Bat disease takes its toll; Wisconsin sites see 30-100 percent decreases

Contact(s): Owen Boyle, 608-576-2446; Paul White, 608-267-0813

Call goes out to report surviving bats this summer

MADISON -- A bat disease that has raced across the eastern U.S. and Canada , killing upwards of 7 million bats, is following the same pattern in Wisconsin, winter hibernacula surveys show.

Twenty-four of 28 counties with known bat hibernacula are now confirmed to have bats infected with white-nose syndrome or the fungus that causes it, and sites in their second and third year of infection are seeing population decreases of 30 to 100 percent.

"The disease has progressed in Wisconsin as it did out east," says Owen Boyle, species management section chief for the Department of Natural Resources Natural Heritage Conservation program. "That doesn't make the numbers any easier to see. The effect of white-nose syndrome on our cave bats in Wisconsin, as nationally, is catastrophic." [Read more...]

Zdanovecs Awarded 2017 Forest Conservationists of the Year by WI Wildlife Federation

2017 Forest Conservationists of the Year presented by WI Wildlife Federation to Jim & Marlene Zdanovec

In 1985, dreams of eventually returning to their roots were realized when Jim and Marlene Zdanovec purchased 160 acres of land in Marathon County, Wisconsin. Wildlife was the main reason the Zdanovecs purchased the property.

The Zdanovec's objective with this land was to work with the abandoned pits and unmanaged forest to promote long-term productivity of the forest ecosystem with good land stewardship, for the benefit of the land, forest, and wildlife.

Today, the spoil piles are now gone, sloped and contoured by the Zdanovecs to blend in with the surrounding topography. Waste granite from the excavations has been used to construct and repair three miles of access roads. Topsoil was added and areas were vegetated to eliminate erosion into what are now referred to as "wildlife ponds." Once empty water holes now brim with life. From the spring peepers to the geese to the wild rice that grows along the banks of ponds, forest life flourishes here. [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...)


Your Help is Needed TODAY - Contact the Joint Committee on Finance about the Forest Mill Tax

[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..)

Going Paperless May Not Be Greener After All

02/23/2016   Source: Two Sides North America, 2016

“Go paperless, go green” is a common theme these days as many corporations and governments encourage their customers and employees to switch to electronic transactions or communications. But are appeals to help the environment by eliminating paper based on sound science or on marketing strategies aimed at cost cutting?

Read more at the following link:

New native plant list helps landowners boost wildlife habitat

Weekly News - April 11, 2017 - Wisconsin DNR

MADISON - Wisconsin landowners who want to boost wildlife habitat on their property -- whether a city lot or hundreds of acres -- have a new resource to help them choose native plants that can thrive where they live, benefit a wide variety of wildlife and promote water quality. (read more...)

Landowners encouraged to look for and control garlic mustard

Weekly News - April 18, 2017 - Wisconsin DNR

MADISON - Early spring is the best time to check gardens, yards and woodlands for garlic mustard and take measures to control this rapidly spreading invasive plant, state invasive plant experts say. (read more)

Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month: Help Keep Pests from Bugging Wisconsin

WI DATCP Contact: Donna Gilson, 608-224-5130,  or Bill Cosh, Communications Director, 608-224-5020,

MADISON – You've heard it before, and we hate to be pests, but now that cabin and camping season is starting, remember: Don't move firewood.

"This is probably the single most important thing you can do – or not do – to prevent spreading insects and diseases that could severely damage our forests," says Brian Kuhn, director of the Plant Industry Bureau in the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

April is Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month. Most Wisconsin residents are probably aware of pests like the gypsy moth and emerald ash borer. Kuhn's bureau conducts an annual aerial spray program to control gypsy moth populations, and 50 of the state's 72 counties are under a quarantine for the pest. Emerald ash borer, a much newer invader, has now been found in 41 Wisconsin counties. [Read more...]

Building bat houses now can aid bats that survive white-nose syndrome

MADISON - People can help bats that survive white-nose syndrome this winter by building a bat house where they can raise their young during summer months.

"Bats surviving white-nose syndrome need all the help they can get to raise their young and help rebuild populations," said Heather Kaarakka, a Department of Natural Resources conservation biologist who works with Wisconsin's bat populations for the Natural Heritage Conservation Bureau.

For easy instructions and how-to videos, check out the Department of Natural Resources' bat house web pages at, keyword "bat house." DNR's Bat House Building Handbook provides full instructions for building and installing bat houses. [Read more...]

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