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NEWS ARCHIVE:     Age: 706 days

Weekly News Published November 13, 2018


Wisconsin State Park System to launch enhanced campsite reservation system

Contact(s): Chris Pedretti, state parks business operation chief, 608-264-8958 or Paul Holtan, DNR Office of Communications, 608-267-7517

MADISON - Starting Dec. 17, 2018 campers booking a campsite at Wisconsin State Park System properties will be using a new, improved - and less expensive - reservation system.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is contracting with a new provider, Camis USA, Inc., that was awarded the reservation contract through a competitive bidding process. Camis USA currently operates reservation systems for Michigan, Maryland and Washington state parks. All reservations that have already been booked through Reserve America will automatically be transferred to the new system.

The new campsite reservation system will include a search feature that allows people to sites with specific features, such as waterfront sites. - Photo credit: DNR
The new campsite reservation system will allow campers to search for sites with specific features, such as waterfront sites.Photo credit: DNR

Prior to Nov. 30 customers should make sure their email and postal addresses and phone numbers are up to date in the existing Reserve America system. All that information will be transferred to the new reservation system.

There will be down time from Dec. 1 to Dec. 16. to allow for existing reservations to be transferred to the new system. No reservations can be booked during this time. Prior to Dec. 17 customers will be able to log into the new system through the DNR website and set up their accounts and view their current reservations. Campers who have used Reserve America in the past to make reservations only need to set up accounts in the new system to begin making reservations with Camis USA.

Under the new system it will cost users $7.75 to make a reservation, compared to the current price of $9.65. Customers can also expect many enhancements when making reservations, including a better search function for campsites, and a mobile-friendly website that makes it easier than ever to make a reservation from a phone or tablet. The new system will also accommodate reservations for shelters and amphitheaters.

Campers can make reservations for sites up to 11 months in advance of their arrival, either online or by phone. The reservation phone number (1-888-947-2757) and access to the online reservation system through the DNR website will remain the same. Camis USA is in the process of opening a Wisconsin call center in Kenosha that will employ between 12 and 15 operators depending on the season.

Learn more about the new system by searching the DNR website for keyword "camp."



Hunter success high during early portion of first-ever managed elk hunt in Wisconsin

Contact(s): Kevin Wallenfang, DNR deer and elk ecologist, 608-206-1107

MADISON - Following more than 22 years of elk management and reintroduction efforts, 2018 marked Wisconsin's first managed elk hunt in state history.

Not only are a few lucky hunters enjoying this unique experience, but they are finding success, too.

"As expected, hunter success has been high, and they are getting some big, mature bulls," said Kevin Wallenfang, deer and elk ecologist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. "It was unfortunate that the hunt started off the way it did with an illegal harvest, but since then the other hunters have shared the story of some great hunts in a wilderness setting and the local hunters and others in the community have been overwhelmingly excited and helpful to them!"

A bull elk from the original Clam Lake herd photographed in Sawyer County in August 2017. - Photo credit: Kevin Wallenfang
A bull elk from the original Clam Lake herd photographed in Sawyer County in August 2017.Photo credit: Kevin Wallenfang

The area of the hunt is within the Clam Lake elk range of Sawyer, Bayfield, Ashland, and Price counties where 25 elk from Michigan were released in 1995. The hunt was initiated this year when the population surpassed 200 animals that included a high proportion of adult bulls.

A harvest quota of 10 bulls was approved for this historic hunt, five of which were filled by mid-October by the Chippewa tribes. Since then, three of the four bulls harvested by state hunters occurred between Nov. 8 and Nov. 11.

"I've been in contact almost weekly with each of the hunters, and they were seeing elk and getting their opportunities," Wallenfang said. "It sounds like they've really been enjoying the experience, and frankly, I don't think they ever wanted it to end. But they each finally found a bull that they liked in the past few days."

Wallenfang indicated that each of the three bulls harvested in recent days had impressive antlers of 5x5 or larger, and all are known to range from 6-10 years old.

One state tag remains unfilled, but the hunter will have an additional opportunity to hunt again in December.

