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ARCHIVED Weekly News Published February 10, 2015

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Annual bird conservation meeting will focus on supporting private landowners

Field trips with landowners and expert biologists will highlight ways you can create and protect habitats on your property. Photo credit: Stephen Brady.Field trips with landowners and expert biologists will highlight ways you can create and protect habitats on your property. Photo credit: Stephen Brady.

CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. - Interested landowners can join experts from around the state to learn more about how they can help birds in their own backyards.

The 2015 Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative annual meeting will be held March 19- 21 at the Avalon Hotel and Conference Center in Chippewa Falls, Wis. Landowners, bird enthusiasts, land managers and conservation practitioners who are interested in learning more about how they can conserve bird habitats on their property are encouraged to attend.

"This conference is a great way private landowners and other citizens can get directly involved with conservation efforts and contribute to the strong legacy that exists in Wisconsin." said Tom Hauge, wildlife bureau director for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

This year's meeting, which is coordinated by DNR and other WBCI partners, recognizes the significant role that private lands play in providing habitat for Wisconsin birds.

"Private landowners play a key role in achieving important conservation goals in Wisconsin," said Ryan Brady, WBCI bird monitoring coordinator. "This is a great forum for those wanting in getting involved to see what opportunities exist for them to create habitats in their own backyard."

The conference features a full agenda of presentations and field trips focused on forest, wetland and grassland habitats.

Friday's schedule features a general welcome session in the morning and guests will have the opportunity to attend one of three specialized sessions in the afternoon. Whether people are working with grasslands, wetlands or a private forest, they will hear from experts on management tools, restoration strategies and habitat improvement options specific to their land type.

"Our goal is to come up with creative approaches that combine the habitat needs of birds with the goals of landowners," said Yoyi Steele, DNR wildlife biologist and planner. "Landowners have the ability to make a huge impact on birds and other wildlife on their land. We're here to help them restore and preserve those crucial habitats."

The conference will wrap up with field trips on Saturday morning, where guests will have the chance to see firsthand how the practices work from other landowners.

People can register now for the WBCI annual meeting and join experts from around the state. A complete agenda of presentation topics, field trip locations and speakers, is available on the WBCI website [Exit DNR].

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Yoyi Steele, DNR wildlife biologist and planner, 608-266-8169; Ryan Brady, WBCI bird monitoring coordinator, 715-685-2933



DNR historical photos available online

Vaudeville entertainer Vaudeville entertainer

MADISON -- Gypsy Rose Lee holding a musky. General Dwight D. Eisenhower fishing. Aldo Leopold addressing the Wisconsin Conservation Congress. Gov. Warren Knowles coyote hunting. Boston Red Sox baseball star Ted Williams handling a tame deer.

These are among the photos included in "Wisconsin's Historic Natural Resources Photos," a subset of the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections that went live on the Internet this month.

The collection is the first 500 of what will eventually be 2,200 black and white photos from the 1930s to the 1970s, showing Wisconsinites enjoying and working to protect the state's natural resources. They show state parks, forests and wildlife areas; anglers, campers, canoeists, hunters and picnickers; black bears, pheasants, jacksnipe, smelt and white-tailed deer; the wardens, biologists and foresters who helped conserve them, and much more.

"These photos are treasures that should be shared with the public," said DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp. "Just like old family photos, for years they've been stashed in the basement of the State Natural Resources Building waiting for somebody to put them in an album. This project makes them a click away to anybody who wants to see them."

The project is a partnership between the UW Digital Collections Center and the Department of Natural Resources. DNR staff selects photos from the more than 10,000 historical photos housed in the central office headquarters, and prepare the metadata associated with each photo. UW staff and student workers then digitize, format and index the photos before posting them to the website.

"I especially like the one of Mrs. Taylor showing off her musky," laughed Stepp. "She's all decked out in her hat and high heels holding a 50-inch musky she caught. I guess things were a bit more formal in 1934 than they are now."

Aside from their historical value, they show how life and places in Wisconsin have changed, and in some cases, how they have stayed the same.

Photos are being digitized in batches of 500 over the next year or so. The project is scheduled for completion by May 2016. All photos are public records and available free of charge to copy and redistribute in any medium or format for any purpose, even commercially. They are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic License. That means if someone uses them, they must credit "Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources" and if they remix, transform or build upon the material, they may not distribute the modified material.

The images area available on the UW Digital Collections Center website at (exit DNR).

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Bill Cosh, DNR spokesperson, 608-267-2773,



Awards presented for efforts to promote urban forestry in Wisconsin

MADISON - The efforts of individuals, organizations and communities to ensure there are healthy, thriving trees in urban areas that can make a community unique and special were recently recognized by the Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council.

Jeff Treu, chair of the council's award committee, said the awards are presented to local leaders who take it upon themselves to care for a resource that many take for granted.

"These awards honor those who not only appreciate the beauty of trees, but recognize their value. Well-managed trees pay back their communities three-times the cost to plant and to maintain them," says Treu. "They clean air, hold soil in place, increase property values, help manage storm water, and comprise our urban forest -- the forest where we live."

The Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council reviewed many worthy nominations and selected the following for the five 2015 awards, which were announced at the 2015 Wisconsin Arborist Association/DNR conference in La Crosse in January and will be presented to award winners in their individual communities at special events.

Distinguished Service: This award recognizes an individual for their outstanding contributions to urban forestry in Wisconsin.

Project Partnership: This award recognizes outstanding projects completed through partnerships to provide services or benefits to the urban forest.

Innovation: This award recognizes the creativity, commitment and success of urban forestry efforts. There are two winners in this category.

