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ARCHIVED Weekly News Published January 19, 2016

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Natural Resources Board to meet January 27 in Madison

Contact(s): Laurie Ross, board liaison, 608-267-7420

MADISON - Proposed 2016 bear harvest quotas and rule revisions to address issues the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency raised with Wisconsin's management of wastewater permits are among the items the state Natural Resources Board will address when it meets Jan. 27 in Madison.

Other items include proposed advisory questions for the 2016 Fish and Wildlife Rules Hearings, a proposed amendment to the Blue Mound State Park master plan to for recreational trail use, including re-establishing a snowmobile route through the park, and updating management plans for 48,000 acres of wildlife areas in Burnette County, including the Crex Meadows State Wildlife Area.

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

The meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 27, in Room G09, State Natural Resources Building (GEF 2), 101 South Webster St., Madison.

At approximately 12:30 p.m., the board will also tour and receive an informational briefing of the Department of Natural Resources Customer Service and DNR Hotline programs in the State Natural Resources Building.

The public must pre-register with Laurie Ross, board liaison, to attend scheduled tours or to testify at the board meeting. Registration information is available on the agenda on the DNR website. Exact tour schedule is subject to change)

The deadline to register to attend a tour or to testify, or submit written comments for the business meeting is 11 a.m., Friday, January 22, 2016. More information on NRB public participation is available on the DNR website.

Board meetings are webcast live. People can watch the meeting over the Internet by going to the NRB agenda page of the DNR website and clicking on webcasts in the Related Links column on the right. Then click on this month's meeting. After each meeting, the webcast will be permanently available on demand.



Volunteers needed for MacKenzie Center's Maple Education Program

Contact(s): Ruth Ann Lee, DNR educator, 608-635-8112; Chrystal Seeley-Schreck, DNR educator, 608-635-8112

MADISON - Volunteers are needed to help students from around south central Wisconsin learn the process and history of making maple syrup in Wisconsin.

Each spring the Department of Natural Resources MacKenzie Center welcomes more than 1,200 students to participate in an annual Maple Education Program. The students and volunteers tap more than 100 trees in the center's sugar bush, or grove of maple trees, typically collecting around 1,000 gallons of sap and producing 35 to 40 gallons of pure maple syrup.

Volunteers are need to assist with the 2016 Maple Festival at the MacKenzie Center.
Volunteers are need to assist with the 2016 Maple Festival at the MacKenzie Center.
Photo Credit: WDNR

The education program begins in March and volunteers are needed in many areas. Volunteers will be trained to conduct student tours, boil sap, process maple syrup, and/or assist with other behind the scenes sugar bush duties. Volunteers are needed throughout the month of March.

Maple field trips occur twice a day, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in March. Volunteers can sign up for just a few days or for the entire month of the education program. Many education volunteers will participate in three or more days throughout the month.

"No previous experience is necessary, but we do caution that this experience is addicting," said Ruth Ann Lee, who co-leads the education program at the center. "This is a great chance to learn from experienced volunteers and try something new."

Training sessions are scheduled for February 23 and 25 from 9 a.m. until noon.

People interested in this opportunity should contact MacKenzie Center staff via email at or call 608-635-8112 prior to Feb. 15. The MacKenzie Center is located two miles east of Poynette on County Road CS.

For more information, search the DNR website, for keyword "MacKenzie."



Still time to submit wildlife observations with the Deer Hunter Wildlife Survey

Contact(s): Brian Dhuey, 608- 221-6342 or Jes Rees Lohr, 608- 221-6360

MADISON -- As the deer hunting season comes to a close, state wildlife officials are reminding hunters to send in their wildlife observations. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources asks hunters to record all of their hunting activity throughout the deer season, even if no wildlife sightings were made during a hunt. The observations provide biologists with an index to abundance for many wildlife species.

People have until Jan. 31 to submit wildlife observation sheets.
People have until Jan. 31 to submit wildlife observation sheets.
Photo Credit: WDNR

All wildlife sightings made Sept. 12 through Jan. 3 can be submitted until the survey closes Jan. 31. Participants can access the survey webpage by going to the DNR website,, and search keyword "Deer Hunter Wildlife." Tally sheets can be filled out either electronically or printed from the site and later mailed.

At the end of each year, participants will receive a personalized summary of all recorded wildlife from that season. Final results of the survey will be made available at the end of February 2016.

Mail tally sheets to: Wildlife Surveys, Attn: Brian Dhuey, Wisconsin DNR, 2801 Progress Road, Madison, WI 53716.



Proposed Badger Coulee transmission line may result in the incidental take of rare lizards, turtles and frogs

Contact(s): Rori Paloski 608-264-6040 or

MADISON -- The construction of a new electrical transmission power line between La Crosse and Dane counties may result in the "incidental taking" of rare lizards, turtles and frogs under an authorization the Department of Natural Resources proposes to issue for the project.

Incidental take refers to the unintentional loss of individual endangered or threatened animals or plants that does not put the overall population of the species at risk.

The Badger Coulee Line Project (Segments 1-4) is a proposed new, predominantly single-circuit 345 kilovolt (kV) transmission line between northern La Crosse County and northern Dane County. In the La Crosse area, the line will connect to the Briggs Road Substation in the town of Onalaska. In Dane County, the line will connect to the North Madison Substation in the Town of Vienna and continue to its termination at the Cardinal Substation in the Town of Middleton.

The Project consists of eight construction segments (Segments 1 through 8) and also extends through Columbia, Sauk, Juneau, Monroe, Jackson, and Trempealeau counties for a total length of approximately 187 miles.

The Project is jointly owned by American Transmission Company; Dairyland Power Cooperative; Northern States Power Company, a Wisconsin corporation; SMMPA Wisconsin, LLC, and WPPI Energy. ATC will be the Project's construction manager, acting on behalf of itself and its co-owners.

The presence of the state endangered slender glass lizard (Ophisaurus attenuatus), state endangered ornate box turtle (Terrapene ornata), state threatened wood turtle (Glyptemys insculpta) and state endangered Blanchard's cricket frog (Acris blanchardi) have been confirmed in the vicinity of the project site. DNR staff determined that the proposed project may result in the incidental taking of some lizards, turtles and frogs.

Department staff concluded that the proposed project will minimize the impacts to the species by adhering to conservation measures; is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence and recovery of the state population of the species or the whole plant-animal community of which they are a part; and has benefit to the public health, safety or welfare that justifies the action.

The conservation measures to minimize the adverse effect on the endangered/threatened species will be incorporated into the proposed Incidental Take Authorization. Copies of the jeopardy assessment and background information on the slender glass lizard, ornate box turtle, wood turtle and Blanchard's cricket frog are available by searching the DNR website,, for incidental take public notice or upon request from Rori Paloski at 608-264-6040 or The department is requesting comments from the public through Feb. 18, 2016. Public comments should be sent to Rori Paloski, Wisconsin DNR, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921 or


Read more: Previous Weekly News

Last Revised: Tuesday, January 19, 2016

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