LRP - Licenses

LRP - Regulations

LRP - Permits

Recreation - Statewide

Recreation - Trapping

Recreation - Fishing

Recreation - Hunting

Env. Protection - Management

Env. Protection - Emergency

Env. Protection - Resources

To sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences, please enter your contact information below.



 

Weekly News Published - June 12, 2018 by the Central Office

 

Public meeting set for Northeast Sands Ecological Landscape regional master plan

Contact(s): Yoyi Steele, Planner, Madison, 608-266-3568

Public comment period open through July 11

FLORENCE, Wis. - The public has an opportunity through an upcoming open house, office hours, and online information to learn more about the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' regional master planning process for properties located in the Northeast Sands Ecological Landscape. This landscape encompasses portions of Florence, Marinette, Oconto, Menominee, and Shawano counties.

A master plan, guided by Chapter NR 44, Wis. Admin. Code, establishes the level and type of resource management and public use permitted on department-managed properties. Under the regional master planning process, department staff will develop a plan for all properties located within a defined region. The regions are based on 16 previously defined ecological landscapes in Wisconsin, distinct areas of the state that present different ecological attributes and management opportunities. The Natural Resources Board approved the regional planning process at the June 2017 board meeting.

Meyers Falls on the Pine River, part of the Pine-Popple Wild Rivers property, which is included in this planning process.. - Photo credit: DNR
Meyers Falls on the Pine River, part of the Pine-Popple Wild Rivers property, which is included in this planning process..Photo credit: DNR

Properties within the Northeast Sands that already have NR 44-compliant master plans will have these existing plans referenced during the planning process. Approximately 31,000 acres of DNR-managed lands will have new master plans developed. These lands contain a wide variety of habitats and features, including extensive forests and high-quality forest communities, pine-oak barrens and bracken grasslands, wild rivers and cold-water streams, wetlands, and waterfalls.

Northeast Sands Ecological Landscape - Photo credit: DNR
Northeast Sands Ecological LandscapePhoto credit: DNR

The properties in the Northeast Sands also provide important recreational opportunities. Wildlife and Fishery Areas and State Natural Areas, such as Amberg Wildlife Area, South Branch Oconto River Fishery Area, and Dunbar Barrens State Natural Area offer hunting, fishing, trapping, and wildlife viewing opportunities. The Pine-Popple and Pike Wild Rivers provide high-quality paddling and scenic enjoyment. These properties are among those that will have new plans developed.

People can learn more about and engage in the planning process for the Northeast Sands regional master plan online by searching the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for keywords "property planning" and then selecting the Northeast Sands. In addition to information about this ecological landscape and the department properties within it, people will also find opportunities to offer their input on the planning and management of the properties. A public meeting and open office hours will be held in late June for the public to learn more about the planning process and to submit comments on the properties' future management and use:

"We welcome and encourage people to visit our website and attend the public meeting and office hours to learn about the department's property master planning process and share their suggestions for future management and use of these properties," said Diane Brusoe, property planning section chief.

In addition to opportunities to offer input online, at the public meeting, or during the office hours, people may also contact Yoyi Steele, DNR planner, by email at yoyi.steele@wisconsin.gov, by phone at 608-266-3568, or by regular mail at Wisconsin DNR, P.O. Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921.

The public comment period will be open through July 11, 2018.

________________________

 

Wisconsin ruffed grouse survey results indicate a decrease in breeding grouse

Contact(s): Mark Witecha, DNR upland wildlife ecologist, 608-267-7861

MADISON - Roadside ruffed grouse surveys completed this spring showed statewide drumming activity decreased 34 percent between 2017 and 2018; while this decline does not follow the generally predictable grouse population cycle, the 2018 drumming observations do fall within the normal range of variability of the grouse cycle.

