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Cover of Summer 2018 issue

Fall 2018
Volume 42, Number 3

Contact information
For information on the magazine's webpage, contact:
Kathryn Kahler
Associate editor
608-266-2625

A message from
DNR Secretary Dan Meyer

Portrait of DNR Secretary Dan Meyer  © Ben Pierson
BEN PIERSON

Summers in Eagle River, where my wife and I have lived for many years and raised our family, are a time of great outdoor activity. Opportunities are abundant for boating, fishing, biking, camping and all the other pastimes that make summer in Wisconsin so special. But enjoying Wisconsin's great outdoors is not just for people "up North." Summertime adventures await throughout this great, resource-abundant state of ours.

Summer is also a time of heightened activity for the folks here at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Agency staff members are eagerly working to make sure Wisconsin residents and visitors have an outdoor experience that meets or exceeds their expectations. This is certainly true at our exceptional state parks and other properties. These areas see some of their highest visitor numbers in summer and our committed parks personnel are out to make every visit memorable.

Upgrades will be seen throughout the park system with $2 million in user fees reinvested as authorized by the 2017-19 state budget. This will include such things as 200 additional electrical campsites statewide, automated pay stations, facility improvements and new fire rings, picnic tables and grills. An additional $4.5 million approved by the Legislature will fund water and waste water infrastructure improvements at various parks.

State park users will notice a new demand-based pricing structure now in place. This new initiative will help us manage visitor capacity, encourage visitors to experience some of our state parks they may not have been to before and provide additional financial resources for state property improvements.

Annual admission fees will remain the same, while daily fees are adjusted at three high-use parks (Devil's Lake, Peninsula and Willow River state parks). Changes in camping rates include both increases and decreases depending on property location, campsite type and time of year. You can learn more about the fee structure by going to dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks .

The thousands of lakes in our state will be visited by boaters who will be fishing, skiing or just relaxing on a sunset cruise. But with that comes the reminder that all water users can and should help in the fight against aquatic invasive species.

Boaters in particular have the responsibility to "inspect, remove and drain" before launching a boat and leaving a site. By following these guidelines, you can help stop these destructive aquatic hitchhikers.

Finally, the DNR fisheries program deserves recognition at this time of year. The annual Governor's Fishing Opener in May, a longstanding Wisconsin outdoors tradition, marked the start of the general hook-and-line fishing season, and I appreciate the enthusiasm for fishing that exists in our state. I hope to catch a few myself this summer. The DNR fisheries team puts a great deal of work into making sure we have successful and safe fishing experiences.

So welcome to summer in Wisconsin. We encourage residents and visitors alike to get out and enjoy our bountiful natural resources in the coming months.

Last revised: Wednesday June 13 2018