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Weekly News Published June 4, 2019

 

Giant hogweed hogtied -- and other good news for Invasive Species Action Month

Contact(s): Tara Bergeson, DNR invasive species team leader, 608-264-6043

[EDITOR'S ADVISORY: This news release has been updated to reflect that water hyacinth was found in one spot on the lake in fall 2018 and removed.    We regret the error.]

Celebrate successes and take action yourself to protect Wisconsin's ecosystems and economy

MADISON - Invasive Species Action Month gets underway this June with some good news about giant hogweed and other prohibited invasive species that threaten Wisconsin's ecosystems, economy and recreation.

The recently released DNR Invasive Species Team Report for 2018 highlights invasive species prevention, management and control efforts, including these successes:

Giant hogweed - Photo credit: DNR
Giant hogweedPhoto credit: DNR
Invasive water hyacinth has been tamed in Lake Winnecone, thanks to volunteers and local partners like Valerie Stabenow, shown here with the invasive plant. - Photo credit: DNR
Invasive water hyacinth has been tamed in Lake Winnecone, thanks to volunteers and local partners like Valerie Stabenow, shown here with the invasive plant.Photo credit: DNR

"We are very pleased to be able to share the good news about these control successes for invasive species on Wisconsin's prohibited species list," says Tara Bergeson, who coordinates the Department of Natural Resources invasive species team.

"Partnerships made these possible, and we are very grateful for the work done at the local level. All of these efforts are critical to prevent invasive species from taking a toll on our ecosystems, our economy and our outdoors fun."

Invasive species are non-native plants, animals, or pathogens that take over a new location and alter the ecosystem, affects its function, economic value and/or human health.

Report highlights partnerships, new methods for surveying for invasive species

The Invasive Species Team Report was made available online as part of Invasive Species Action Month this June. The action month is promoted by the Wisconsin Invasive Species Council, an advisory group created by the Wisconsin Legislature to assist DNR in establishing a statewide program to control invasive species.

Wisconsin's invasive species rule, chapter NR 40 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code, creates a classification system that regulates the introduction, sale, transport and possession of listed invasive species. Prohibited species are those that are not known to be in the state or only in small selected locations so containment is feasible. With certain exceptions, it is illegal to transport, possess, transfer and introduce prohibited species to Wisconsin.

The report highlights partnerships ranging from a drain campaign and landing blitz in which DNR, University of Wisconsin-Extension and lake association volunteers distribute reusable ice packs to anglers at boat landings to use to ice the fish they catch and take away from a waterbody, to the 14 Cooperative Invasive Species Management areas, coalitions of private, public and nonprofit organizations, volunteers and landowners working together to identify and address local needs, and partnerships.

The invasive species report also highlights new survey methods for invasive species, ranging from using biologists in low-flying airplanes to look for aquatic invasive species to biologists collecting water samples and analyzing them for invasive species.

Other efforts highlighted in the report include education and outreach efforts in 2018 aimed at enlisting anglers, boaters, hunters, gardeners, landowners and others in making sure they do not accidentally spread invasive species while enjoying the great outdoors.

"We don't have the resources to get rid of all invasive species, so prevention is very important," Bergeson says. "We're continuing outreach efforts with partners to encourage Wisconsin residents and visitors to protect the places you live and play.

"During Invasive Species Action Month and throughout the year, please drain boats, bait buckets and live wells before leaving waterbodies and remove all plants from your trailer and boat; brush off your clothes and boots and your dog's coat to remove brambles and seeds before leaving an area, and making sure you do not buy or add invasive plants to your yard or water garden."

Search the DNR website for "preventing the introduction of invasive species" to learn more about the steps to take to prevent the spread of invasive species.

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Public meeting set for Central Sand Plains Ecological Landscape regional master plan

Contact(s): Yoyi Steele, property planner, 608-266-3568; Mitch Horrie, property planner, 608-266-2698

Public comment period open through July 8

ADAMS, 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 Central Sand Plains Ecological Landscape. This landscape encompasses portions of Adams, Clark, Eau Claire, Jackson, Juneau, Monroe, Portage, Waushara, and Wood counties.

