Fireworks Safety

WWOA wishes you all a safe and happy 4th of July! As you celebrate, be aware of fire danger from fireworks. [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…)

Promulgation of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Interior Quarantine in Michigan

June 6, 2017              To: Stakeholders and Industries Associated with Hemlock

The Michigan Department of  Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is implementing an interior state quarantine to protect Michigan’s native and cultivated hemlock populations from hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA). HWA has not been found in Michigan until recently where it has been detected at multiple sites in four counties in western Michigan. Recent surveys show HWA to be infesting hemlock in native stands and landscape settings. The infestations are attributed to shipments of hemlock nursery stock from infested areas in the United States prior to the implementation of Michigan’s Exterior HWA Quarantine. If left unchecked, HWA will likely spread throughout the estimated 170 million hemlock trees in Michigan. HWA causes significant losses in hemlock and therefore, could adversely affect a wide range of industries including the timber and lumber industries, nursery and landscaping industries, the Christmas tree and greens industry and also the tourist industry. Furthermore, hemlock is a keystone species in forested and associated riparian ecosystems. [Read more…]

2017 NRCS Local Working Group Notice Dates Announced

The Local Working Group (LWG) is a diverse group of people with agricultural and natural resource interests. Members may be agricultural producers representing the variety of crops and livestock raised within the local area; owners of nonindustrial private forest land; representatives of agricultural and environmental organizations; and representatives of governmental agencies carrying out agricultural and natural resource conservation programs and activities for the area.

To ensure that LWG recommendations take into account the broad scope of people served by USDA, members will include historically underserved groups, such as women and minorities; persons with disabilities; beginning and limited resource farmers, and socially and economically disadvantaged groups. Individuals or groups wanting to become a LWG member may submit a request to the Designated Conservationist explaining their interest and credentials for becoming a member. [Read more…]

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...)