Homes Can Survive a Wildfire

With fire season still lingering in the north, the DNR has reported 53 structures destroyed by wildfires so far this year. The good news is, 439 were also threatened yet saved with firefighter assistance.

To find out if your home or cabin is a high wildfire risk area, ask yourself these questions: Is your place surrounded by oak or pine trees? Are your rain gutters full of pine needles? Is your lawn covered with leaves? Is there a Smokey Bear fire danger sign in your community?

If you answered “yes,” you might have some work to do! As we head into the long weekend, grab a rake and gloves, and take a peek at ways you can prepare your property for wildfire. Avoid burning by hauling the debris to a brush & leaf drop-off site or compost the material. https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/ForestFire/preparing.html

Wisconsin First Detector Network

The Wisconsin First Detector Network (WIFDN) is a citizen science network that empowers people to take action against invasive species through invasive species monitoring, management, and outreach. WIFDN provides training and resources through a combination of webinars, instructional videos, and hands-on workshops, in addition to providing volunteer opportunities to citizen scientists. Click here to get to their website.

Oak Harvesting Guidelines During Unusually Cold Spring Weather

This year’s cool spring weather has caused people to wonder if the oak harvesting restrictions that usually begin on April 1 (south of the tension zone) or April 15 (north of the tension zone) might be pushed back due to unusually cold temperatures. The simple answer is no. Even during unusually cold springs, consistent messages about preventing the spread of oak wilt disease apply – “Stop pruning in April” and “Avoid harvesting in April (south of the tension zone)”. Delivering the same messages at the same time every year helps ensure that the public protects Wisconsin’s oak resource.

That said, the Wisconsin DNR’s oak harvesting guidelines allow flexibility at the stand level, if landowners/property managers and other affected parties (foresters, loggers, etc.) all agree on modifications based on local conditions. For example, “unusual weather patterns in early spring” is listed as one of the allowable modifications in the DNR’s oak harvesting guidelines.

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Report Occupied Bald Eagle Nests in Southeastern Wisconsin

MADISON – State ecologists conducting aerial surveys for occupied bald eagle nests this spring are asking for the public’s help in locating nests in southeastern Wisconsin. 

If you observe an active bald eagle nest, with adults incubating eggs or exhibiting other breeding behaviors, you are encouraged to report your sightings in one of these ways:

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Gear Up for Fire Season

Fire season is just beginning. Each year an estimated 1,100 wildfires burn in DNR protection areas (about half the state, generally the more forested areas) and another estimated 2,500 wildfires burn in parts of the state where fire departments are the primary responders. Two-thirds of these fires occur in spring. There is a great deal of dry vegetation and fallen leaves and other debris present this time of year, which is quick to dry out. Accompanied by warmer weather, drops in humidity and gusty winds, wildfires can quickly ignite and spread. (read more…)

Create a Forest – A step-by-step guide to planting and maintaining trees

Creating a forest begins long before and continues long after you plant your trees. The guide will take you through the steps needed for the successful establishment of a woodlot, starting with developing a plan for the site through tree planting and maintenance of the stand. Click here for the publication.

EAB Found in Five New WI. Counties

MADISON – Emerald ash borer has been confirmed in five new Wisconsin counties, including two northern counties. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection will quarantine all five.

The new counties are Chippewa, Green Lake, Marinette, Waupaca and Waushara. The Chippewa County infestation was discovered by a homeowner on private property where trees were dying. The other four were finds in monitoring traps set by the USDA-APHIS and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

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Prevent Tick Borne Illnesses

According to the Center for Disease Control, there were roughly 28,500 confirmed cases of Lyme disease in 2015; but the actual number of cases may be 10 times greater.

Lyme used to be confined to a few localized areas, particularly around Connecticut and the Northeast, but warmer winter temperatures and urban sprawl-which has reduced natural predators that kill tick-hosting rodents and deer-have caused populations to explode and spread across the country. That, in turn, has led to a sharp increase in the incidence of Lyme. (read more…)

Return of the Canadian Softwood Lumber Tariff

The Trump administration is slapping duties on billions of dollars of lumber imported from Canada, marking an escalation of trade tensions. The Commerce Department said that countervailing duties ranging from 3% to 24% would be applied retroactively on five Canadian lumber exporters. Overall the duties average about 20% and could amount to $1 billion. Additional penalties could be levied if Commerce determines Canadian lumber is being dumped into U.S. markets.  (read more...)

Wisconsin celebrates Forest Appreciation Week leading up to Arbor Day on April 28

Weekly News – April 25, 2017 – Wisconsin DNR

MADISON – Celebrations across the state are taking place to celebrate Forest Appreciation Week, which is capped off by Arbor Day on Friday, April 28. Governor Scott Walker issued a proclamation recognizing Forest Appreciation Week and Arbor Day. Wisconsin has celebrated Arbor Day since 1883. (read more..)