Ruffed grouse - Photo credit: Kevin Feind
Ruffed grousePhoto credit: Kevin Feind

The survey results showed a 34 percent decrease statewide over 2017 levels. The down turn was seen in both the central (-29 percent) and northern (-38 percent) forest regions of the state. These two areas comprise the primary grouse range in Wisconsin. While the decreases in the southwest (-14 percent) part of the state were smaller by percentage, and an increase in the southeast was observed, these areas are not within the primary range for grouse. The drumming activity in southwestern and southeastern Wisconsin are at or near historic lows, and likely would not significantly add to grouse abundance in the state.

For complete "roadside ruffed grouse survey results [PDF], visit dnr.wi.gov and search keywords "reports."

"Ruffed grouse populations are known to rise and fall over a nine to 11-year cycle, and the last peak in Wisconsin's cycle occurred in 2011. Based on the historical grouse cycle in Wisconsin, it was expected there would have been a significant drop in the population in the northern forest back around 2015; however, the population decline was only about half as low as anticipated," said Mark Witecha, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources upland wildlife ecologist.

"With this somewhat abbreviated low point in the population cycle in 2015, an increasing phase lasting several years is expected, so a decline in 2018 is not consistent with a typical population cycle, but does confirm the reports we received from hunters last fall. As these survey results indicate, there is some variation from the historical pattern in the grouse population over the last several years, specifically in the primary northern range. In the more southern survey areas, a long-term decline in the population is consistent with a loss of quality young forest habitat."Roadside surveys to monitor the number of breeding grouse have been conducted by staff from the department, U.S. Forest Service, tribal employees, and numerous grouse enthusiasts and volunteers since 1964.

Roadside surveys to monitor the number of breeding grouse have been conducted by staff from the department, U.S. Forest Service, tribal employees, and numerous grouse enthusiasts and volunteers since 1964.


From Seeds to Sky

"Ruffed grouse rely on dense, young forest cover resulting from disturbances such as fire and logging - beyond actively managing state-owned lands, Wisconsin DNR is working to provide suitable grouse habitat through an extensive collaborative effort known as the Wisconsin Young Forest Partnership," said Witecha. "This partnership provides technical and financial assistance for young forest management on private lands, benefitting ruffed grouse and other wildlife species by helping maintain healthy and diverse forest communities."

For more information regarding grouse hunting in Wisconsin, search keywords "ruffed grouse hunting." To learn more about managing habitat for ruffed grouse and other wildlife species, search keywords "young forest."

________________________

 

Invasive Species Month gets a new name and focus

Contact(s): Tara Bergeson, DNR invasive species team coordinator, 608-264-6043; Kelly Kearns, DNR conservation biologist, 608-267-5066

Moves from Awareness to Action; Invader Crusader Award Winners Announced

MADISON - After 15 years, Invasive Species Awareness Month is getting a new name and focus: Wisconsin Invasive Species Action Month.

"Now that many Wisconsin residents and visitors are aware of the problems with invasive species, the Wisconsin Invasive Species Council has changed the name and focus of the month to move people from awareness to action," says Tom Buechel, the council's chair.

Invasive species are nonnative plants and animals that can cause ecological, environmental, or economic harm; some can affect human health. Emerald ash borer, quagga mussel, buckthorn, reed canary grass, oak wilt disease, gypsy moth, garlic mustard and purple loosestrife are all examples.

"Once an invasive species gets established, it can be extremely difficult to control, so the most important action Wisconsinites can take is to avoid moving invasive species to un-infested sites in Wisconsin and to other states," says Drew Feldkirchner, who leads DNR's Natural Heritage Conservation Program, which coordinates DNR invasive species efforts.

To prevent accidentally spreading emerald ash borer, oak wilt and gypsy moth, campers and recreationists should obtain firewood locally, and buy only firewood certified as safe by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) or by USDA. Learn more on DNR's website, dnr.wi.gov, and search keyword "firewood."

Anglers and boaters can help protect lakes and rivers by cleaning recreational equipment after every use and draining all water from gear before leaving a site. If possible, wash gear with hot water and dry it for five or more days between uses. For more information, visit dnr.wi.gov and search "aquatic invasive species."