Lifetime Achievement: This award recognizes outstanding contributions to urban forestry in Wisconsin demonstrated throughout a lifetime career.

Interested in previous winners? Have ideas for nominees? The deadline for 2016 nominees is Nov. 30, 2015. However, you can nominate your tree champions any time. Learn more by searching the DNR website,, for kewords Urban Forestry.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Olivia Shanahan, Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council Liaison, 608-267-3775



Statewide Friends of Wisconsin State Parks group elects officers

MADISON - The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks elected officers at its January board meeting in Madison.

William Zager of Amery was elected president. He is a member of the Friends of Stower Seven Lakes State Trail and had been serving as the group's vice president. He replaces Roger Putnam of Madison.

Waldo Peterson of Madison was elected vice president. He is a member of the Friends of Mirror Lake State Park.

Mike Samsa of Franksville was elected secretary. He is a member of the Richard Bong State Recreation Area's Bong Naturalist Association. He replaces Tim Lovett of Oconomowoc.

Jan Primus of Madison was re-elected treasurer. She is a member of the Friends of Mirror Lake State Park.

The non-profit Friends of Wisconsin State Parks is an umbrella organization for the more than 80 local friends groups across Wisconsin. These groups and individuals work together to preserve, protect, and enhance the state parks, trails, recreation areas and forests around Wisconsin by providing on-the-ground work, monetary support, and advocacy for these valuable areas. For more information about the organization, visit the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks website at (exit DNR).

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Patty Loosen, DNR friends group liaison, 608-264-8994



DNR spring wildlife and fisheries rules hearing questionnaire available online

MADISON - The complete questionnaire for proposed changes to Wisconsin fish and wildlife rules that will be reviewed at the 2015 Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources spring rules hearings is now available online.

On Monday, April 13, 2015, there will be 72 public hearings [PDF], one in each county where individuals interested in natural resources management have an opportunity to provide their input by non-binding vote and testimony on proposed rule changes and advisory questions relating to fish and wildlife management in Wisconsin.

The questions cover a broad array of statewide and local proposed rules changes for state hunting, trapping and fishing rules, as well as advisory questions from the state Natural Resources Board and Wisconsin Conservation Congress.

County residents have the option to run for a seat on the Wisconsin Conservation Congress, or elect other delegates from their county to represent their county views regarding natural resources on the Conservation Congress. Also, individuals have the opportunity to bring forth new conservation issues of a statewide nature to the attention of the Conservation Congress through the citizen resolution process.

People interested in attending the hearings are encouraged to review the questionnaire on line.

The fisheries questions relate to season, bag limit, and length limit regulations, including:

Wildlife questions include:

Meeting results, along with written comments on the evening's questions and DNR recommendations are used to advise the state Natural Resources Board. Votes are non-binding and are presented to the Natural Resources Board as advisory. The 2015 spring rules hearing questionnaire [PDF] is available by searching the DNR website, for keywords "Spring Hearings."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Kari Lee-Zimmerman, DNR congress liaison, 608-266-0580 or Bill Cosh, DNR spokesperson, 608-267-2773



MacKenzie Center seeks volunteers for Maple Education Program and Festival

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POYNETTE, Wis. - The MacKenzie Center is looking for volunteers throughout the month of March and first week of April to assist with its annual maple syrup education program and festival.

Volunteers will be trained to conduct student tours, boil sap, process maple syrup, and assist with other "sugar bush" duties. Many volunteers will participate in three or more days throughout the month.

"No previous experience is necessary, but we do caution you that this experience is addicting," said Chrystal Seeley-Schreck, center education team co-lead for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Training sessions are scheduled for Feb. 24 and 26 from 9 a.m. to noon.

The center is also recruiting volunteers who only want to volunteer for one day for the center's Maple Festival on Saturday April 4, held in cooperation with the Friends of MacKenzie. The event runs from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and volunteers are needed for everything from parking cars to serving maple syrup ice cream.

People who are interested in either opportunity can email the center at or call 608-635-8112 prior to Feb. 20.

The MacKenzie Center is located 2 miles east of Poynette on County Road CS. For more information on the MacKenzie Center please visit us on the web at, and search MacKenzie. For more information about the center, search the DNR website,, for keyword "MacKenzie."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Ruth Ann Lee or Chrystal Seeley-Schreck at 608-635-8112



Invader Crusader Awards open for nominations

MADISON - Individuals, groups or organizations that make significant contributions to prevent, control or eradicate invasive species that harm Wisconsin land, water and wetlands are eligible to be nominated for the 11th annual Invader Crusader Awards presented by the Wisconsin Invasive Species Council. The awards are presented as part of the upcoming Invasive Species Awareness Month in June.

Nominations are now being accepted for individuals, groups or organizations for their efforts to address issues surrounding terrestrial and aquatic invasive species. The Invader Crusader Awards are open to both volunteers and professionals of any age.

To nominate an individual, group or organization, fill out the nomination form available at the Wisconsin Invasive Species Council's Invader Crusader web page (exit DNR) and email it to Applications are due by Friday, March 20, 2015. For instructions to mail nominations, call Kelly Kearns, at 608-267-5066

The Wisconsin Invasive Species Council will review the nomination materials and select the Award winners. All nominators and the winners will be notified by late April. Recipients of the awards will be recognized at a ceremony on June 4 at Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison, Wisconsin. Award recipients will be announced on the Invasive Species Awareness Month website (exit DNR).

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Dreux Watermolen, 608-266-8931 or visit the DNR site,, and search keyword "invasives"


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Last Revised: Tuesday, February 10, 2015

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