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ARCHIVED Weekly News Published July 2, 2013

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Discounted licenses make fishing easier for all over July 4 holiday

DNR Days and fishing a winning combo

MADISON - Discounted licenses make it even easier for anglers to get all of their family and friends out fishing over the July 4th holiday. And now, a new promotional effort can make it easier and cheaper to get them out to the old ball game.

Brewer Promo

WDNR Photo

All Wisconsin fishing and hunting license holders can qualify for reduced-rate tickets to select ballgames at Miller Park on "DNR Days" in July, August and September.

"Fishing and baseball - what a great way to have fun with family and friends," says DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp. "Reel in the fish - and then watch Carlos Gomez reel in the big hits and fly balls."

For $20, Wisconsin residents can buy an annual resident fishing license that gives them 365 days of fishing for less than 6 cents a day. There also are options for resident and nonresidents alike to get fishing at a bargain rate.

Three easy ways to buy

Buying a license is easy and convenient over the Internet through the Online Licensing Center on the DNR website; at authorized sales locations, or by calling toll-free 1-877-LICENSE (1-877-945-4236).

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Karl Scheidegger, 608-267-9426

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Hunters, trappers and sturgeon spearers reminded that Aug. 1 is deadline for many season applications

MADISON - Though summer has just begun, a key deadline of August 1 is approaching for those interested in getting permits for many hunting and trapping seasons this fall.

Those planning to participate in the fall turkey, Canada geese (Horicon Zone), bobcat, fisher, otter or wolf seasons must have their permit applications in by midnight, Aug. 1. Permit applications can be purchased from authorized license agents, over the Internet through the Department of Natural Resources Online Licensing Center or by phone toll free at 1-877-945-4236.

The costs to apply vary by permit type and can be found at the DNR's resident hunting, fishing and recreational license web page, or by visiting dnr.wi.gov and searching keyword "license."

Fall turkey

There will be 96,700 wild turkey permits available to hunters for the fall 2013 turkey hunting season, the same number of permits as offered in 2012. Any fall turkey permits remaining after the initial drawing will go on sale beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 24. Leftover fall turkey permits will be sold by zone until sold out or the season ends. Hunters who receive a fall turkey permit in Zones 1-5 will be able to fill their unused permits during the extended season in the zone for which they were issued. Season dates are:

Canada geese, Horicon Zone

The Natural Resources Board will set waterfowl season dates at its Aug. 14 meeting. They are tentatively set to run Sept 1 through Oct. 27 for Period 1, and Oct. 28 through Dec. 16 for Period 2. Hunters are expected to receive 6 carcass tags.

Bobcat, fisher and otter

The approved quotas for bobcat, fisher and otter will be the same or slightly increase from last year, depending on the species and zone. Final permit numbers will be known in August and the drawings for all three species will take place in late August or early September. Season dates are:

Wolf

The season quota is set at 275, though the amount of wolves harvestable by state trappers and hunters may be adjusted, depending on state response to tribal declarations. The department will maintain the 10-to-1 license-to-quota ratio from the 2013 season. One half of available permits will be issued randomly among all permit applications and the second half will be issued through a cumulative preference point drawing. Successful applicants will be notified by letter, likely in mid to late September. Applicants who are not successful in the drawing will be awarded a preference point toward future drawings.

Upriver Lakes sturgeon spearing season

Sturgeon spearers have until Aug. 1 to apply for a 2014 Upriver Lakes sturgeon spearing lottery tag. Participation in the Upriver Lakes sturgeon spearing season on Lakes Butte des Morts, Winneconne and Poygan, is controlled through a lottery. Those people selected in the lottery will be notified by Oct. 1 that they are authorized to buy a license to participate in the Upriver season and must buy that tag by Oct. 31, 2013. Spearers who apply for but are not authorized to purchase an Upriver Lakes license receive a preference point toward the following lottery, and they can still purchase a license to participate in the Lake Winnebago spearing season that runs at the same time.

CONTACT: Jennifer Pelej, 608-264-9248

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Drinking water monitoring and reporting violations cut by one-third

Health-based violations remain low, with 96 percent of systems having no violations

MADISON - Wisconsin public water supply system operators reduced by one-third their violations of monitoring or reporting requirements for drinking water and continued their stellar record of serving water that met all health-based standards in 2012, a recently released report shows.

Also, a record 30 communities received low interest loans or grants from the Department of Natural Resources to help upgrade water treatment plants, pipes and other infrastructure to improve drinking water safety.

