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ARCHIVED Weekly News Published January 14, 2020

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Celebrate Pattison State Park Turning 100 At Winterfest

Centennial Celebration Starts Jan. 25

A candlelight ski and snowshoe hike is a highlight of Winterfest at Pattison State Park. - Photo credit: DNR
A candlelight ski and snowshoe hike is a highlight of Winterfest at Pattison State Park.Photo credit: DNR

Contact(s): Kevin Feind, Pattison State Park Superintendent, 715-399-3111,

Click on image for larger size. - Photo credit: DNR
Click on image for larger size.Photo credit: DNR

SUPERIOR, Wis. - Pattison State Park is celebrating 100 years since its designation as a state park. On Saturday, Jan. 25, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Friends of Pattison and Amnicon Falls State Parks will kick off a year-long celebration honoring the 100th anniversary with Winterfest.

Pattison State Park is the home to Big Manitou Falls, the fourth highest waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains. Little Manitou Falls is smaller at 31 feet but similarly spectacular. Pattison State Park, south of Superior in Douglas County, became Wisconsin's sixth state park on Jan. 20, 1920.

The park is named after Martin Pattison, an early lumber man and miner who made a fortune in iron mining in Minnesota. When Pattison learned of a plan to build a hydroelectric dam on the Black River that would destroy the 165-foot high Big Manitou Falls, he purchased the land around it with the intent of donating it for a park.

In the 1930s, the park was home to a Civilian Conservation Corps or CCC Camp. Young, single, unemployed men were put to work on conservation projects including putting in sewer and water systems, planting trees, and building the park's iconic shelter building, bath house, and former office building.

Record-setting rains in June 2018 resulted in flooding that washed out the dam that formed Interfalls Lake in the park and closed the section of Highway 35 that went over the dam. Flooding also caused extensive damage to roads, trails and other facilities in the park.

A temporary repair of the dam allowed Interfalls Lake to refill in July 2019. Although most trails and roads have been repaired, the Wisconsin State Park System will begin a $1 million trail restoration project this summer. Plans for more permanent repairs to the dam will begin within the next few years, as well as an investment in shower building replacements and upgrades to the CCC buildings to continue the development of this historic park.

Celebrate Pattison's History Jan. 25 at Winterfest

The Friends of Pattison and Amnicon Falls State Park are hosting several Centennial events this year, including a fundraiser for a centennial gazebo overlooking the lake and a future accessible rustic cabin in the campground.

The sledding hill is popular with the younger crowds at Winterfest. - Photo credit: DNR
The sledding hill is popular with the younger crowds at Winterfest.Photo credit: DNR

The year-long Centennial celebration starts with Winterfest, which includes the dedication of a Centennial plaque at 3 p.m., and winter activities including sledding, hiking snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, a snowshoe race and ending with a candlelight ski and snowshoe hike at dusk. Refreshments will be available in the historic shelter building that will have fires going to warm visitors.

Other events throughout the year include: "Good Ol' Family Picnic" on June 20, "Voyager's Encampment" in the main picnic area Sept. 5, 6, and 7, and "Colorama" Art and Craft Show Sept. 26-27. The park will also host runs and other activities.

Information on these events are available on the Get Outdoors calendar of the DNR website, at the Park office, or call 715-399-3111.



Protect Your Trees from Disease

DNR Recommends Pruning Trees When They Have No Leaves

Pruning during winter is less likely to invite unwanted, disease-carrying pests like the beetles that carry oak wilt from one tree to another.  - Photo credit: sasapanchenko
Pruning during winter is less likely to invite unwanted, disease-carrying pests like the beetles that carry oak wilt from one tree to another. Photo credit: sasapanchenko

Contact(s): Paul Cigan, DNR forest health specialist, 715-416-4920,

MADISON, Wis. - With the new year upon us, healthy lifestyle habits are sure to be on many people's minds as they plan for changes in diet and exercise. The new year is also the perfect opportunity to make healthier choices for trees. Winter is the ideal time for tree pruning while avoiding harmful, disease-carrying pests such as the tiny beetles that carry oak wilt from one tree wound to another.

"The best time to prune trees that lose their leaves is during winter when the trees are dormant," said Paul Cigan, Department of Natural Resources Forest Health Specialist. "Not only is it easier to see where pruning is needed when leaves are gone, but disease-carrying pests are inactive due to the cold, making pruning both more effective and less likely to invite unwanted pests."

Although pruning in winter reduces the risk of spread through beetles, the disease can spread year-round in firewood.

"Several recent oak wilt discoveries in northern Wisconsin, including the first-ever discoveryin Forest County, may have been the result of infected firewood brought from areas with oak wilt," Cigan said. "Keep oak firewood where it is cut for one year, or until the bark is naturally loose, to prevent the spread of oak wilt."

For more information, visit the DNR's webpages for oak wilt and firewood.

Pruning tips

Yard trees and trees in urban settings should be pruned throughout their entire life to maintain a strong structure and remove deadwood. Young trees should be pruned to establish a central trunk, proper trunk taper and good branch structure and spacing. Older trees should be pruned to remove dead and/or hazardous limbs.

"Pruning should not remove more than 25% of the live tree crown, and the lower third of deciduous tree trunks should be free of limbs," said Don Kissinger, DNR urban forestry coordinator.

You can find more detailed, step-by-step tips for tree pruning in this DNR tree pruning publication.

Certified arborists who offer pruning and other tree care services can be found here.



DNR Joins UW-Extension to Host Regional CAFO Update Meetings Beginning Jan. 28

Contact(s): Aaron O'Rourke,Water Resources Mgmt. Specialist, 715-839-3775,

MADISON, Wis. - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension are co-hosting a series of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) update meetings throughout Wisconsin in late January and early February. Meetings will take place in Green Bay, Luxemburg, New London, Fond du Lac, Manitowoc, Dodgeville, Marshfield and Jefferson.

Wisconsin has more than 300 CAFOs throughout the state, and these meetings offer an opportunity for owners, managers, advisors and other CAFO stakeholders to receive updated information to help meet permit requirements. Some of the topics featured are:

The meetings are specifically designed for WPDES permitted CAFO owners/managers, producers considering expansion, nutrient management plan writers and engineers. Each event is $45, or $55 after the early registration deadline, and includes lunch.

More information on the meetings and individual meeting brochures can be accessed here. Registration for the meetings in Green Bay, Luxemburg, New London and Fond du Luc, and Manitowoc can be done online here.


Read more: Previous Weekly News

Last Revised: Tuesday, January 14, 2020

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