poster contest will be on display in the Capitol rotunda.

On June 11, Invader Crusader Awards will be presented at Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison at a 1 p.m. ceremony to recognize individuals and organizations who have made outstanding contributions to preventing the introduction and spread of invasive plants and animals. The event is open to the public. Winners of the Wisconsin Invasive Species Council poster contest also will be honored at the ceremony.

On Wednesday, June 19, the Second Annual "Invasive Species Education Summit" will be held at Trees for Tomorrow in Eagle River. Distance participation will be available via webinar. The free summit will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and lunch will be provided. Registration is required by June 10 and can be done through the . For more information go to: Invasive Species Awareness Month (exit DNR) website.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Chrystal Schreck 608-264-8590; Caitlin Kohlbeck, 414 263-8712

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Anglers, fresh from another top 10 harvest on Lake Michigan, set for more

Hotline, free email updates provide a line on Lake Michigan fishing

MILWAUKEE - Warmer water and winds willing, Lake Michigan anglers are poised to enjoy another fantastic fishing year on the big pond, following on the heels of a top 10 season in 2012 for trout and salmon, according to state angler surveys and state fish biologists.

"We had a tremendous trout and salmon fishery in Lake Michigan the past 10 years, including 2012. This year should be more of the same if we get a favorable warm up and winds," says Brad Eggold, Department of Natural Resources southern Lake Michigan fisheries supervisor.

In 2012, Wisconsin anglers harvested 590,210 trout and salmon, the ninth highest number since DNR started stocking such fish in 1969 to help control alewives, an invasive fish, and up from 430,311 the previous year. That 2012 total included a harvest of 390,385 chinook, the fifth highest such harvest in 44 years and more than double the 2011 total of 169,752, according to the surveys DNR conduct with charter boat operators and anglers at boat ramps, shore and stream sites.

The 2012 steelhead harvest of 75,981 was the 11th highest in 44 years, according to the Lake Michigan salmon and trout harvest tables, 2000-2012 [PDF].

Eggold and Dave Boyarski, DNR fisheries supervisor for northern Lake Michigan, says the strong chinook harvest year likely reflects in part that their food supply is low and the fish are hungry and biting.

It's also a reflection that there are a lot of chinook out there, including a growing number of naturally produced fish from Michigan, where tributary streams are cooler and more suitable for reproduction.

"It appears from cooperative lakewide studies that up to 55 percent of the 1-year-old chinook salmon are being produced naturally in the system," Eggold says. "That fact puts a lot of chinook salmon in Lake Michigan for harvest."

Eggold says that while forage is low, chinook salmon survival seems pretty high. "Chinook weights are down due to the reduced forage but we are not seeing any signs of disease issues like we did in the late 1980s, so anglers should see plenty of action this summer," Eggold says.

Boyarski, stationed in Sturgeon Bay, says that Wisconsin's cool spring weather provided shore anglers more fish later into the season as the fish stayed near shore in the warmer water.

"The water is a little cold still due to the cooler spring so trout and salmon fishing is not going strong yet but should get going in the next couple of weeks," he says. "The cooler temperatures mean that shore and pier anglers still have fish available to them."

Right now, the best fishing in northern Lake Michigan is for lake trout and brown trout, Boyarski says. "Fishing for northern pike, smallmouth bass, and walleye have been great this year in Green Bay. Smallmouth bass are still shallow and spawning. Walleye and northern pike are in their early summer patterns and fishing is good right now." A recent 8.45 pound smallmouth bass caught during the Sturgeon Bay Open Tournament shy of the state record by about 9 ounces; a day later a 7.54 bass was the big bass of the tournament.

Eggold says that in southern Lake Michigan, coho fishing has really been hot right now from Port Washington to Kenosha. In the past several weeks, anglers from pier sites in addition to boats were catching good numbers of coho. Last week the coho moved offshore a bit so the pier action slowed but reports from this weekend indicate that coho are closer to shore again. In addition to the coho anglers are also catching some of the other species.

Hotline, free email updates provide a line on Lake Michigan fishing

Anglers wanting to know where the fish are biting and what's working on Lake Michigan can call, go online, or receive mobile or email updates with that information. Weekly fishing reports covering northern Lake Michigan waters and Green Bay waters are now available at 920-746-2873 and southern reports can be reached at 414-382-7920.

Similar, more detailed fishing reports for the entire Lake Michigan coast are posted to DNR's Lake Michigan Outdoor Fishing Report From that web page, anglers can sign up to get the updates delivered free to their smartphones and email accounts.