"We're pleased with continued exemplary performance by Wisconsin water system operators and by the important progress many systems made to assure safe water into the future," says Jill Jonas, who directs the DNR Drinking and Groundwater Bureau.

Ninety-six percent, or 10,999 of 11,409 public water systems, met all health-based standards. These systems had no water samples exceeding health-based standards for regulated contaminants, according to the 2012 Annual Drinking Water Report.

DNR's increased emphasis on working to improve the safety of drinking water provided by smaller, non-municipally owned water systems is paying off - in 2012, monitoring and reporting violations dropped to 493 from 630 in 2011. Rural mobile home parks, apartment buildings and condominium complexes are among the non-municipal systems DNR has focused on because such water suppliers have tended to have more monitoring and reporting violations.

The department contracts with the Wisconsin Rural Water Association to provide technical help to these water suppliers, called OTM or "other-than-municipal" water systems.

"These systems are doing a much better job of collecting samples within the required time frame and reporting the results, providing more assurance that they are providing their customers with safe drinking water," says Jonas.

Violations for health-based standards remained low; the number of all public water systems with water samples testing high for one or more contaminants was 3.7 percent, or 418 systems. Of these, the smallest public water systems, the transient non-community system category that includes motels, restaurants, parks, taverns, churches and campgrounds had the highest number of violations, accounting for about 70 percent of health-based violations. Bacterial violations again ranked as the most common health-based violation, followed by violations for nitrates and radioactivity.

A violation of a health-based standard does not mean that people who drank the water experienced adverse health effects; it means users were exposed to what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has determined to be an unreasonable risk of illness, or that the system failed to treat its water to the extent judged necessary.

30 communities receive low-interest loans or grants

Also of note in 2012, 30 communities received more than $28.7 million, of which $23 million was low interest loans. The remaining $5 million came in the form of grants, known technically as "principal forgiveness."

Low interest loans can provide a cost savings of up to 30 percent to communities, enabling them to address challenges more quickly and cheaply.

Among communities receiving the help:

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Steven Elmore, 608-264-9246; Mark Nelson, 608-267-4230

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DNR gets green light to start safe drinking water rule revision process

MADISON - The state has started revising rules governing how frequently Wisconsin's 11,400 public water systems monitor for bacterial contaminants to reflect changes in federal rules aimed at increasing public health and safety.

The state Natural Resources Board on June 26 approved the scope statement for the rule revisions, giving the Department of Natural Resources the green light to begin the process to revise the state rules in response to changes in the federal rules. The changes would affect all public water suppliers, those that serve at least 25 people at least 60 days of the year and range from rural restaurants, bars and churches to the state's largest cities.

Steven Elmore, DNR's public water supply section chief, says DNR is convening a stakeholder group of representatives from public water systems, public health and environmental groups to help advise DNR on development of the rule, and that there will be several other public comment opportunities as well.

Elmore encourages interested water system operators, citizens and others to sign up for electronic updates on the state rule-making process. To sign up, go to DNR's website, search "Drinking Water," and choose 'subscribe' near the red envelope.

Federal changes require states to take action

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in February 2013 adopted changes to the Total Coliform Rule under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Wisconsin and other states authorized to carry out Safe Drinking Water Act responsibilities must adopt all federal requirements or establish rules that provide equivalent protection.

The federal rule changes provide greater public health protection by focusing primarily on E. coli when testing water for bacterial contamination, by providing incentives for systems with past problems to improve their system and by requiring systems with bacterial problems to assess and fix the problems. Those systems with good compliance and performance records could be allowed to reduce the frequency of monitoring.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Steven Elmore, 608-264-9246; Eileen Pierce, 608-235-3922

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Five more companies apply for Wisconsin's Green Tier Program

MADISON - Five Wisconsin businesses committed to environmental performance are being considered for the state's innovative Green Tier program. The C.A. Lawton Company; Lands' End; the Pilgrim Center of United Church Camps, Inc.; R3NEW, LLC; and R.A. Smith National, Inc., have applied for Tier 1 of the program, which encourages innovation, collaboration and new environmental goal setting.

The C.A. Lawton Company has operated in De Pere in 1879 and today manufactures large iron castings and machined components for a range of markets including agriculture, paper, mining and energy.

Lands' End, headquartered in Dodgeville, began selling racing sailboat equipment in 1963 and has grown as a global retailer designing and selling apparel, swimwear and outerwear as well as home products, luggage and seasonal gifts.

