DNR Invites Public to Participate in Bat Habitat Conservation Efforts

Cave-dwelling bat populations in Wisconsin are rapidly declining due to a fungal disease known as white-nose syndrome.  Some species may soon be listed as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). In preparation for this listing, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is teaming up with the Michigan and Minnesota DNRs to develop a large-scale Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP). The purpose of this HCP is to obtain a federal incidental take permit under ESA section 10 requesting authorization for the incidental take of bats during forest management activities. The goal of this project is the protection of federally endangered bat species and the continuation of forest management activities in the Lake States. [Read more…]

NEW Application Deadline for WWOA’s AmeriCorps Position

Will you or someone you know be WWOA’s 2017-18 AmeriCorps WI Volunteer Coordinator?

Are you or someone you know interested in natural resources and sustainability, interested in improving your networking or learning more about educational nonprofits, wanting to spend a year serving members who really care about their woodlands?

Consider serving the Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association through AmeriCorps for the September 2017-August 2018 term. Benefits include a $5,815 Segal Education Award, $485 bi weekly stipend, student loan forbearance, training opportunities, networking with natural resources professionals, and more!

This year a very special WWOA couple has stepped forward to cover the required AmeriCorps cash match in order for WWOA to host our 2017-18 member.  In addition, two other generous WWOA members have offered to cover WWOA expenses related to this position.  These gifts will allow WWOA to continue to assist the next generation in learning more about Wisconsin’s private woodland owners and provide WWOA members with innovative programming!  With these timely donations, we are hoping to hire someone by August 8.

Read the full position description for more information.

Learn more about AmeriCorps and the difference your service can make!

Contact 715-346-4798 or wwoa@uwsp.edu with questions.  Apply by AUGUST 28, 2017.

Become a Tree Seed Collector

The WI DNR Reforestation Program continues to purchase seed from private collectors. Over the years, our seedling demands have changed; thus, so does our need for seed.  In 2017, WI DNR will be purchasing seeds for the following species: american hazelnut, american plum, black cherry, bitternut hickory, black walnut, butternut, shagbark hickory, sugar (hard) maple, and the following oaks – bur, red, swamp white, white.

Please read the following information carefully to understand changes in 2017.  Before collecting any seed, please contact the nursery first to ensure purchasing is still open for species you intend to collect. Nursery staff can assist with species identification.  If you have any questions, call the nursery before you begin to collect seed!

[Read more…]

NRCS Announces EQIP Signup for 2018 Funding, Apply by October 20, 2017

Providing Conservation Practices to Protect Natural Resources

Madison, Wis. – July 24, 2017 – Farmers and forest landowners will want to plan ahead and sign up early for USDA conservation funding. Angela Biggs, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist in Wisconsin, announced farmers and forest landowners interested in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) need to apply by October 20, 2017, for funding in 2018. Applications are being taken at all USDA Service Centers in Wisconsin.

EQIP is the primary program available to farmers for farm and woodland conservation work, offering payments for over 110 basic conservation practices. Last year, Wisconsin received about $25 million in funds for EQIP practices. “By getting applications in early, we have time for staff to visit individual farms to help plan all practices needed and offer advice,” said Biggs. “It’s easier to do an accurate plan before the snow starts, when you can better see the landscape.”

All eligible applications received by October 20, 2017, will be evaluated, prioritized and ranked for funding in 2018. Farmers may contact their local USDA Service Center to get started on producer eligibility and planning. Biggs reminds farmers who are interested in practices that may require permits, such as manure storage or streambank restoration, to begin planning and seeking permits as soon as possible. Applicants with shovel-ready projects (designs completed and permit applications submitted) will receive higher priority. [Read more…]

New DNR Tax Law Section for MFL and FCL

From: WI DNR Forestry News

As part of the DNR Strategic Alignment, the Division of Forestry has consolidated the tax law programs (Managed Forest Law and Forest Crop Law) and associated work into fewer positions under a new Tax Law section.  This section will focus on the tax law programs, allowing us to better meet our customers’ needs. 

Within the new section, six staff are located in Madison:  Tax Law Section Chief, Tax Law Administration Specialist, Tax Law Enforcement Specialist (vacant), Tax Law Operations Specialist, Tax Law Policy Specialist, and Tax Law WisFIRS Data Specialist (vacant).  There are also four teams of tax law specialists located throughout the state.  Each team consists of a team leader, 8 or 9 forestry specialists (field foresters working on tax law) and 1 or 2 administration specialists  (similar to administrative positions previously located in Madison) assigned to cover specific counties.

To find contact information for the tax law specialists that serve your area, visit dnr.wi.gov, keyword “Forester” and select “DNR tax law specialists.”  There you’ll also find a description of the specialist’s roles and services offered.

You can find the new staff assigned to your area and their contact information directly in the Tax Law Directory.

Thanks for your patience through this transition and into the future as we continue our commitment to work together to sustainably manage and protect Wisconsin’s forest resources.

Contact:  R.J. Wickham, Forest Tax Section Chief, 920-369-6248 (mobile phone), Richard.Wickham@Wisconsin.gov

Storm Damage

What do you do after your woodlands experience unexpected storm damage? [Read more…]

Wild parsnip blooms early, time to mow or take other control steps

MADISON- Wild parsnip, an invasive plant that can cause painful burns to people who come into contact with it, is blooming early in Wisconsin. Invasive plant experts encourage property owners to mow this plant or take other actions now to prevent its spread.

“The warm weather last week probably pushed wild parsnip to bloom. The earlier you can control it the more successful your efforts will be,” says Kelly Kearns, invasive plant coordinator for the Department of Natural Resources Natural Heritage Conservation program. “Mowing is the easiest way to prevent it from seeding – it won’t kill it but it will prevent it from spreading.”

Wild parsnip grows very successfully in habitats where soil was recently disturbed and invades prairies, oak savannas, roadsides, and pastures throughout Wisconsin. The species can be easily identified by its 4 to 6 foot stems and yellow, flat-topped, umbrella-shaped flowers that bloom from late spring to midsummer. [Read more…]

CDACs Accepting Applications until July 1 for 2018

The County Deer Advisory Councils (CDACs) were established in 2014. All CDAC seats are now available for anyone interested in representing deer management interests in their county.

CDACs are comprised of seven members, plus two additional members of the Wisconsin Conservation Congress who serve as the chair and alternate chair. Members represent the major aspects of deer management in Wisconsin including hunting, landowners, tourism, agriculture, forestry, transportation, and urban/metropolitan areas.

CDAC members will recommend deer population objectives for the three year period of 2018 through 2020, as well as help set antlerless harvest quotas, tag levels, and season structure on an annual basis. Council recommendations can benefit from having all major interests involved in the discussions. [Read more…]

Emerald Ash Borer New Locations Found

Emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) continues to be found in new areas. Wisconsin continues to track EAB at the municipality or township level; quarantined counties are shown in tan and known infested areas are shown in green on the map.

If you know you have EAB, please contact us with that information so we can verify the infestation and update the maps. If your area:

  • is not shaded in green on the map please contact DNR or
  • is not shaded at all on the map please contact DATCP.

You can reach both agencies from the menu options when you call 1-800-462-2803. [Read more…]

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…)