NEWS ARCHIVE:     Age: 2,901 days

ARCHIVED Weekly News Published February 17, 2015

All Previous Archived Issues


Back by popular demand: free lottery aids landowners in learning what lives on their land

Through a Landowner Conservation Report, ecologists can help landowners identify and discover rare species and habitats such as plants on their property. Photo by Kevin DoyleThrough a Landowner Conservation Report, ecologists can help landowners identify and discover rare species and habitats such as plants on their property. Photo by Kevin Doyle

[EDITOR'S ADVISORY: Landowners and others can learn more about entering the lottery to win a free customized landowner conservation report for their property during a live online chat Feb. 24. The live chat begins at noon Tuesday, Feb. 24. To participate, visit and look for the box on the right to enter the chat, or search the phrase "ask the experts." You can also join the conversation on the DNR Facebook page,, by clicking the "Cover it Live Chat" box on the top of the page.]

MADISON - Ever wonder what plants or animals call your land home?

People who want to learn more about their land can enter a free lottery to win a free customized report to discover if unique plants, animals, soils and geology are potentially on their property based on what's been found on nearby public lands.

The lottery runs from now until March 15 and 100 landowners who voluntarily enter their name will be randomly selected to receive the customized report, known as Landowner Conservation Reports. Last year's lottery was an overwhelming success, with more than three times as many landowners applying as were spots available, says Erin Crain, who leads the Department of Natural Resources' staff that will provide the service.

"We had such a tremendous response from landowners last year that we're going to do it again," says Crain, director of the DNR Natural Heritage Conservation Bureau. "People love their land and are really interested in learning what plants and animals call it home."

More than 85 percent of land in Wisconsin is privately owned, so having good habitat on private land is critical to conserving rare plants and animals, Crain says.

"We want to reach out to landowners and share what we know from past plant and animal surveys," she says. "What landowners do with the information is up to them; our hope is that they will consider ways to maintain and improve habitat for Wisconsin's rare species."

To create the reports, DNR ecologist Alex Wenthe will review various DNR and federal databases containing information about the rare plants and animals found through field surveys of public lands or nongovernmental organization lands. Landowners can also choose to have a site visit from a DNR ecologist.

Landowners will get a report that provides information about rare species found in the area, invasive species to be on the lookout for and general information about the soils, geology and hydrogeology in the area.

Information collected during the review process will not affect what landowners can subsequently do with their property.

The report will also contain general recommendations on improving habitat and controlling invasive species, a little information on where landowners can get technical and financial help for habitat work and a list of private contractors who can help landowners develop detailed conservation plans and assessments.

"The goal is to provide Wisconsin landowners with the best information available," he says. "Whether you hope to restore land or want just to learn what's outside your window, these customized reports can point you in the right direction."

People can learn more about Landowner Conservation Reports and enter the lottery by visiting the DNR website, and searching the keyword, "LCR."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Erin Crain, NHC director, 608-267-7479 or Alex Wenthe, DNR ecologist, 608-267-7758



State Natural Resources Board to consider deer rules, population objectives at February 25 meeting

MADISON -- Proposed rules related to deer management, hunting, and implementation of the 2012 White-tailed Deer Trustee's Report and white-tailed deer population objectives for Wisconsin deer management units are among the issues the state Natural Resources Board will take up at its February 25 meeting in Madison.

The meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, February 25, in Room G09, State Natural Resources Building (GEF 2), 101 South Webster St., Madison.

The board will also consider:

The board will also hear updates on the history of the Natural Resources Board and the proposed 2015-17 DNR budget.

The complete February board agenda is available by searching the DNR website, for keyword "NRB" and clicking on the button for "view agendas."

The public may testify at board meetings on topics open for public comment (listed on the agenda) and during the citizen participation period. The deadline to register to speak at the board meeting or to submit comments is 11 a.m. on Friday, February 20, 2015. The public may also submit written comments about issues that come before the board. For more information see the board public participation page of the DNR website.

Board meetings are webcast live. People can watch the meeting over the Internet by going to the NRB page of the DNR website and clicking on "NRB webcasts" link under the "Meeting materials" tab. Then click on this month's meeting. After each meeting, the webcast will be permanently available on demand.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Laurie Ross, board liaison, 608-267-7420 or Bill Cosh, DNR spokesperson, 608-267-2773



Deadlines approach for ice fishing shelter removal

The deadlines to remove ice shanties from lakes are approaching.The deadlines to remove ice shanties from lakes are approaching.

MADISON - The first of a number of deadlines for ice anglers to remove ice fishing shelters from inland and boundary waters is this week. All ice fishing shelters must be removed from Wisconsin-Iowa boundary waters by Friday, Feb. 20. This earlier date, affecting the Mississippi River south of the Minnesota-Iowa border, is set to correspond with Iowa regulations.

The deadlines for the other two boundary waters are March 1 for Wisconsin-Minnesota boundary waters and March 15 for Wisconsin-Michigan boundary waters.

For inland Wisconsin waters, ice fishing shelters must be removed daily and when not occupied after the following dates:

One exception to this rule is that on the Fox River downstream from the De Pere dam in Brown County, ice fishing shelters must always be removed from the ice daily and when not in use.

After these dates for removing ice fishing shelters from a frozen lake or river, an angler may continue to use a portable shelter but must remove it daily and when it is not occupied or actively being used.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Recreational enforcement and education safety administrative warden April Dombrowski, 608-852-9456.


Read more: Previous Weekly News

Last Revised: Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Need an expert?

The Office of Communications connects journalists with DNR experts on a wide range of topics. For the fastest response, please email and the first available Communications Specialist will respond to you.