The Pilgrim Center of United Church Camps, Inc., was established in Ripon in 1902 and is an outdoor ministry program serving local congregations, non-profit groups, families, individuals and other business groups.

R3NEW is located in Neenah and provides IT asset disposal and electronics recycling in northeast Wisconsin, ensuring environmental integrity and data security for the corporations, consumers, schools and others it serves.

R.A. Smith National, Inc., based in Brookfield, offers civil engineering, surveying, construction services, ecological, landscape architecture, irrigation design, wastewater, water resource engineering, geographic information systems (GIS), visualization and 3D laser scanning to government and the land development industry nationwide.

To be accepted applicants must have a good environmental record, commit to superior environmental performance, and implement an Environmental Management System (EMS). Specific environmental performance strategies are established by the participant, allowing each company to commit to environmental activities that are sensitive to their unique strengths and opportunities.

The DNR will accept comments on these applications through August 2, 2013. Comments, questions and requests for a public informational meeting concerning these applications may be directed to Niki Exterovich, Wisconsin DNR, CO/5, PO Box 7921, Madison WI 53707-7921 or by email to nikita.exterovich@wisconsin.gov, 608-267-3763.

Specific information on these applicants and on the Green Tier program can be accessed by searching the DNR website for keywords Green Tier.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Andrew Savagian, 608-261-6422

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Support your favorite park through America is your Park campaign

MADISON - Visitors to Wisconsin State parks who get out and get active this summer can support their favorite park at the same time by taking up a challenge to help their favorite park win a recreation grant.

This summer Coca-Cola kicks off its fourth-annual America is your Park campaign with a "Take It to the Park" challenge. The campaign aims to get people active in the outdoors at their favorite national, state or local park. Through physical activity and outdoor recreation, people can help their favorite park win recreation grants. The park with the most votes wins the grand prize, a $100,000 grant and the title "America's Favorite Park." The parks in second and third place will receive grants of $50,000 and $25,000, while $15,000 will be randomly awarded to a park that places in one of the remaining top 25 spots.

There are many ways in which people can help their favorite park win. The more physical activity people partake in, the more opportunity there is for voting. By signing up at Coke.com/Parks, individuals can find how to use their foursquare and MapMyFitness accounts to vote for their favorite park. There are three ways in which people can earn votes.

  1. Earn 10 votes for every 20 minutes of physical activity logged on MapMyFitness.
  2. "Check in" at a park through foursquare to earn five votes per day.
  3. Earn one vote per day by going online at Coke.com/Parks to sign up.

In order to get more people active and in the outdoors, votes will be doubled during the Independence Day celebration, July 4-5, and the last weekend of voting, July 13-14. The deadline for voting is July 15, 2013.

This date is fast approaching so sign up soon to help your favorite park win. For more information regarding this contest visit http://coke.com/Parks.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Kimberly Currie - 608-264-6035

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Musky Clubs Alliance gives $28,710 to help raise musky

WAUSAU - Anglers who fish for musky and local economies will benefit from nearly $30,000 donated by Musky Clubs Alliance of Wisconsin to help raise the famed fighters at state fish hatcheries.

The alliance and member clubs recently donated $21,000 to help buy forage to allow some of the muskies raised at state hatcheries to remain there longer and grow larger than what the state budget would allow. Stocking the fish at the larger size has been shown to help improve their survival.

Earlier in the year, the alliance donated $7,710 to pay for new aeration lines for the Department of Natural Resource's Art Oehmcke State Fish Hatchery at Woodruff.

The Natural Resources Board formally accepted the larger gift at its June meeting last week in Wausau. Agency Secretary Cathy Stepp thanked the alliance for its generous donations and its longstanding commitment to the protection and improvement of Wisconsin's muskellunge fishery.

Larry Slagowski, Don Gilbert and Chuck Brod represented the alliance at the board meeting. Slagowski spoke on behalf of the group and said the alliance was pleased to donate the $21,000 for extend growth muskies this year, and to step up to help DNR by raising the $7,710 to help cover the cost of new aeration lines.

The clubs raise money through running a catch-and-release musky fishing tournament in Eagle River every year that draws more than 1,000 people.

"We enjoy doing this," Slagowksi says. "We want to see musky fishing keep growing. We need muskies in the water because I tell you, it brings a lot of people to the state."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Hewett, 608-267-7501; Tim Simonson, 608-266-5222

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Read more: Previous Weekly News

Last Revised: Tuesday, July 02, 2013




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