The reports are updated every week with information primarily from DNR creel clerks who interview willing anglers at boat landings, shore and stream fishing areas about what the anglers caught, where and with what methods and baits. The creel clerks gather such fishing information while they are collecting information that helps DNR estimate fishing effort, harvest and harvest rates to help manage the Lake Michigan fisheries.

"DNR's Lake Michigan Fisheries Team is committed to providing the latest fishing information to the public, which includes not only fishing reports but information on our recent surveys and assessments," Eggold says.

Boyarski hopes the information can help reach a wider audience with information that might help them try fishing Lake Michigan for the first time or help better familiarize them with different parts of the lake to fish.

The 2011 "Sportfishing in America" report generated by the American Sportfishing Association estimated that 178,268 anglers fished 1.24 million days in Wisconsin's Great Lakes waters, the bulk of that spent on Lake Michigan. That generates an economic impact of $185 million, supports 1,883 jobs directly, and produces more than $12.5 million in tax revenues for state and local governments.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Brad Eggold, 414-382-7921

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New researcher named for DNR deer, elk studies

MADISON -- The Department of Natural Resources has announced a new research scientist who will be working on a variety of research projects involving deer and elk studies as part of the agency's wildlife and forestry research group.

Dan Storm
Dan Storm

Dan Storm will work on projects such as the study of buck and fawn mortality and the nutritional condition of car-killed deer. He will also serve as deer trustee liaison for science and research action team and be a key consultant to wildlife management on deer and elk issues.

"Dan brings a wealth of deer research experience to the position," said Karl Martin, DNR wildlife and forestry section chief. "He has a strong background in mammalogy and quantitative ecology, which will be a great addition to the research group."

Storm joined the DNR in 2012 as a limited-time-employee research scientist, working on deer-vehicle collisions, participated in evaluating furbearer monitoring, and investigated new methods for monitoring furbearer populations. He also participated in the response to the Deer Trustee Report and developed a pilot study for monitoring reproduction and nutritional condition in deer.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Karl Martin - 608-224-7138

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Wisconsin receives national awards for recreational and trail planning

MADISON -- Wisconsin recently received two national awards recognizing recreational planning and trails efforts.

The National Park Service and the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals presented the Wisconsin the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan Excellence Award on May 23 at the 2013 National Outdoor Recreation Conference in Traverse City, Mich.

The National Association of State Park Directors selected Wisconsin State Trails Council as the winner of the Coalition for Recreational Trails' Achievement Award for outstanding use of Recreational Trails Program funds by a state recreational trails advisory committee. The award was presented June 4 at the 2013 Recreational Trails Program Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C.

The federal Land and Water Conservation Fund Act requires states to evaluate the demand for and supply of outdoor recreation resources and to develop an implementation program to produce a Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan, or SCORP, every five years. The Wisconsin SCORP is compiled by the Department of Natural Resources Bureau of Parks and Recreation.

The National Park Service and the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals created the annual SCORP Excellence Award to recognize a state SCORP process and product that exemplifies the spirit and intent of by planning for outdoor recreation places and opportunities to strengthen the health and vitality of citizens.

The Wisconsin SCORP highlights the growing demand for urban community gardens, the connection of urban recreational opportunities for a healthy population and outdoor recreational preferences and trends. It was developed with the assistance and support of a diverse array of outdoor recreation stakeholders representing local, state, and federal agencies; non-profit groups; outdoor industry groups; and other organizations directly linked to outdoor recreation.

"This award exemplifies the strong Wisconsin tradition of providing access to the many types of outdoor recreation choices" says DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp.

The Wisconsin State Trails Council is made up of 11 voting members appointed by the governor to four-year terms who are knowledgeable in various recreational uses of trails and serve as an advocate for trails. The council is responsible for providing counsel in administering Federal Recreational Trails Program funds.

Among the achievements recognized in the award is that the council recently established a maximum grant amount for the state's Recreational Trails Program funding awards that has enabled smaller trail groups or projects to participate in the grant program. This enabled the apportioning of the available funding to be spread throughout the state. In 2012 the number of local grants awarded increased from eight in the previous grant cycle to 75.

"The Wisconsin State Trails Council is comprised of highly passionate representatives of the state's diverse recreational trail user groups," Stepp said. "Council members are deeply active in their respective associations, and bring an intimate knowledge of the individual, and often quite localized, issues facing their respective member groups and communities."

