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ARCHIVED Weekly News Published August 5, 2014

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Get schooled in the new deer hunting season rules and more in Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine's August issue

MADISON - In the new issue of Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine, we help hunters get ready for some upcoming seasons, share some new ways to explore the outdoors and go crazy over carp.

Our cover story "What to know before you go," highlights the changes to the regulations and maps for the different 2014-15 deer hunting seasons. In "Try your hand at teal hunting" the DNR wants teal hunters to brush up on duck identification before heading into the field for this new season. Another feature, "See something suspicious?" advises outdoor recreationists what to do if they stumble upon a makeshift meth lab.

Looking for a new outdoor adventure? Take note of a trend called highpointing in "A quirky excuse to roam Wisconsin." Want to volunteer to help dragonflies, marshbirds, mussels and more? Read on and get energized with "The power of citizen scientists."

Wisconsin Natural Resources Magazine
The latest issue of Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine is now available.
WDNR Photo

Carp come to the forefront in our "Back in the Day" column where we explore historic images that tell the story of rough fish removal and their past uses. "Herding carp" follows efforts to restore Lake Belle View and transform it into a community hub. Find a recipe for carp fritters in "What's cooking?"

Recycling fans will enjoy "Recycling, reinvigorated," which explains the efforts of Wisconsin WRAP in helping retailers and consumers to recycle plastic bags and film. Food scrap composting is explained in "Fueling the food of the future" and recycling is one alternative to burning trash in "Illegal burning only stops with education."

Celebrate the success of combining grants, partnerships, education and more in "Land and water conservation: Wisconsin's proud heritage."

"Wisconsin Traveler" opens the door to Door County in a fun guide to Two Rivers while "Wisconsin, Naturally" showcases Kangaroo Lake State Natural Area.

"A peek beneath the waves" explains the importance of aquatic plants to Wisconsin's lake ecosystems and takes a look at how the DNR and partners work together to manage and protect aquatic plant species in this 16-page special supplement.

Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine also has an e-newsletter "Previews and Reviews" to keep our readers informed about upcoming stories and past articles. Sign up to receive the e-newsletter and other email updates on our website (under the Publications box, select Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine).

Not a subscriber? Here's what you are missing:

Already a subscriber? 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. 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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DNR invites public input to help set scope of review for new Enbridge pipeline proposal

Comments from August meeting will be used to inform development of environmental impact statement

SUPERIOR - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is seeking public input at an August meeting to help determine the scope of an environmental impact statement for the Enbridge Sandpiper Pipeline construction and replacement project in northwestern Douglas County.

The proposed project would involve construction of a new 30 inch diameter crude oil pipeline, which would be the Wisconsin portion of the larger Sandpiper Pipeline project extending from the Bakken Shale region in North Dakota through Minnesota to Superior. The proposed project also would include replacement of an existing 34 inch diameter pipeline, known as Line 3. Both pipelines would cross approximately 14 miles of land in the town of Superior, village of Superior and city of Superior and terminate at the Enbridge Superior Terminal.

Environmental impact statements inform decision-makers and the public about the anticipated effects of a project as well as alternatives to the proposed project. The statement for the proposed Enbridge project will look at direct local effects, as well as broader impacts at regional, statewide and larger scales. The environmental impact statement will not include the actual permit decisions for the proposed project.

"The department recognizes the overwhelming public interest in Enbridge operations and wants to ensure transparency in the evaluation of the proposed Sandpiper pipeline through an environmental impact statement," said Ben Callan, water regulations and zoning specialist with DNR. "By inviting stakeholders to engage in the scope development of the environmental impact statement, DNR intends to provide a forum for discussion of issues related to the environment as well as our nation's energy independence, regional refining capacity and transportation logistics."

Dave Siebert, director of DNR's bureau of environmental analysis and sustainability, said DNR looks forward to the early citizen involvement in the environmental impact statement process and intends to use the August meeting to help define the issues that should be addressed.

"The scoping process represents an important opportunity for citizens to provide constructive input on subjects ranging from specific ecological concerns to the potential for economic benefit from this project," Siebert said. "Ultimately, information we receive from the public and apply to the scope of the environmental impact statement will ensure that environmental and economic topics of public concern are reviewed."