Gardeners and landscapers can prevent spreading invasive species by planting and promoting only native plants or non-native plants that don't expand beyond the garden or seed into other areas. . For more information visit the Invasive Plants Association of Wisconsin (IPAW) website at www.ipaw.org.

2018 Invader Crusaders award winners take the stage; Video Challenge winner announced

Winners of the Wisconsin Invasive Species Council's Invader Crusader Awards were recognized at an awards ceremony June 6 at Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison. All recipients have made significant contributions to the identification, prevention, and control of invasive species in Wisconsin, and to educating the people in their regions, Buechel says.

The 2018 Invader Crusader winners were honored in a June 6 ceremony highlighting their efforts to control invasive species. Left to right: Gary Nelson, Friends of Festge Park; Brad Herrick, UW-Arboretum Ecologist; Jeanette Hoard, and David Earles of the Friends of Festge Park; Ruth Marshall, Town of Nashota Weed Commissioner; Sara Fox, Brad Steckart and Jenna Bales, Waukesha/Washington Counties Aquatic Invasive Species Team - video contest winner; Ken Raffa, UW Entomology Department; Jim Reinartz, UW-Milwaukee Field Station Director; and Tim Gerber, UW-La Crosse Biology Department.  - Photo credit: DNR
The 2018 Invader Crusader winners were honored in a June 6 ceremony highlighting their efforts to control invasive species. Left to right: Gary Nelson, Friends of Festge Park; Brad Herrick, UW-Arboretum Ecologist; Jeanette Hoard, and David Earles of the Friends of Festge Park; Ruth Marshall, Town of Nashotah Weed Commissioner; Sara Fox, Brad Steckart and Jenna Bales, Waukesha/Washington Counties Aquatic Invasive Species Team - video contest winner; Ken Raffa, UW Entomology Department; Jim Reinartz, UW-Milwaukee Field Station Director; and Tim Gerber, UW-La Crosse Biology Department. Photo credit: DNR

________________________

 

Entries sought for Wisconsin wild turkey, pheasant and waterfowl stamp design contests

Contact(s): Jaqi Christopher, DNR assistant upland wildlife, 608-261-8458

MADISON -- Wisconsinites with an artistic talent are reminded that they have until July 16 to submit artwork for the 2019 Wild Turkey, Pheasant and Waterfowl Stamp design contests.

2018 turkey stamp
2018 Wild Turkey Stamp by Robert Leum of Holmen

2018 pheasant stamp
2018 Pheasant Stamp by Robert Leum of Holmen

2018 waterfowl stamp
2018 Wisconsin Waterfowl Stamp by Caleb Metrich of Lake Tomahawk

Funds derived from the sale of these stamps contribute to restoration and management efforts on thousands of acres of important wildlife habitat. Stamp design entries must be received or postmarked by July 16, 2018 to be eligible. Judging will take place in late July or early August.

For rules, entry information and reproduction rights agreements, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keywords "Wildlife Stamps." All stamp contest applicants are asked to review contest rules carefully to ensure the eligibility of their entries. Artwork must meet technical requirements for it to be properly processed and prepared for judging.

In last year's contests, Caleb Metrich was awarded first place in the Waterfowl Stamp contest and Robert Leum was awarded first place in both the Wild Turkey and Pheasant Stamp contests.

To receive contest entry deadlines, detailed event information and the announcement for the winning artwork for the 2019 Stamp Competition, visit dnr.wi.gov and click on the email icon near the bottom of the page for "subscribe for updates for DNR topics." Follow the prompts and enroll in the "Waterfowl, Wild Turkey, and Pheasant Stamp Design Contests" list.

________________________

 

DNR webinar set to clarify implementation of Act 183

Contact(s): Robert Rosenberger, 715-299-9999

MADISON -- The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will host a webinar on June 26 at 2 p.m. as part of the implementation of a new law that effects projects impacting some Wisconsin wetlands. The law, Act 183, will go into effect on July 1 and establishes permit exemptions on placing fill material in certain types of wetlands. The webinar will explain the exemptions and help to clarify the process for claiming an exemption.

