Additional Emerald Ash Borer Confirmed in Marinette and Oconto Counties

PESHTIGO, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) confirms emerald ash borer in the Town of Peshtigo in Marinette County. This latest confirmation is in addition to the Town of Abrams and City of Oconto Falls in Oconto County.

Previously, both counties positively identified emerald ash borer (EAB), with additional locations in the Towns of Goodman, Niagara and Wagner in Marinette County, and the Towns of Little Suamico and Morgan in Oconto County. The DNR’s Forest Health Specialists estimated that EAB has been present at the new locations for at least 3-4 years.

EAB kills all varieties of ash trees (white ash, green ash and black ash) but is not known to affect any other Wisconsin tree species. More than 99% of Wisconsin’s ash trees are expected to die. Once infested, ash trees generally die in 4-6 years. Due to a local high water table, sustained flooding and record rainfall in 2019, many ash trees in swamps have already been stressed or killed.

Woodpecker damage, thinning of the tree crown from the top, one-eighth inch D-shaped exit holes and branches sprouting low on the trunk could be signs of EAB infestation.

More information on EAB can be found here. For questions about residential trees, landowners are encouraged to check out the University of Wisconsin EAB page for info and management suggestions.

DNR Confirms CWD Detected In Shawano County

GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) confirms a wild deer tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD) in the Town of Germania in southwestern Shawano County, within 10 miles of Waupaca County. As required by state law, the DNR will renew the baiting and feeding bans in Shawano and Waupaca counties.

The CWD-positive deer was an adult doe harvested during the 2020 gun deer season and was tested as part of the department’s disease surveillance efforts. This is the first wild deer detection in Shawano County.

State law requires that the DNR enact a ban on the baiting and feeding of deer in counties or portions of counties within a 10-mile radius of a wild or farm-raised deer that tests positive for CWD. Baiting and feeding were already banned in Shawano County due to a prior CWD positive detection in a farm-raised facility in 2017.

The DNR will continue surveillance near the CWD positive detection location. Collecting CWD samples is essential for assessing where and to what extent CWD occurs in deer across the state.

As ever, successful CWD management depends in part on citizen involvement in the decision-making process through local County Deer Advisory Councils (CDAC).

The upcoming Shawano County CDAC meeting to discuss deer population objectives will be extended to include the new CWD information. The meeting will be held virtually via Zoom on Jan. 19 at 7 p.m., with the CWD portion of the agenda beginning at approximately 7:45 p.m. The public is invited to attend. Additional details regarding the Shawano County CDAC is available here. (Select Shawano from the drop-down menu.) Preregistration is not required.

CWD is a fatal, infectious nervous system disease of deer, moose, elk and reindeer/caribou. It belongs to the family of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) or prion diseases. CWD occurs only in members of the cervid or deer family – both wild and captive. The Wisconsin DNR began monitoring the state’s wild white-tailed deer population for CWD in 1999. The first positives were found in 2002.

More information regarding baiting and feeding regulations and CWD in Wisconsin is available here. Information on how to have deer tested during the 2020-21 hunting seasons is available here.

DNR Asks Public To Help Shape Deer Management In Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. – Hunters, farmers, foresters and anyone interested in Wisconsin’s deer herd can help shape deer management in Wisconsin. Now through Jan. 13, 2021, the public is invited to comment on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) herd size objectives and deer management unit (DMU) boundaries for the next three years.

Each County Deer Advisory Council (CDAC) has provided preliminary recommendations to increase, decrease or maintain herd size. In addition, the public has the opportunity to comment on DMU boundary recommendations proposed by the DNR. To view the preliminary recommendations for each county and provide feedback, visit the DNR’s website.

Following the public comment period, each county’s deer advisory council will meet virtually between Jan. 19-25 to discuss input received and determine final recommendations. The public is invited to attend these meetings, listed on the CDAC webpage. Preregistration is not required.

The DNR will review final council recommendations and present them to the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board for approval in February.

CDAC council members represent stakeholder groups impacted by deer management. Members work with local DNR staff to schedule meetings and provide community outreach and an opportunity for public input.

Members review county-level population data and deer impacts on forests and agriculture and develop three-year recommendations on county population objectives as well as annual antlerless harvest quotas. These councils provide the people of Wisconsin greater input into local deer management decisions and are essential for shaping the future of deer hunting and management.

Elk Management Plan Open for Public Comment

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is now accepting public input on an update to the state’s elk management plan through Jan. 23, 2021.

The management plan outlines objectives and strategies to guide elk management in the state through 2030. Review the proposed plan and view a summary presentation here.

Those who wish to provide comment may do so by emailing elkplan@wisconsin.gov or by mail: Wisconsin DNR, Attn: Scott Roepke, 910 Highway 54E, Black River Falls, WI 54615.

DNR staff will present the plan to the public at two virtual open house sessions held virtually on Saturday, Jan. 9 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and on Monday, Jan. 11 from 6-8 p.m.

“The restoration of elk to Wisconsin is a tremendous conservation success story. We’re looking forward to implementing the approaches identified in this draft update to the elk management plan with the input and support of the public,” said Scott Roepke, DNR Wildlife Biologist. “The management plan emphasizes a science-based approach to managing our state’s elk population and will also address diverse issues from tourism potential to agricultural damage.”