Earlier this year, the department approved permits for construction activities related to a separate Enbridge project to expand pumping capacity on an existing pipeline. Due to the nature of the applications, the limited scope of department authority over that project and past environmental review of the pipeline in question, an environmental impact analysis was not necessary for that project.

The public scoping meeting will be held on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014 from 3:30 to 8 p.m. at the Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College Superior Campus conference room, 600 North 21st St., in Superior.

The meeting will begin with DNR staff presenting a brief overview of the environmental impact statement process. Any interested individuals at the meeting will then have the opportunity to identify topics to be addressed in the statement. Department staff will be on hand to receive either written or oral comments.

The department will use the information from the scoping process and information provided in the applicant's environmental impact report to prepare a draft impact statement. The public will be notified when the draft is available for public comments.

The DNR will then hold a formal public hearing during the draft environmental impact statement comment period and will consider all comments in the development of the final statement. No permit decisions will be made until after the environmental impact statement process is complete.

The agency's draft outline for the environmental impact statement and other information can be found by visiting dnr.wi.gov and searching for "Enbridge Sandpiper."

Individuals can submit comments about the scope of the environmental impact statement through Sept. 30, 2014. Suggestions on topics to be included can be mailed to Jeff Schimpff at WDNR, Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921, or sent by email to DNROEEAAComments@wisconsin.gov .

The public can also sign up to receive email or mobile alerts for updates to the Enbridge Sandpiper environmental impact statement on the DNR's website.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Ben Callan, water regulations and zoning specialist, 608-266-3524; Bill Cosh, DNR spokesman, 608-267-2773; Jennifer Sereno, communications, 608-770-8084.

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Smokey Bear turns 70 on August 9

MADISON - Smokey says he is ready for 70 more years of preventing wildfires as the star of the nation's longest-running public service advertising campaign. Who knows Smokey Bear? An Ad Council survey says 97 percent of adults know Smokey Bear and 3 out of 4 adults can recite (without hint or prompt) Smokey's most powerful message: "Only You Can Prevent Wildfires."

So powerful is that message fire experts say Smokey has helped reduce the number of acres lost every year to wildfires from roughly 22 million in 1944 (when Smokey started his campaign) to an average of 6.7 million annually today. Yet, Smokey's message remains as relevant today as 70 years ago because wildfire prevention remains a critical issue and people are still the number one cause of forest fires. Plus, as Smokey's birthday candles are being prepared, wildfire crews are working hard suppressing forest fires in the western United States.

Smokey Bear Turns 70
Smokey Bear Turns 70 August 9
WDNR Photo

Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources recently sent a 20-person wildfire hand-crew of members from various government agencies to Boise, Idaho, to assist with the wildfire suppression efforts. Another 6-person DNR hand-crew also is on its way to the state of Oregon. They will become part of another 20-member wildfire hand-crew to assist with fire-fighting efforts in western states. Also, several single resources or overhead positions have been mobilized this past weekend to assist in the western fire situation.

"We are always prepared for the weather to take a turn for the worst, but if we do not find ourselves in a critical fire situation at home, we most certainly are willing to send resources to areas of the country in need," DNR Wildfire Prevention Specialist Catherine Koele says. "This is a two-way street. We send help to other states when requested. And, if we are facing needs in times of emergencies, we also will get that extra assistance in return."

Wisconsin's peak fire season typically occurs in the spring shortly after the snow-cover disappears. This also is the time landowners are outside conducting property clean-up and choosing to burn ground materials instead of composting or recycling.

"Many people think that lightening starts most wildfires. In fact, 9 out of 10 wildfires nationwide are started by humans," Koele said. "Wildfires sparked by humans in Wisconsin are most commonly caused by debris or trash burning on windy days. The easiest way to prevent these fires is to simply obtain a burn permit and follow the rules."

Other common wildfire causes include:

To commemorate Smokey's birthday, the DNR will be hosting several events at state parks, state forests, Wisconsin State Fair, DNR ranger stations and local fire departments. In addition, many libraries are conducting summer reading programs to help children understand the differences between good fires and bad fires.