FOR MORE INFORMATION on the SCORP award contact Jeff Prey, state parks planner, 608-266-2182; on the State Trails Council, Brigit Brown, state trails coordinator - 608-266-2183

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June officially 'Great Outdoors Month' in Wisconsin

MADISON - The month of June is officially Great Outdoors Month in Wisconsin, under a proclamation Gov. Scott Walker signed May 28.

"Great Outdoors Month is an opportunity to celebrate and experience the many outdoor activities Wisconsin has to offer and to renew our commitment to conserving our air water and land," according to the proclamation

The President and all 50 state governors issued similar proclamations in 2012, according to the American Recreation Coalition, which is coordinating the effort to garner similar support this year to highlight the benefits of active fun outdoors and the shared resources of forests, parks, refuges and other public lands and waters.

Great Outdoors Month was first acknowledged by the White House in 1997, and has received presidential recognition annually since 2004. It highlights the benefits of outdoor activity and focuses attention on our natural resources, including parks, forests and other public lands and waters.

"Wisconsin's vast natural and cultural resources provide citizens and visitors with the opportunity to hike, bike, fish, camp, swim, learn about nature and enjoy numerous other outdoor activities on public and private lands, in urban green spaces and suburban backyards," the proclamation states.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul Holtan - 608-267-7517

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Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine summer issue finds fun in the sun on land and water

MADISON -- The June/July issue of Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine offers readers suggestions for how they can get out and make some special memories as well as suggestions for how they can help protect the places that they love. The cover story, "Sharing a passion for panfish," has Wisconsin anglers and fisheries specialists weighing in on the importance of managing for the future of a frying pan favorite.

June WNR

Just in time for Father's Day, a 13-year-old angler shares his story of salmon fishing success in a wonderful tribute to time on the water with his father ("Making memories on Lake Michigan").

June is Invasive Species Awareness Month. A story by the same name offers suggestions for how readers can protect the places they play from harmful invasives.

Escape to the bare essentials of life in "Sandbar camping." Experience Aldo Leopold's message made into music in "Sand County Songs." Find out who won the "Focus on Wildlife" photo contest with fantastic images and a contest that supports a great cause. Learn why baby animals are best left in the wild in timely piece, "Keep the 'wild' in wildlife."

Follow the transformation of a contaminated property (Badger Arrmy Ammunition Plant) into a prized new recreation and conservation area (Sauk Prairie Recreation Area) in "Transformation on the prairie." Discover a gem in the Pike Lake Unit of "Kettle Moraine State Forest." And learn about an environmental marvel, ephemeral ponds, in "Often overlooked."

Backyard beehives take center stage in "Creature Comforts." Tune-in and then tune-up to get out biking with "Wisconsin Traveler." June 1-2 bike for free on state bike trails.

Looking ahead to Father's Day? Remember to consider Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine as a thoughtful and inexpensive gift that gives all year. Share what you value about the outdoors with family, friends, customers and professional colleagues. Six colorful issues are delivered to reader's doors all year for less than $1.50 a copy. Year-round the magazine shares ways and place to enjoy the Wisconsin outdoors for only $8.97. Subscribe toll-free at 1-800-678-9472, online at www.wnrmag.com or by mail. Subscription blanks and single issues are also available from our circulation office at P.O. Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Natasha Kassulke at (608) 261-8446.

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Grants available for forest and wildland fire suppression

MADISON - Local firefighting agencies have until July 1 to apply for a Department of Natural Resources grant program for suppressing forest and wildland fires. This program provides funding on a 50-50 cash match basis.

Local fire departments and county or area fire organizations can apply for Forest Fire Protection Grants, which were established in 1997 to strengthen local fire departments' and county or area fire organizations' capabilities to assist the DNR forestry staff in suppression of forest fires.

The grant program provides funds for the purchase of forest fire suppression equipment and training, including: personal protective equipment (clothing must meet NFPA 1977 standards); forest fire training; forest fire prevention; forest fire tools and equipment; radio reprogramming; communication equipment; dry hydrant installation; rural fire mapping and numbering; and off-road all-wheel drive initial-attack vehicles.

Wisconsin fire organizations statewide received notice of this application cycle and informed of the availability of application materials on the DNR Web site. FFP applications must be postmarked on or before July 1, 2013.

To learn more about state grants and loans administered search the DNR website for "grants."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Eileen Trainor, financial assistance specialist, 608-267-0848, Chris Klahn, staff specialist, 608-297-2214

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Read more: Previous Weekly News

Last Revised: Tuesday, June 04, 2013




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