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ARCHIVED Weekly News Published July 16, 2013

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Input sought at early August waterfowl season meetings and hearings

MADISON - People can learn about and provide input on the 2013 Wisconsin waterfowl hunting seasons at a series of meeting and public hearings that begin Aug. 3.

"As we do each year during this time, we request that those with a stake in waterfowl hunting provide input on the upcoming seasons during our public meetings and hearings," said Kent Van Horn, Department of Natural Resources waterfowl ecologist. "It's important we hear from folks whether they want to reaffirm support for past season dates or are looking for something different. Plus we encourage people to attend, even if they are not concerned with specific regulations. It's a good way to learn about waterfowl in the state."

The meetings are an opportunity to hear the latest on waterfowl management and population status. After a review, DNR will use public input to inform the proposed waterfowl hunting season that will be recommended to the Natural Resources Board in mid-August.

In addition to potential annual changes in season timing and daily bag limits, wildlife officials are proposing increases to the number of lakes available for open water duck hunting for the 2013 season and changes to the Horicon Canada goose zone for the 2014 season. These proposals will be presented and comments taken during these meetings.

The DNR's proposed waterfowl seasons will be available for viewing online Aug. 5, after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service releases federal regulatory options, at dnr.wi.gov, search keyword "waterfowl."

The public is invited to attend the following:

Post-Flyway DNR Public Meeting

Public Hearings (all begin at 7 p.m.)

Natural Resources Board Meeting

People who are unable to attend a meeting or hearing, comments can be send comments via email, phone or U.S. mail before midnight, Thursday, Aug. 8, to: James Christopoulos , Bureau of Wildlife Management, Wisconsin DNR, P.O. Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921 or by phone at 608-261-6458 or email at james.christopoulos@wisconsin.gov.

When submitting a comment on the waterfowl seasons, please specify which zone(s) you are referring to or considering, including any other information you think may be helpful to better characterize your season preferences.

For more information on meeting and hearing dates, or waterfowl in Wisconsin, search the DNR website for keyword "waterfowl."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: James Christopoulos - 608-261-6458

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Rivers as Bridges event involves Ho-Chunk Nation

MADISON - A tri-national celebration of "friendship, peace, Mother Earth" highlights Rivers as Bridges 2013 at the Ho-Chunk Nation House of Wellness in Baraboo on Sunday, July 28.

Rivers as Bridges [riversasbridges.org] (exit DNR) began in 2008 as a proposed sister-river relationship between the Mississippi and Yangtze rivers and has developed over time. Its goals are to support natural resources education, leadership training and economic development through relationships, according to Jeff Smoller, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources deputy operations manager, who serves as chair of the RAB board.

The four and a half hour event will involve about 300 Chinese, Ho-Chunk and American high school students with drum, dance, music, food, crafts, games and traditional clothing. Chinese and Ho-Chunk cultures will be celebrated.

Concluding the event are a sacred Ho-Chunk ceremony with water, soil, tobacco, sage, sweet grass and cedar from the United States and China and "Everybody Loves Everybody" Ho-Chunk song and dance.

The event is part of a 16-day visit by Chinese students interested in the environment to Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois. Activities involve the outdoors, science, campus visits and culture. A group of 55 students participating in an Academic Exchange program will experience structured educational activities that earn them a recommend school credit. They will prepare posters, make presentation and keep leadership journals.

Another group of 100 younger students participating in the cultural exchange will focus on learning more about life in Midwestern America. Students are paying their way and there are some in-kind contributions.

DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp will join the students in Muscatine, Iowa for Mississippi River activities and join them in a visit with Sarah Lande, a prominent figure in China, who welcomed China President Xi Jinping to her home in 2012 where he said: "To me, you are America" about Iowa and Mississippi River region.

Stepp also will preside at the Ripon College graduation August 3. Students will visit Devil's Lake State Park, Wild Rose Fish Hatchery, UW-Stevens Point College of Natural Resources and Trees for Tomorrow.

Other Wisconsin highlights:

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeff Smoller 608-266-1117

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DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp to throw out first pitch at inaugural DNR Days at Miller Park

MADISON -- There are few traditions Wisconsin residents hold more dear than hunting, fishing, and baseball. This Friday, July 19, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Milwaukee Brewers team up for the first DNR Days at Miller Park.

Anyone holding any Wisconsin hunting or fishing license is eligible for discounted tickets on select home games at Miller Park in Milwaukee. In addition, each ticket purchased through the DNR Days program will include a free regulation blaze orange Brewers ball cap.

"We are very excited to be able to offer hunters and anglers this added benefit when they purchase their hunting or fishing license," said DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp, who will be throwing out the first pitch at the inaugural game on Friday, July 19 at 7:10 p.m.. "It's another great way to spend time with family and friends, enjoying one of the many wonderful things Wisconsin has to offer."

The following dates are designated DNR Days at Miller Park:

Terrace box seats, which normally are $24 each, are available for $17 under this program. Likewise, field outfield box seats which are normally $42 each, will be sold for $26.

License holders can take advantage of this program by searching the DNR website for keyword "DNR Days."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Trish Ossmann, Office of Communications, 920-360-3252

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Air quality data easier to view thanks to new DNR web maps

MADISON - Wisconsin residents have an improved way to find out about air quality in their area, thanks to new on-line maps from the Department of Natural Resources.

The maps are available on the DNR website by searching for "air quality" and clicking on the button to view current air quality. The maps allow users to access air monitoring data around the clock.

"The maps provide the public with easy to understand air quality information," said DNR Air Program Director Bart Sponseller. "The new look is more user-friendly and informative than before."

In addition, the maps include graphs of hourly pollutant measurements for the current day for each air monitoring site. The maps also provide the latest information on Air Quality Advisories and Air Quality Special Notices.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Grant Hetherington, 608-266-1552

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Repair work scheduled for McMiller Shooting Complex

EAGLE, Wis—Patrons of the McMiller Shooting Complex (exit DNR) in Waukesha County will have limited access to the facility while it undergoes numerous repairs beginning the week of July 25.

"This work will take place on Monday through Fridays, but we're going to attempt to have various ranges open during the week with the exception of the range that's currently being worked on," according to Laurie Osterndorf, Department of Natural Resources southern region land program manager. "All ranges will be open for shooting on Saturdays and Sundays. We hope to have all work completed by early September."

Range customers can call ahead at 262-594-5900 for the latest information on closures.

Work will include replacement or repairs to numerous overhead baffles at the site. The overhead baffles exist to create no "blue sky" and to stop stray bullets from leaving the property. They consist of rock filled boxes mounted to overhead posts. Shooters shoot underneath the overhead baffles. The cost of the project is $139,000. The work will be done by the River City Construction Company based out of Wisconsin Rapids.

The complex is located two miles west of Eagle in the Kettle Moraine State Forest-Southern Unit, off of County Road NN. It is owned by the state forest and operated by a concessionaire. The shooting range offers a wide range of gun and bow range opportunities that are open to the public year-round.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Laurie Osterndorf, southern region land program manager, 608-219-0643 Marcus Smith, DNR communications, 414-263-8516

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Read more: Previous Weekly News

Last Revised: Tuesday, July 16, 2013




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