Smokey is giving out bear hugs online, using #SmokeyBearHug. He's also directing fans to his website, www.smokeybear.com, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter for more information about wildfire prevention.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Wildfire Prevention Specialist Catherine Koele, 715-356-5211 x208; cell 608-219-9075

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Farm Technology Days opens Aug. 12

DNR staff will again be available with demonstrations, information

STEVENS POINT - The 31st annual Wisconsin Farm Technology Days kicks off Tuesday, Aug. 12 in Portage County and runs through Thursday, Aug. 14. The Department of Natural Resources invites event visitors to stop by the Progress Pavilion and Conservation Tent to get the scoop on local permitting and best practices and tips for successful land conservation.

Visitors will also be able to chat with staff from many DNR programs, including wildlife management, forestry and agriculture runoff, see and learn about fish native to waters in Portage County and test out the laser shot activity center. The state's largest agricultural event will be open Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Co-hosted by Blue Top Farms and Feltz Family Farm, an estimated 80,000 attendees will make their way to Portage County. The event is located on 5796 Porter Drive, Stevens Point. Get directions and vendor information on the Farm Technology Days website [exit DNR].

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Kevin Harter, 715-839-3715; Carlyn Darrow, 608-264-8976

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Antlerless deer tags available for purchase Aug. 18

Hunters are encouraged to view FAQ document and participate in antlerless tags chat Aug. 12

MADISON - Bonus antlerless deer carcass tags are available for purchase starting Monday, Aug. 18 at 10 a.m. Antlerless tags will be sold at a rate of one per person per day. Sales will continue until sold out or until the 2014 deer hunting season ends.

A list of units and tags available can be found at dnr.wi.gov.

Tags will be available for purchase through the Online Licensing Center and at DNR licensing sales locations.

Deer management unit boundaries have changed as a result of an extensive two-year review of Wisconsin's deer management program. Deer hunters are encouraged to check the 2014 deer management unit designations map and 2014 Wisconsin Deer Hunting Regulations booklet for information regarding management units.

To help hunters understand the antlerless tag purchasing process, the department is hosting an online bonus antlerless tags chat at noon on Tuesday, Aug. 12. DNR regulations experts will be on hand to answer all tag-related questions. For more information, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keyword "chat."

In 2014, antlerless carcass tags will be available in 55 county units. Each gun deer, archer and crossbow hunting license will include one antlerless tag. This antlerless tag will be valid in county units within the Central Farmland and Southern Farmland zones.

Those who wish to harvest an additional antlerless deer must purchase a unit and zone-specific bonus antlerless deer carcass tag ($12 for residents, $5 for 10 and 11 year-olds, and $20 for adult non-residents). These tags will be specific to public or private land - hunters will need to be aware of which land type they plan to hunt before purchasing an additional bonus antlerless tag.

Nineteen county units, in whole or portion, have been designated as buck only in 2014 to encourage herd growth. Antlerless tags will not be available for purchase in these units. However, qualified members of the U.S. Armed Forces home on furlough or leave, Class A and C disabled permit hunters, and youth hunters ages 10-17 will be allowed to harvest an antlerless deer in buck only units.

Bonus tags for the Northern Forest and Central Forest zones will be available for purchase starting Monday, Aug. 18 at 10 a.m. Tags for the Central Farmland Zone will be available Aug. 19 at 10 a.m. Southern Farmland Zone tags will be available Aug. 20 at 10 a.m. All remaining tags will be available for purchase Aug. 21 at 10 a.m.

Those who purchase a 2014 deer hunting license before Aug. 18 can expedite the tag purchasing process, since hunters must obtain a deer hunting license before they can purchase a bonus antlerless tag.

Remaining tag numbers are updated daily. If a unit is not listed, no tags have been allotted for that unit in 2014. It is important to note that county units with low numbers of available tags will likely sell out quickly.

Hunters are encouraged to check out the frequently asked questions page for more information. The FAQ feature provides brief responses to a wide variety of deer hunting questions, ranging from deer management unit boundaries to antlerless permits.

For more information, please visit dnr.wi.gov and search keyword "deer."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Kevin Wallenfang, DNR big game ecologist, 608-261-7589

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More than 2,400 students and 120 teams participate in 2014 National Archery in the Schools World Tournament held in Madison

MADISON - Results have been posted for the 2014 National Archery in the Schools World Tournament held July 11-13 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison.