"Exemptions apply to certain types of nonfederal and artificial wetlands, but it can be challenging to determine the type of wetland you're dealing with," said Robert Rosenberger, Watershed Management Deputy Program director.

Before placing fill material in nonfederal or artificial wetlands, Act 183 requires stakeholders to notify the DNR to confirm eligibility. One exemption is for "artificial wetlands," which are those that have no wetland or stream history prior to August 1, 1991 and have been modified by human activity that changed the landscape. There are many qualified professionals that can assist stakeholders in determining if a wetland is potentially an artificial wetland. DNR also offers a wetland identification service that can also assist with this determination. More information about the artificial wetland exemption can be found by searching the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for "wetland identification." 

The other exemption is for "nonfederal wetlands," which are those that are not subject to federal oversight. The Army Corps of Engineers is the only government entity that can determine if a wetland falls under federal jurisdiction. For this reason, the corps will be an integral partner to determining eligibility for nonfederal wetland exemptions.

The webinar will provide an overview of the new law and explain how to apply for the appropriate exemption. The link for the webinar can be found by searching the DNR website for "wetland disturbance."  Anyone interested in participating on the webinar can use the link provided to sign in on the day of the webinar. The webinar will also be recorded and made available on the same page of the DNR website.

________________________

 

DNR makes it easier to address water quality in agriculture

Contact(s): Amanda Minks, 608-264-9223

MADISON - A new Water Quality Conservation General Permit will streamline the regulatory process for government agencies that address water quality concerns in agricultural settings.

The Department of Natural Resources in partnership with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and county land conservation departments in Wisconsin finalized the permit that includes, but is not limited to, grassed waterways, filter strips, lined waterways, grade stabilization structures, stream crossings, and water and sediment control basins.

"Before the general permit, government entities had to go through an individual permitting process for each activity, which takes about 105 days each," said Amanda Minks with the DNR Bureau of Watershed Management.

"Now stakeholders will be able to request general permit coverage, which takes no more than 30 days," Minks said. "This could save agencies time and money, especially if they are completing multiple activities in one project."

DNR developed the general permit in partnership with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and county land conservation departments in Wisconsin. Starting June 1, 2018, the general permit will be in effect for five years.

For more information, visit the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, and search for Wetland disturbance," and look under "General Permits."

________________________

 

Try your hand at hunting through the Sandhill Learn to Hunt Deer program

Contact(s): Wayne Hall, DNR wildlife biologist, 715-884 -6331

BABCOCK, Wis. - Anyone with an interest in trying out a new hobby in the outdoors is encouraged to apply by June 30 for a Learn to Hunt Deer course at Sandhill Wildlife Area.

Sandhill's Learn to Hunt Deer course emphasizes important lessons taught in hunter's safety with hands-on instruction, teaches valuable lessons through a workshop, and ends with a mentored deer hunt for participants.

Subject matter for the workshop includes: deer biology; Wisconsin deer management; hunting rules and regulations; sportsmanship and ethical hunter behavior; and basic gun safety and marksmanship.

This program is not limited to youth participants - while the youth program is limited to kids between the ages of 12-15, the beginner adults (16 years or older) category is for individuals who have never hunted deer with a firearm before. All participants must complete a Hunter Education Course prior to the hunt portion of the class.

Applications are available by searching the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for "Sandhill outdoor skills calendar" and must be submitted by June 30, 2018. Applications can be submitted on the website or submitted via US mail to Wayne Hall, C/O Sandhill Wildlife Area, PO Box 156, Babcock, 54413. Successful participants will be notified by July 15.

Specific dates of the hunt and workshops are published on the application. It is important to note that all participants and chaperones are required to attend the workshop.

For questions regarding the hunt, contact Wayne Hall, DNR wildlife biologist, at 715-884 -6331. Sandhill Wildlife Area is located on County Highway X just outside of Babcock. For more information regarding Learn to Hunt classes in Wisconsin, search keywords "Learn to Hunt."

________________________

Read more: Previous Weekly News

Last Revised: Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Contact information

For more information about news and media, contact:
James Dick
Director of Communications
608-267-2773