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Weekly News Published October 1, 2019

 

Deer Hunters Asked to Help Prevent and Reduce the Spread of CWD

Contact(s): Tami Ryan, DNR Acting Director- DNR Bureau of Wildlife Management, 414-750-8360, Tamara.Ryan@wisconsin.gov

A CWD self-sample kiosk. - Photo credit: DNR
A CWD self-sample kiosk.Photo credit: DNR

MADISON, Wis. - With the archery and crossbow deer hunting seasons underway, the Department of Natural Resources recommends simple precautions hunters and landowners can take to help prevent and reduce the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease.

CWD transmission occurs when infected animals shed prions through saliva, urine, feces, and natural decomposition after death. CWD can be spread both through direct (deer to deer) and indirect (deer to the contaminated environment) contact.

Precautions are particularly important for areas where CWD has not yet been detected. Hunters are asked to consider taking proactive measures to reduce the risks of disease transmission in Wisconsin's deer herd by following these voluntary recommendations:

CWD is a risk to Wisconsin's deer population and strong hunting culture as the disease continues to spread and prevalence rates increase. Without efforts to control the spread of CWD now, it has the potential to be damaging to not only our deer herd but also the social and economic stability of many communities in Wisconsin.

"The infectious nature of CWD contributes to an increased risk of introduction and spread of the disease," said Tami Ryan, DNR's acting director for the Bureau of Wildlife Management. "We must all work together to stop the spread of this deadly disease."

CWD is a fatal contagious neurological disease of deer, elk, moose, reindeer and caribou that is caused by an abnormal protein called a prion. These prions cause brain degeneration in infected animals and lead to extreme weight loss, abnormal behavior, and loss of bodily functions.

For more information, visit the DNR website for Recommendations for Reducing the Spread of CWD.

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Ruffed Grouse Society Enhances Habitat for Hunters, Hikers and Bird Watchers at Tiffany Wildlife Area and Five-Mile Bluff Prairie State Natural Area

Contact(s): Anne Reis, DNR Public Lands Specialist, 608-279-6483 anne.reis@wisconsin.gov Jon Steigerwaldt, NRF Wildlife Biologist, 412-720-6033, jons@ruffedgrousesociety.org

Funding from the Ruffed Grouse Society will be invested in Buffalo County to restore remnant dry bluff prairie and oak woodlands.
Funding from the Ruffed Grouse Society will help restore native prairie and Tiffany Wildlife Area and hosts many game and non-game species for the public to enjoy. - Photo credit: DNR
Funding from the Ruffed Grouse Society will help restore native prairie and Tiffany Wildlife Area and hosts many game and non-game species for the public to enjoy.Photo credit: DNR

MADISON, Wis. - The Ruffed Grouse Society will provide funding for a dry bluff prairie and oak woodland restoration project at the Five-Mile Bluff Prairie State Natural Area embedded in the Tiffany Wildlife Area along the Chippewa River in Buffalo County.

Five-Mile Bluff Prairie State Natural Area is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds. The 194-acre project area within the State Natural Area offers hunting, fishing, primitive hiking and bird watching opportunities, among other opportunities within the larger 13,000-acre Tiffany State Wildlife Area. Goals are to increase native prairie species and invertebrate diversity and connect blocks of habitat in transition areas between prairies.

"The reach of the Ruffed Grouse Society goes beyond ruffed grouse and American woodcock," said Jon Steigerwaldt, Regional Biologist for the Ruffed Grouse Society. "Creating, maintaining, and enhancing habitat for game and non-game species is a core objective of our organization, as it meets our goal of improving wildlife habitat and forest health. It just so happens this project will benefit American woodcock."

This project will help to manage eight acres of remnant dry bluff prairie and 186 acres of oak woodlands by removing woody invasive species, including buckthorn and black locust. The work will also help to magnify the impact of future prescribed burns.

"The DNR is pleased to see our partners help provide funding to manage DNR lands across the state," said Aaron Buchholz, DNR Deputy Division Administrator for the Fish, Wildlife and Parks programs. "Announced just a few days after National Public Lands Day, this gift is a great example of how all citizens can contribute to the management of Wisconsin's public lands."

Migrating hawks and eagles can be seen in the spring soaring over the bluffs in the State Natural Area. Prairie forbs like puccoon, bird's-foot violet and grasses such as big and little blue-stem and Indian grass dominate the bluffs. A variety of non-game species are present including red-headed woodpecker, cerulean warbler, eastern whip-poor-will, common nighthawk, Acadian flycatcher and big and little brown bats. Hunters will find numerous game birds such as American woodcock and wild turkey.

"This funding from the Ruffed Grouse Society will go a long way towards our efforts to maintain and restore remnant prairie and oak woodland habitat on Five-Mile Bluff," said Mark Rasmussen, Property Manager. "Partnerships like this are crucial for the continued success of habitat management projects on our public lands in Wisconsin."

The Five-Mile Bluff Prairie project was one of the 10 projects submitted as a part of the Cherish Wisconsin Outdoors Fund application process. The Ruffed Grouse Society wanted to extend the reach of the Cherish grant to help do more work on the ground in this next year. Funding for the project comes from the Ruffed Grouse Society Wisconsin State Drummer Fund, a member-raised fund that supports habitat work in each state.

"The Ruffed Grouse Society currently has 30 individual projects in Wisconsin, funded through the State Drummer Fund," said Jon Steigerwaldt, RGS Biologist . "These projects are having a positive habitat impact on approximately 5,000 acres of public lands. With member support, we decided to fund this additional Cherish grant project because we saw it as a way to ensure, now more than ever, that this important habitat work gets implemented."

About the Ruffed Grouse Society

The Ruffed Grouse Society is North America's foremost conservation organization dedicated to promoting conservation ethic by improving wildlife habitat and forest health. Promoting science-based management, RGS works with public and private lands partners to meet that mission.

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DNR to Hold Smallmouth Bass Public Meeting in Sturgeon Bay on Oct. 15

Contact(s): Scott Hansen, Fisheries Biologist, 920-746-2864, Scott.Hansen@wisconsin.gov

Young smallmouth bass captured during a DNR fisheries smallmouth bass recruitment survey. - Photo credit: DNR
Young smallmouth bass captured during a DNR fisheries smallmouth bass recruitment survey.Photo credit: DNR

STURGEON BAY, Wis. -The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will host a public meeting in October to discuss the smallmouth bass fishery in waters of Lake Michigan and Green Bay surrounding Door County. This meeting will allow department staff members an opportunity to engage stakeholders and present information on this outstanding fishery.

The meeting will be held from 6:30-9 p.m. on Oct. 15 in the Lecture Hall at Crossroads at Big Creek, 2041 Michigan St. in Sturgeon Bay.

Providing information from recent surveys of Door County smallmouth bass populations as well as specific research will be significant components of this meeting. Gathering input from stakeholders will be a critical part of the public meeting as well, including input on current issues that are important to them."

To learn more about fisheries management, visit the DNR website and search keyword "fishing."

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Read more: Previous Weekly News

Last Revised: Tuesday, October 01, 2019

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