Over 38,400 Wisconsin residents submitted a $10 application to win one of four state tags, while approximately 5,000 more purchased a raffle ticket to win the final tag. All revenue from the application and raffle sales are earmarked specifically for elk habitat management, research and monitoring in Wisconsin. The 2019 elk hunt application period will occur throughout the month of May.

For more information regarding elk in Wisconsin, go to and search keyword "elk." To receive email updates regarding current translocation efforts, visit and click on the email icon near the bottom of the page titled "subscribe for updates for DNR topics," then follow the prompts and select the "elk in Wisconsin" and "wildlife projects" distribution lists.



Be sure of your shot - whitetail hunters reminded to look out for elk and moose on the landscape

Contact(s): Kevin Wallenfang, DNR big game ecologist, at 608-261-7589

MADISON - State wildlife officials are reminding the public, and especially hunters, to be aware of elk and moose on the landscape in central and far northern Wisconsin as they enjoy fall hunting seasons.

Hunters should always be sure of your target and what lies beyond - this ensures the safety of other people, but it is also necessary to avoid the accidental shooting of non-target animals, said Kevin Wallenfang, elk and deer biologist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Elk reintroduction began in Wisconsin in 1995, and the herd now numbers more than 200. They are regularly encountered in the far northern counties of Ashland, Sawyer, Price, Rusk and Bayfield Counties. Reintroduction efforts beginning in 2014 brought elk back to Jackson County, and elk are seen regularly there and in surrounding counties as well.

While Wisconsin has not reintroduced moose, animals do wander into the state and even take up permanent residency as a result of successful reintroduction in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and a native population of moose in Minnesota. Fall 2018 moose sightings have been frequent in Wisconsin's northernmost counties and as far south as Clark County.

To learn more about Wisconsin's elk reintroduction program, search the DNR website,, for keyword "elk."



Share your hunt - connect with DNR on social media this fall

Contact(s): Sawyer Briel, DNR communications, 608-282-5334

MADISON - Hunters preparing for the opening of the traditional Wisconsin nine-day gun deer season this Saturday can share their experiences with other hunters by connect with Department of Natural Resources staff on social media.

From Facebook Live to podcasts, it has never been easier to interact with DNR staff. Check out the DNR social media pages for an inside look at how work done by our staff helps improve your time afield or afloat.


We know you love spending time in the outdoors - head to our Facebook page and check out tons of great content, ranging from live segments with fish shocking crews to Q & A sessions with DNR staff. Here, you can also share your photos from time in the field.

Visit the Wisconsin DNR Facebook page to share your hunting experiences this fall.< - Photo credit: DNR
Visit the Wisconsin DNR Facebook page to share your hunting experiences this fall.<Photo credit: DNR

Discover more on our Wisconsin DNR Facebook page.


The DNR Instagram page is filled with high-quality content from the field - and, if you've got photos or videos of your time in the woods, be sure to share them and tag us - we'd love to share your content!

Discover more on our Wisconsin DNR Instagram page.


You want information on the go in the field - whether you are looking to find a new place to enjoy the outdoors or thinking about building a bat house in your backyard, our YouTube page has all the content you need. Here, you'll also find our podcast and web series - Wild Wisconsin!

Discover more on our Wisconsin DNR YouTube page.

Wild Wisconsin: Off the Record Podcast

Get a behind the scenes look at all things DNR with help from our Wild Wisconsin: Off the Record podcast series. Whether you like to listen on your commute or in your treestand, podcasts give you an inside look at everything from deer to endangered species.

Discover more on our Wisconsin DNR iTunes, Podbean, Stitcher and YouTube pages.


Think of it like reading a newspaper on your phone - head to the DNR Twitter page for daily news updates and other helpful information.

Discover more on our Wisconsin DNR Twitter page.

Gov Delivery

Gov Delivery places you in the driver's seat to choose which email updates you receive. Here, you can sign up for all types of lists, ranging from hunting to master planning. Scroll to the bottom of the DNR homepage and select the red envelope to sign up for timely email updates.

Subscribe to Wisconsin DNR Gov Delivery updates.

RSS Feeds

Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is an easy way for you to be alerted when content that interests you appears on the DNR website. Instead of visiting the DNR news pages to browse for new articles and features, our RSS feeds will automatically let you know when something new is posted online. Here, you can also grab links to our podcasts to use in a podcast app of your choosing.