A master plan, guided by Chapter NR 44, Wisconsin Administrative 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.

The Central Sands Plains position straddling the tension zne contributes to its diverse mix of species, with elements from both southern and northern ecosystems - Photo credit: DNR
The Central Sands Plains position straddling the tension zone contributes to its diverse mix of species, with elements from both southern and northern ecosystemsPhoto credit: DNR

Approximately 45,000 acres of DNR-managed lands will have new master plans developed as part of this planning process. Properties within the Central Sand Plains that already have NR 44-compliant master plans will have these existing plans referenced during the planning process. The DNR will evaluate whether any updates need to be made to these existing plans; any necessary updates will be included in the regional plan to be developed.

The Central Sand Plains properties contain a wide variety of habitats and natural features, including extensive deciduous-coniferous forests, pine-oak barrens, rivers and streams, forested and non-forested wetlands, extensive grasslands, and unique geological features such as sandstone cliffs and gorges.

Mill Bluff State Park is one of the properties included in the master planning for the Central Sands Plains. - Photo credit: DNR
Mill Bluff State Park is one of the properties included in the master planning for the Central Sands Plains.Photo credit: DNR

The properties in the Central Sand Plains also provide important recreational opportunities. Wildlife and Fishery Areas and State Natural Areas, such as Buena Vista Wildlife Area, Colburn Wildlife Area, Big Roche-a-Cri Fishery Area, and Quincy Bluff and Wetlands State Natural Area offer extensive tracts for hunting and trapping. The Fishery Areas provide a coldwater fishery for brown and brook trout as well as paddling opportunity. Mill Bluff, Roche-a-Cri, and Rocky Arbor state parks offer camping, swimming, picnicking, and hiking trails. These properties are among those that will have new plans developed.

People can learn more about and engage in the planning process for the Central Sand Plains regional master plan online by searching the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for keywords "property planning" and then selecting Central Sand Plains. 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 office hours will be held on June 18, 2019 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 office hours and public meeting 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 property planner, by email at yoyi.steele@wisconsin.gov or phone at 608-266-3568, DNR property planner Mitch Horrie by email at mitchell.horrie@wisconsin.gov or phone at 608-266-2698, or either planner by regular mail at Wisconsin DNR, P.O. Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921.

The public comment period will be open through July 8, 2019.

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Incidental take notice for Town of Wilson, Sheboygan County

Contact(s): Melissa Tumbleson, conservation biologist, 608-267-0862

MADISON -- A cordwalk addition project to protect an area of a state park may result in the "incidental taking" of seven rare plant species 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.

In order to protect this sensitive area and the rare coastal community found at Kohler-Andrae State Park dunes, the Department of Natural Resources plans to create four east-west trail spurs, including cordwalk and rope fencing, that will connect visitors directly from the existing cordwalk to the Lake Michigan shoreline. The cordwalk addition will both improve access and prevent negative environmental impacts from high-traffic, off-trail activity.

The presence of the state threatened clustered broomrape(Orobanche fasciculate), dune goldenrod (Solidago simplex var. gillmanii), pitcher's thistle(Cirsium pitcher), sand reedgrass (Calamovilfa longifolia var. magna) and thickspike (Elymus lanceolatus ssp. psammophilus) and the state endangered common moonwort (Botrychium lunaria) and prairie dunewort (Botrychium campestre), 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 plants.

Department staff concluded that the proposed project is not likely to appreciably reduce the likelihood of the survival or recovery of the species within the state, the whole plant-animal community of which they are a part or the habitat that is critical to their existence.

The conservation measures to minimize the adverse effect on these threatened and endangered species will be incorporated into the proposed Incidental Take Authorization. Copies of the jeopardy assessment and background information on the above mentioned plant species are available by searching the DNR website for incidental take public notice or upon request from Melissa Tumbleson (608-267-0862 or melissa.tumbleson@wi.gov). The department is requesting comments from the public through June 18, 2019 regarding project-related impacts to these plants. Public comments should be sent to Melissa Tumbleson, Wisconsin DNR, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921 or melissa.tumbleson@wi.gov.

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Read more: Previous Weekly News

Last Revised: Tuesday, June 04, 2019

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