Wildfire activity increases; DNR is geared-up and ready for the battle

Forty-four wildfires have burned in the last week with more anticipated this weekend due to strong winds and dry conditions in parts of the state. 

As the DNR suspends burning permits in several counties where the DNR has burning authority, the public is being asked to use extreme caution, especially with brush or burn piles, and follow the fire restrictions over the next few days until the fire danger minimizes.

"Already, we have more than doubled the number of wildfires this year compared to last year at this time," said Catherine Koele, DNR wildfire prevention specialist. "We've had more than 190 wildfires since the snow-cover disappeared and we have a lot of fire season left before things green-up and the fire danger subsides." [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...]

Three new members inducted into Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame

Long-time Natural Resources Board member Christine Thomas among inductees

STEVENS POINT, Wis. -- A University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Dean of the College of Natural Resources who served for 11 years on the state Natural Resources Board is among three new members who will be inducted into the Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame this year.

Christine Thomas, along with Hugh Iltis, a distinguished UW-Madison professor of botany, and Milly Zantow, a pioneering recycling advocate for Wisconsin, will be inducted into the Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame during a ceremony on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22. [Read more...]

Birch tree bandits cut and run in Minnesota and Wisconsin

Thieves are illegally cutting down thousands of birch trees in northern Minnesota and Wisconsin to make a quick buck off city dwellers who love the paper-white logs, limbs and twigs in their home decor.

The thefts have caught county sheriffs and state natural resource officials by surprise over the past few months, sending them scrambling to determine how big the problem is and how to keep it from getting worse.

In the meantime, the thieves are leaving gaps in the northern landscape that will take at least a decade to refill with birch.

Chief Deputy Mike Richter with the Washburn County Sheriff’s Office in Wisconsin was among those scratching their heads when word spread that swaths of birch saplings were being felled by crooks. “And then I learned some stuff about the market,” he said. [Read more...]

Submit WWOA Award Nominations

WWOA’s Awards Committee encourages members to nominate fellow members for WWOA’s Distinguished Service, Special Recognition and Next Generations awards.  Nominations are due to the WWOA office by June 30 of each year.

[Read more...]

DMAP Applications due March 1

It’s not too late to sign up for DMAP in 2017 to improve habitat for wildlife!

Wisconsin’s Deer Management Assistance Program can help you enhance wildlife habitat on property your own or hunt. The 2017 application deadline for properties larger than 160 acres is March 1 to be eligible for a site visit with a professional biologist and forester in 2017.  However, applications may be submitted at any time to immediately receive DMAP benefits such as workshops and training opportunities, volunteer experiences, and access to online DMAP resources.

Want to enroll 160 acres or more, but not yet ready to jump into active property management? Sign up for DMAP at Level 1 at no cost to join hundreds of conservation-minded citizens like you.

To learn more about DMAP benefits and to apply, visit http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/wildlifehabitat/DMAP.html.

Public meetings set on changes to northern forests master plans

MADISON -- The public will have an opportunity to review and comment on the final proposal from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for a master plan variance that will classify 75 percent of the state's northern forests as forest production areas. - Read Full Article

End of Frozen Road Period and Start of Class II Road Restrictions Begin

This announcement was originally created by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) and is being distributed by the Great Lakes Timber Professional Association (GLTPA) 

The frozen road declaration ends and spring thaw and class II restrictions begin in zones 3, 4, and 5 on Saturday, February 18th, 2017, at 12:01 a.m.

The frozen road declaration ends and spring thaw and class II restrictions begin in zones 1 and 2 on Monday, February 20th, 2017 at 12:01 a.m. 

[Read more...]

DNR Proposes Major Changes in Field Forester Operations that Affect Private Landowners

At its January meeting, the Council on Forestry was briefed on the DNR’s Division of Forestry reorganization plans.  In her presentation, Carmen Harden, Forest Management Bureau Director, described how the Forestry Division intends to change how field foresters will interact with private woodland owners.  READ MORE

Echolocator: Wisconsin Bat Program

Interested in learning more about Wisconsin's Bat Program? Read the latest issue of Echolocator for more information.

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