Discover more on our Wisconsin DNR RSS feeds page.



First harvest and first experience certificates will help hunters remember time in the outdoors for years to come

Contact(s): Erin Larson, DNR wildlife data coordinator, 608-264-6054; Sawyer Briel, DNR communications, 608-261-0751

MADISON - Hunters of all ages who head out for their first hunt are encouraged to mark the occasion with a first harvest and first hunting experience certificate.

First Hunt Certificate - Photo credit: DNR
First Hunt Certificate

"The first time you harvest an animal can be very exciting, however the first time sitting in a tree stand or setting a trap can be just as memorable," said DNR wildlife data coordinator Erin Larson. "The department offers first hunting experience certificates to commemorate the occasion."

Those interested can submit a photograph of their special moment to be included, as well as details about the experience. To help preserve hunting memories with friends and family, these free certificates can act as a personalized memento.

Hunters are asked to fill out information regarding when and where the animal was harvested to complete the form - this information will be displayed on a customized certificate. Certificates will be sent electronically to each successful hunter within a few weeks.

To create a certificate, visit and search keywords "first certificates."



Green Tier report, videos show how collaboration yields business and environmental results

Contact(s): Laurel Sukup, DNR chief, Sustainability and Business Support, 608-267-6817, or Erika Kluetmeier, DNR sustainability advisor, 608-267-0865,

MADISON -The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Green Tier program launched a video series today with its report to the Wisconsin Legislature, showcasing new tools for participants committed to improving their environmental footprint. In the videos, Green Tier participants tell how partnerships forged through the program helped them minimize their environmental impacts, maximize their bottom line, and share their experiences with others.

"It's gratifying to hear how Green Tier has helped our customers become stronger, more productive organizations contributing to a healthy environment, workplace and economy," said DNR Secretary Dan Meyer.

Green Tier is a voluntary sustainability program that provides a framework for businesses and organizations who want to proactively improve their environmental performance. Participants use a system to guide and monitor their environmental initiatives. In exchange, the department provides recognition, a primary contact in the agency, and, in some cases, regulatory flexibility to Green Tier participants.

"With great commitment and determination our Green Tier companies are leading the way in showing how sustainable practices reduce risks and create efficiencies that save money. Whether it's reduced emissions or waste, or preventative measures that safeguard the environment, Green Tier companies are ahead of the curve," Meyer said.

In addition to new options for participation, Meyer said the report also highlights DNR efforts to improve the Green Tier experience for customers. "We are taking a good idea and making it even better," he said.

The Green Tier report and videos are available by searching the DNR website,, for keywords "Green Tier" and clicking on the link for Green Tier 2018 Biennial Report. The videos feature the following Green Tier participants: Crave Brothers Farm, Empire Screen Printing, Wisconsin Urban Wood Green Tier Charter, and a partnership between La Crosse County, city of La Crosse, and La Crosse County Solid Waste Department.



DNR Recycling Excellence Awards celebrate Wisconsin recyclers on America Recycles Day

Contact(s): Jennifer Semrau, DNR Waste & Materials Management Program, 608-267-7550

MADISON - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources congratulates ten recycling programs, businesses and organizations for winning a 2018 Wisconsin Recycling Excellence Award.

In honor of America Recycles Day on Nov. 15, the award recognizes four categories of excellence: Projects and Initiatives, Overall Program, Special Events and Innovation.

"It is an honor to recognize these programs for their waste diversion achievements in conjunction with America Recycles Day" said Joe Van Rossum, Waste and Materials Management Program director.

Projects and Initiatives Award winners are recognized for a specific project that increases materials recycled or diverted through a specific action or project.

The Overall Program Award recognizes efforts that are robust and constantly improving, while demonstrating a commitment to improve the overall recycling or diversion program.

The Special Events Award honors providing effective recycling at special events for the first time or by expanding existing programs.

The Innovation Award recognizes programs that demonstrate unique and innovative approaches to recycling.

More information on the awards program is available on the DNR website,, by searching "Recycling Excellence Awards" or contacting Jennifer Semrau at or 608-267-7550. For more information on recycling in Wisconsin search keyword "recycling."


Read more: Previous Weekly News

Last Revised: Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Contact information

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