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Weekly News Published - June 26, 2018 by the Central Office

 

DNR rule revisions for manure spreading take effect July 1

MADISON - New rule revisions designed to reduce manure groundwater contamination, specifically in the northeast section of the state, take effect July 1.

The changes, under the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' ch. NR 151, Wis. Adm. Code, relate to Silurian bedrock, which are areas where the soil depth to bedrock is shallow and the bedrock may be fractured.

"The main purpose of this targeted performance standards is to reduce the risk for contamination in groundwater from manure applications on shallow bedrock soils," said Mary Anne Lowndes, DNR Watershed Management Section chief.

Lowndes said Silurian bedrock soils identified in the rule revisions are dolomite bedrock with a depth of 20 feet or less. The rule targets an area in the state that may include portions of Brown, Calumet, Dodge, Door, Fond du Lac, Kenosha, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Sheboygan, Walworth, Washington, and Waukesha counties.

"Within a specified area, the rule sets forth manure spreading rates and practices that vary according to the soil depth and texture," said Lowndes. "For Silurian bedrock, the most restrictive practices apply to those limited areas with the highest risk for pathogen delivery, zero to five feet in depth, and less restrictive requirements apply in areas with five to 20 feet to bedrock."

Lowndes added that Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) in the Silurian bedrock areas will be required to comply with the standards in the new rule, when it is incorporated into their permit under the Wisconsin Pollution Discharge Elimination System (WPDES), and a cross reference to the targeted performance standard language has also been added to ch. NR 243, Wis. Adm. Code., which applies to CAFOs subject to WPDES permitting. Non-permitted farms in Silurian bedrock areas will also be required to comply with the standards in the rule.

Lowndes added the DNR has worked with the University of Wisconsin Department of Soil Science to offer a Silurian bedrock map (exit DNR) tool that can be used to identify areas where the bedrock soil depth is less than 20 feet, and that the department is working with the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection and county land conservation departments on how best to implement the new rules.

The new rule is based on a long-term effort by the department to seek public input on changes to NR 151, including conducting studies, public meetings and hearings and hosting a technical advisory committee and Groundwater Collaboration Workgroup that met between 2015-2017.

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Floods in northwestern Wisconsin will result in some long-term closures at state properties

Many properties across the north unaffected and remain open

SUPERIOR, Wis. - Heavy rains across northwestern Wisconsin in mid-June will result in some long-term closures of roads and other state facilities. Water has begun receding and state park and transportation officials have a better picture of repairs that will be needed at a number of properties. According to the National Weather Service the area has received 7 to 12 inches of rain from June 15-18.

Portions of a dam washed out at Pattison State Park, about 13 miles south of Superior, closing Highway 35 that crossed the dam within the park. Wisconsin Department of Transportation and Natural Resources officials have been assessing the damage and beginning preparations for dam and road repair, which could take weeks.

It is expected to take weeks before the dam can be repaired at Pattison State Park and Highway 35 reopened. - Photo credit: DNR
It is expected to take weeks before the dam can be repaired at Pattison State Park and Highway 35 reopened.Photo credit: DNR

As a result of the dam failure, Intefalls Lake within the park is being drawn down and the beach in the park is closed until further notice. Park trails and day-use areas also received significant damage and will remain closed until further notice. The campground remains open and access to view Little Manateau Falls is open but will require access from the south as access from the park is closed via road and trail. Observation areas for Big Manateau Falls are accessible via a temporary access bridge from the park.

Amnicon Falls State Park, located about 7 miles east of Superior, is reopened but has some road and trail damage. The historic Horton covered bridge within the park is intact, but remains open to foot traffic only, as the road leading to the bridge was damaged and is closed to vehicle traffic until it can be repaired. A Civilian Conservation Corps bridge that leads to the park's island sustained significant damage and is closed until further notice.

The horse trail at Governor Knowles State Forest is closed, the beach and day-use area at Interstate State Park is closed, as is the south campground at Merrick State Park due to rising flood waters on the St. Croix and Mississippi rivers.

The Saunders Grade, Wild Rivers and Gandy Dancer state trails in Douglas County have significant washouts and are currently closed until further notice. The Tuscobia State Trail in southern Price County has a reroute in place due to washouts. Several canoe launches, picnic areas and day-use areas at Brule River State Forest remain under water and unusable. A bridge at the headwaters of the White River in the Town of Delta is currently closed, closing access to the parking area and an Artesian well on the property.

The public is asked to stay out of areas, roads and trails posted as closed. Keep a safe distance away from the edge of fast moving water, streams and rivers.

For additional and the most current information continue to follow Wisconsin DNR on social media as well as searching the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for "Current Conditions."