"This was an amazing event with unbelievable shooting, sportsmanship and excitement," said Daniel Schroeder, DNR natural resources educator and the tournament's coordinator. "The kids, parents and coaches were fun to talk to and the competition level was very high."

In 2014, 126 teams and 2425 individual athletes traveled to Madison to compete in the world tournament. This year's tournament included participants from the U.S., South Africa, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Overall individual champions in each division are as follows:

Wisconsin's individual champions in 2014 are listed below:

Overall team champions in 2014 are as follows:

"The tournament owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to the city of Madison and the numerous volunteers that helped make the tournament such a success," said Schroeder.

Full results from this year's world tournament can be found at the NASP website [exit DNR].

For more information regarding the Archery in the Schools Program, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keyword "NASP."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Daniel Schroeder, DNR NASP coordinator, 608-235-4619

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Crossbow license required for all crossbow hunters starting in 2014

MADISON - With bonus antlerless permit sales and archery and crossbow seasons just around the corner, license sales have begun to increase. Crossbow hunters are reminded that they will need to purchase a different license than in previous years.

New laws have established two kinds of deer hunting licenses applicable to archery and crossbow seasons. A crossbow license will allow hunting deer and small game with a crossbow. An archer license will only allow hunting with what is typically considered archery gear - a bow drawn and held through the effort of the person releasing it (this excludes crossbows). Under the new law, those who wish to hunt with a crossbow must purchase a crossbow license.

"In the past, hunters age 65 or older and those with permits for hunters with disabilities could hunt with a crossbow after purchasing an archer license," said DNR wildlife regulation policy specialist Scott Loomans. "Under the new law, they will need to purchase a crossbow hunting license. We want to remind people of this change and make sure they buy the right license."

Hunters may also purchase a crossbow/archer upgrade in addition to a single crossbow or archer license. This reduced price license option will allow hunters to hunt with both a bow and crossbow, but will not include an extra set of tags. Conservation patron licenses include an archer and crossbow license.

"People do ask us why there are separate license types," said DNR lands division administrator Kurt Thiede. "It was a compromise reached between people who were interested in allowing more crossbow use and those who wanted to move forward a bit more slowly with the new opportunity. The department will be sure to evaluate the crossbow season, talk to hunters, and make sure folks are satisfied with how things are going."

Crossbow licenses are currently on sale through dnr.wi.gov, keyword "license," or at participating license sales locations throughout Wisconsin.

Hunters are encouraged to check out the frequently asked questions page for more information regarding rule changes. The FAQ feature provides brief responses to a wide variety of deer hunting questions, ranging from deer management unit boundaries to antlerless permits. To view the FAQ page, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keyword "deer."

Those interested in receiving email updates regarding crossbow deer hunting can sign up to receive occasional email reminders about season dates, regulations and other important information. Visit dnr.wi.gov and click on the email icon near the bottom of the page for "subscribe for updates for DNR topics," then follow the prompts and select the "Crossbow Deer Hunting" distribution list.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Scott Loomans, DNR regulations specialist, 608-267-2452

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Woody biomass training to boost Wisconsin's working forests

MADISON - Wisconsin's forests grow more timber than loggers remove each year and increased strategic harvesting can improve species diversity, strengthen state forests and support Wisconsin's forest industry.

Yet, when trees are removed, they carry away nutrients stored from the soil. Loss of their protective canopy can also subject the forest floor to erosion.

Department of Natural Resources scientists say the solution to these challenges lies in woody biomass - the tree tops and branches scattered during the process of cutting trees and sectioning logs before they are hauled off site. However, balancing the volume of woody biomass needed to sustain soil nutrients with the economics of the logging industry requires both science and common sense.

Tricia Knoot, a DNR scientist specializing in forestry research, says the sharp eyes of experienced loggers and foresters are being trained to help with the balancing act. Starting in September, a series of training programs sponsored by the department will help loggers and foresters determine how much woody debris to leave behind based on updated guidelines.

"Tree tops, branches and fine debris that were once considered waste now hold real economic value for the wood composite industry and energy production," Knoot says. "Yet we know this biomass also contains important nutrients and holds the soil in place while the next generation of trees takes root. New science-based guidelines help identify appropriate levels to leave behind, but it takes a trained eye and working knowledge of woodlands to put the guidelines into practice."