Once widespread here and across North America, elk were eliminated from Wisconsin in the 1880s due to unregulated hunting and habitat loss. More than 130 years later, they once again live in Wisconsin’s central and northern forest regions. From a population of 25 elk reintroduced in 1995, and with the help of a second reintroduction effort that started in 2015, the state’s total elk population is quickly approaching 400 animals providing significant viewing and hunting interest in the state.

To learn more about elk in our state, visit the DNR website here.

NRCS Wisconsin Announces Deadline for 2021 Wetland Reserve and Agricultural Land Easement Programs

Madison, Wis., January 5, 2021 The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Wisconsin has announced the fiscal year 2021 signup deadline is February 5, 2021, for Wetland Reserve Easement (WRE) and Agricultural Land Easement (ALE) applications. The 2018 Farm Bill has provided NRCS with technical and financial assistance to help private landowners, tribes, land trusts and other groups protect these valuable lands.

The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) umbrella focuses on restoring and protecting wetlands as well as conserving productive agricultural lands and grasslands. The WRE component provides landowners compensation for enrolling their land in easements. The ALE component works with eligible partners to protect agricultural use and conservation values of eligible land.

Applications for WRE and ALE are taken on a continuous basis and they are ranked and considered for funding one time a year. Landowners who have applied for WRE and partners who have applied for ALE in the past need not apply again but may be asked to update their application documents. “There may be other funding opportunities for WRE later in the year. If you do not get an application in by February 5, you may still submit one during the summer. We will consider those applications for funding in the 2022 fiscal year, which begins in October 2021,” said Greg Kidd, Assistant State Conservationist for Easements.

USDA NRCS Seeks Public Input on Guidance Defining Nonindustrial Private Forest Land Eligibility

WASHINGTON, Dec. 15, 2020 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking public input on Nonindustrial Private Forest Land (NIPF) related to technical and financial assistance available through conservation programs of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

“We want to ensure we continue program consistency across USDA agencies with how we are defining nonindustrial private forest lands,” said Angela Biggs, NRCS State Conservationist in Wisconsin. “It’s important that our conservation assistance reach all eligible lands in accordance with proper criteria to ensure we enroll eligible lands that hold meaningful opportunities.”

NRCS welcomes input from stakeholders across the nation, including those in Wisconsin, to assist with the development of guidance about how to identify NIPF for program enrollment purposes. NRCS must ensure that such guidance is consistent with how other USDA agencies identify NIPF under identical or similar programmatic frameworks. This request for input is to improve transparency about how NRCS makes land eligibility determinations with respect to forest lands.

Nonindustrial private forest land criteria will be adopted after the close of the 30-day period and after consideration of all comments.

Submitting Comments

NRCS invites input on this technical guidance through January 19, 2021. Electronic comments must be submitted through regulations.gov offsite link image     under Docket ID NRCS–2020–0009. All written comments received will be publicly available on http://www.regulations.gov offsite link image

Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Rural Prosperity Releases Report and Ten Action Recommendations

Gov. Tony Evers today announced the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Rural Prosperity has released “Rural Voices for Prosperity: A Report of the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Rural Prosperity,” which calls for coordinated measures across state government to meet the needs of Wisconsin’s rural communities.

The report features 10 overarching recommendations that, taken together, would commit state government to a comprehensive approach to rural prosperity, create new partnerships with rural and tribal communities in the designing and delivering state services, and invest more thoughtfully to address rural Wisconsin’s critical challenges and most promising opportunities. The report can be found here.

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WI DNR Announces Wolf Season in 2021

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced the official wolf season will begin Nov. 6, 2021.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will delist gray wolves from the federal list of endangered species on Jan. 4, 2021, returning management authority to the lower 48 states and tribes.

Under Wisconsin law, when the wolf is delisted, the state’s annual hunting and trapping seasons shall resume.

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Help Shape Deer Management in Wisconsin

Wisconsinites have two upcoming opportunities to weigh in on deer hunting across the state. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will host virtual public meetings in each county to discuss deer management Dec. 7-18 and a separate virtual public hearing Dec. 9 on the current white-tailed deer hunting season.

Every three years, County Deer Advisory Councils (CDACs) provide recommendations to the DNR that help determine the herd size objective (increase, decrease, maintain) for their county. Councils are made up of a chair and alternate-chair, who are members of the Wisconsin Conservation Congress, and seven members of the public who represent various stakeholder groups.

CDACs provide the people of Wisconsin greater input into local deer management decisions and are important for shaping the next three years of deer hunting and management in the state.

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Do You Value WI DNR Resources? Share Your Story – Dec 2 at 6 pm

WWOA encourages members to participate in the next virtual budget listening session covering the Environment, Infrastructure, and the Economy.
Gov. Tony Evers and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes will hold a virtual budget listening session on Environment, Infrastructure, and the Economy on Wednesday, December 2, 2020, at 6 p.m.
Register NOW to attend.

This event will be streamed live at WisconsinEye.

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