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Coalition forms in Wisconsin to reverse decline of monarch butterflies

MADISON - Monarch butterfly populations have dropped more than 80 percent over the last 20 years in the eastern U.S., and a new statewide consortium has formed to work together to reverse the decline in Wisconsin.

A new statewide consortium has formed in Wisconsin to work together to reverse the decline in monarch butterfly populations.  - Photo credit: Jay Watson
A new statewide consortium has formed in Wisconsin to work together to reverse the decline in monarch butterfly populations.Photo credit: Jay Watson

The Wisconsin Monarch Collaborative includes more than 70 stakeholders representing agriculture, transportation, utilities, public and private land management, research, education and government.

With input from all sectors, the collaborative has drafted Wisconsin's portion of a regional strategy that covers 16 states and is in the beginning stages of creating a Wisconsin Monarch Conservation Strategy. The state strategy will serve as a roadmap for voluntary statewide monarch conservation efforts and will focus on increasing monarch habitat, namely through increasing native milkweed and nectar plants.

"This is an all hands-on-deck effort," says Owen Boyle, the Department of Natural Resources species management section chief and DNR's lead representative for the Wisconsin Monarch Collaborative.

"Many people and organizations are already doing great work for monarchs. This new coalition will build on those efforts and help leverage resources to accelerate efforts to restore monarchs in Wisconsin."

Craig Ficenec, co-chair of the coalition's agriculture working group, says the effort can help proactively recover monarch populations before they might need to be listed as an endangered species, something that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has been petitioned to do.

The Wisconsin Monarch Collaborative will focus on adding habitat for monarchs. Here, the Clinton Future Farmers of America plant native plants on a Rock County farm under a partnership with the Sand County Foundation, one of the collaborative members. - Photo credit: Sand County Foundation
The Wisconsin Monarch Collaborative will focus on adding habitat for monarchs. Here, the Clinton Future Farmers of America plant native plants on a Rock County farm under a partnership with the Sand County Foundation, one of the collaborative members.Photo credit: Sand County Foundation

"Farmers and rural landowners are key to proactively and voluntarily recovering monarchs," says Ficenec, program director for the Sand County Foundation, a national non-profit based in Wisconsin that promotes voluntary conservation on private land. He works with farmers, rural electric cooperatives, and high school agriculture educators to plant monarch habitat.

Andrew Wallendal, co-owner and consultant of Wallendal Farms and a representative for the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association, says the coalition has great potential for producers to network about conservation actions on their farms.

"Farming and conservation can go hand in hand, such as maintaining high quality and high yields, while pollinator areas on non-tilled parts of the farm flourish," he says.

Karen Oberhauser, Director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum, has been studying monarchs for over 30 years, and has witnessed a drastic decline in their numbers over this period. "We know that preserving this amazing species will require the engagement of all states in their migratory flyway, and all sectors of human society, from farmers, to urban residents, government agencies, to businesses. The Wisconsin Monarch Collaborative is part of a hopeful and important effort," she says.

Monarchs breed in Wisconsin and 15 other Midwestern states throughout the spring and summer and native milkweeds are the only plants on which monarchs will lay their eggs. In Wisconsin, as elsewhere, habitat loss is considered the main threat to pollinators including monarchs. Monarchs face special challenges as the distance increases between the remaining suitable habitat patches along their 2,000+ mile migration route between their breeding grounds in the Midwest and their wintering grounds in central Mexico.

Receive periodic updates about the Wisconsin Monarch Collaborative and other news about monarchs in Wisconsin by subscribing to DNR's monarch updates. Subscribe at dnr.wi.gov and search "pollinators."

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State high schooler wins scholarship at archery in schools world tournament

MADISON -- A Wisconsin youth archer from Cadott placed third at the June 7 - 9 National Archery in the Schools Program World Tournament at Louisville, Ky., where he also became the first state student to win $10,000 for post-high school education at the awards ceremony.

Kaden Christenson with NASP President Roy Grimes - Photo credit: DNR
Kaden Christenson (right) with NASP President Roy GrimesPhoto credit: DNR

Kaden Christianson was among the 4,967 student archers from 358 schools who competed at the 10th annual world tournament in the nation's bluegrass state. Event organizers say more than 10,000 spectators also attended the student competitors.

Christianson shot a 296 for the bronze position, and went on to compete in the scholarship shoot-off at the awards ceremony. Christianson faced 8 other high school archers from across the country. To date, NASP® has awarded $1.6 million dollars in cash scholarships to NASP® students to use for any post-high school education of their choosing

Since its start in 2002, the National Archery in the School's Program (NASP®) has been hosting its eastern national tournaments in Louisville, and for the first time hosted the world competition World Tournament. Competitors are in elementary, middle and high school divisions.