Through support from Wisconsin's Sustainable Forest Initiative, DNR intends to use insights and experience gained from these industry leaders to help train others at two events this fall. The department will collaborate with Renewable Resource Solutions to offer sessions on Sept. 16 at the Municipal Center in Marathon City and Sept. 18 at the Veteran's Community Center in Hayward. The sessions will cover the same basic information.

"We're excited to be able to offer these events as part of a public-private effort to continue improving the management of Wisconsin's working forests," Knoot says. "The first part of the session will focus on some of the technical aspects of the guidelines while the second part will be spent in the field where attendees will be able to view and assess sites with known quantities of debris left after a harvest."

The cost of registration and meals for this training is being covered by a grant from Wisconsin's Sustainable Forest Initiative. Attendees seeking credits from the Forest Industry Safety and Training Alliance will pay $35, which will be sent directly to the organization with a form completed the day of the event.

Instructors include Dustin Bronson and Tricia Knoot of DNR science services; Greg Edge and Sarah Herrick of DNR forestry; and Don Peterson of Renewable Resource Solutions. Details of the event and a registration form can be found at DNR.wi.gov by searching for "woody biomass."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Tricia Knoot, forestry research scientist, 608-516-5978; Jennifer Sereno, communications, 608-770-8084.

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Public comment invited on draft panfish rules

Proposed rules designed to increase panfish size on selected lakes

MADISON - When does less add up to more?

In the case of panfish, fewer, larger fish produce significantly more fillet meat than many smaller fish. In fact, just four 8 inch bluegills produce more fillet meat than 25 bluegills measuring 5 inches.

Steve Hewett, fisheries section chief with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, says this fact bears consideration as the department moves to introduce new experimental panfish bag limits on 110 lakes statewide. The goal of the changes is to improve the average size of panfish in lakes that are not achieving their potential. The proposed rules follow three years of angler surveys, focus groups, more than 30 public meetings and spring hearings hosted by the Wisconsin Conservation Congress.

"Wisconsin anglers have spoken and while there is little interest in sweeping changes to statewide panfish regulations, there is a desire to take action on lakes where overharvesting has resulted in below average sizes for bluegill and crappie," Hewett says. "While in the short term, the proposed rules will mean that anglers take home fewer fish, we anticipate that within just a few years, the average size increase should more than make up for any lower number of panfish. We expect anglers will see the same amount of meat, if not more, for the pan and have a more enjoyable fishing experience."

Underlying the proposed new rules are concerns raised by anglers about diminishing fish size on many lakes. DNR fisheries biologists say panfish experience rapid increases in size up until age 6 or 7, when they typically measure about 8 inches. Bluegills 9 to 10 inches can be as old as 14 to 16 years.

Heavy harvesting on some lakes currently prevents most panfish from surviving beyond age 4, when they measure just 5 inches. At the 5 inch length, it takes about 25 fish to produce a half pound of fillets.

Hewett says biological sampling shows the lakes that will get new bag limits aren't suffering from disease or poor fish genetics; instead, heavy harvesting is to blame.

"Evaluations in Wisconsin and Minnesota show that a reduced bag limit will increase the average bluegill size," Hewett says. "We are proposing three different harvest regulations on the selected lakes to achieve improved performance and over time we'll be comparing the results to learn which lakes are faring the best."

The three proposed regulations include:

The varied regulations will be evaluated in six years to determine whether they are improving panfish size as well as whether anglers are supportive of the changes.

Anglers and others interested in the proposals will have an opportunity to provide comments at a series of three public meetings starting later in August and running into September.

The meetings, which will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., are set for:

More information about the plan, including a draft list of the 110 lakes along with the proposed limits, can be found at DNR.wi.gov by searching for "panfish plan." In addition to attending the public information meetings, citizens may submit comments to Jon Hansen, DNR fisheries biologist via email to jonathan.hansen@wisconsin.gov or mail to P.O. Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921, att. Panfish Plan.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Hewett, Fisheries Management Section chief, 608-267-7501; Travis Motl, panfish team member and fisheries biologist in Plymouth, 920-893-8549; Jennifer Sereno, communications, 608-770-8084.

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Read more: Previous Weekly News

Last Revised: Tuesday, August 05, 2014




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