Wisconsin's student archers have had a strong year. The state sent a delegation of 308 competitors from 26 schools to the recent NASP national tournament in Louisville, Ky., in early May. The Wisconsin delegation joined 14,139 archers from 889 schools representing 34 states. The Wisconsin competitors who made the trip to nationals qualified at the state tournament held in Wisconsin Dells March 31-April 1.

NASP recently released the results for the Academic Archer winners, which included 582 Wisconsin archers. Of those 582 state archers, four qualified for the Academic All-star team. These archers maintain an above-average grade point average for the school year. The award is sponsored by NASP and Easton Archery products.

To learn more about the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) or other youth archery programs and opportunities please feel free to contact Dan Schroeder, Wisconsin DNR Archery Education Administrator or search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for keyword NASP.

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Discounted fishing licenses the ticket for fun over the Fourth of July holiday

MADISON - Wisconsin's $5 first-time buyer resident fishing license or a one-day fishing license may be just the ticket for fun for family, friends and visitors gathered for the fourth of July holiday.

"Wisconsin fishing is a great value and these discounted licenses make it even easier to get your family, friends and visitors out on the water over the holiday," says Justine Hasz, Wisconsin's fisheries director.

The regular annual fishing license is $20 for residents. Anglers who have never purchased a fishing license -- or who haven't purchased a fishing license in 10 years -- can get a discounted first-time buyer license. Lawmakers created the discounted license and both residents and non-residents can take advantage of this opportunity. Residents' discounted license is $5 and non-residents' is $25.75 for the annual licenses.

If a person is eligible for the first-time buyer license, that license will be offered in their product catalog in place of the regularly-priced license.

For those family members and friends who have fished more recently but not yet bought a license for 2018, a one-day fishing license can be a good option. The one-day fishing license costs $8 for residents and $10 for nonresidents. The purchase price of that one-day license can be credited toward purchase of an annual license.

People can buy fishing licenses online through the Go Wild website, or purchase in person at any authorized license agent.

Wisconsin residents and nonresidents 16 years old or older need a fishing license to fish in any waters of the state. Residents born before Jan. 1, 1927, do not need a license. Resident members of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty may obtain a free fishing license when on furlough or leave by presenting their military ID and leave papers at any license agent.

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Fireworks prohibited on state lands and can be a cause of wildfires

MADISON - People who will be out celebrating the Fourth of July Holiday are being reminded that fireworks are prohibited on all Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources lands including state parks, state forests and state owned public hunting and fishing properties and anyone using fireworks should take precautions and prevent wildfires now and during the next few weeks.

"For the safety of our guests and our natural resources, fireworks are prohibited on state properties," said Chris Madison, chief ranger with the Wisconsin State Park System. "Fourth of July favorites, the sparkler and the snake, are not defined as 'fireworks' per state law, but most park and forest rangers and managers discourage their use because they are a fire hazard."

A citation for illegal fireworks in a state park or forest can cost up to $200 and parents could be liable for the full costs of putting out a fire started by their children playing with or setting off fireworks.

"Most wildfires caused by fireworks occur around the July 4th holiday or under extended drought conditions, but the reality is, wildfires can occur anytime the ground is not completely snow-covered," said Catherine Koele, DNR wildfire prevention specialist.

Exploding fireworks, such as firecrackers, m-70s, bottle rockets, and roman candles, cause the most fireworks-caused wildfires. Paired with hot and dry weather, even sparklers and fountains pose a significant threat in dry grassy areas. Anyone responsible for starting a wildfire in Wisconsin is liable not only for the cost of putting the fire out, but also for any damages.

Fireworks are restricted in Wisconsin and permits may be required. It's best to check with local officials before purchasing and lighting them. A city, village, town or county may also enact an ordinance more strictly limiting fireworks sales or possessing them.

Anyone planning on camping in a Wisconsin state park or forest for the Fourth of July should enjoy fireworks displays in nearby communities -- not at picnic areas, campsites or other areas within state parks, forests and trails.

As of the last week of June, fire dangers levels throughout Wisconsin were low across the state, but even in low fire danger times, fireworks can start wildfires. So far in 2018, DNR records show nearly 700 wildfires have burned more over 1,800 acres in DNR fire protection areas of Wisconsin. Wildfires caused by fireworks only amount to 5 percent of the annual total; however, these fires typically occur in a condensed timeframe around the Fourth of July holiday.

For more information about how to prevent wildfires from fireworks, visit the DNR homepage at dnr.wi.gov and search keyword "wildfire causes."

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Read more: Previous Weekly News

Last Revised: Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Contact information

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