WI DATCP Warns of Unsolicited Seed Packets

Unsolicited Seeds and Other Packages

​​​​​​​The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has been notified that some Wisconsin residents have received unsolicited packages in the mail that appear to have originated from China. These packages may contain seeds or other small items (a piece of jewelry, face masks, etc.).

​In addition to the guidance below, consumers can follow DATCP on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram​ and sign up​ to receive DATCP’s news releases. Updates will be provided as more information becomes available.

What should I do if I receive a package of unsolicited seeds?

  1. Do not plant or throw away the seeds.
  2. If the seeds are in sealed packaging, do not open the sealed package.​
  3. If possible, retain the original packaging. It may be useful as we investigate this issue.
  4. Please report the seeds to DATCP using this online form.​​

The types of seeds in the packages are currently unknown and may contain invasive plant species. Similar packages have been received in other locations across the United States.​

All foreign seeds shipped to the United States should have a phytosanitary certificate which guarantees the seeds meet import requirements. Unsolicited seeds could be invasive species, contain noxious weeds, could introduce diseases to local plants, or could be harmful to livestock. Invasive species and noxious weeds can displace native plants and increase costs of food production.

DATCP works closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to prevent the introduction of invasive species and protect Wisconsin’s diverse agricultural industry. ​More information about DATCP’s Bureau of Plant Industry is available here​.​​

What should I do if I receive an unsolicited package that contains something else (not seeds)?

If you receive an unsolicited package that contains other items that are not seeds, please contact DATCP’s Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 422-7128 or DATCPHotline@wisconsin.gov to file a complaint.​

More information about DATCP’s Bureau of Consumer Protection is available here.

2020 USDA-NRCS Public Conservation Virtual Meeting Announced

Landowners encouraged to attend virtual meeting

 

Madison, Wis. – July 6, 2020 − The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Wisconsin has announced this year, we will be holding one statewide virtual Local Working Group (LWG) meeting with a feedback survey to follow. The virtual meeting will be held August 5, 2020, at 10:00 a.m.‒12:00 p.m. Participants will be able to call into a teleconference line or join audio and video though an internet browser using a Microsoft Teams meeting link. Input gathered will help set priorities for USDA conservation programs under the 2018 Farm Bill.

“Local Working Groups offer an opportunity for interested individuals and groups to advise NRCS on how best to set priorities and locally implement conservation programs,” said Angela Biggs, Wisconsin State Conservationist. “Members are diverse, with an interest and focus on local agriculture and various natural resource issues,” added Biggs. Farmers representing a variety of crops and livestock raised within the local area, private woodland owners, representatives of agricultural and environmental organizations, and representatives of other agriculture and natural resource agencies are welcome and should be represented.

Wisconsin LWGs represent two or more counties grouped together by geography, similar land use, resources, and type of agriculture. See a map of Local Working Groups. This will allow greater flexibility and access to funding for the groups.

One of the main programs discussed at the meeting will be the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), a federal conservation program that helps agricultural producers in a manner that promotes agricultural production and environmental quality as compatible goals. EQIP offers technical and financial assistance to help landowners with needed conservation practices for water quality, soil health, wildlife and other natural resources.

To join the virtual meeting choose one of the following options:

  1. Teleconference: Call 1-636-352-2946, then type in access code 766 186 811# when prompted.
  2. Video and audio through Microsoft Teams: Visit this site: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/wi/newsroom/pnotice/ and then click on the Teams link at the top of the page. For more information on how to connect via desktop, laptop or mobile device, download these step-by-step instructions. offsite link image 

Please take the LWG feedback survey after attending the meeting by August 21, 2020, by visiting https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/wi/newsroom/pnotice/ and clicking on the survey link. A printed survey may also be requested by calling (608) 662-4422 or emailing your name and address to april.ryan@usda.gov.

Local Working Group meetings are open to the public. Anyone interested in becoming a member of LWGs should contact their local NRCS Service Center. Contact your local NRCS District Conservationist if you are interested in participating. For detailed information on local work groups, see What are Local Working Groups.

WI DNR Wood Products Webinar

The DNR Forest Products Service Team will host a webinar titled “Wood: Sustainably Grown, Locally Available“ on June 16, 2020. This webinar is intended to promote the diverse application of Wisconsin’s oldest grown, locally available, and environmentally friendly material—wood. Architects, designers, consumers and anyone interested in learning about Wisconsin wood products should consider attending.

Following these two presentations, there will be time for questions with the presenters:
A New Age of Wood: New Products Create New Opportunities by Jim Bowyer, Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, and a specialist in wood-based bio-products and environmental life-cycle assessment.
Wisconsin Wood Resources and Wood Products by Scott Bowe, Professor and Wood Products Specialist, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Event Date: Tuesday, June 16, 2020
Time: 10:30 a.m. Central Time (US and Canada)
Registration: Please register in advance for this meeting using following link:
https://uwextension.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwkfuqtrToqH9T3xTpRI8qg1jGc7BsShW0H

DNR: Help Shape Deer Season for Your Community

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 2, 2020
Contact: Kevin Wallenfang, DNR deer and elk ecologist
Kevin.Wallenfang@wisconsin.gov or (608) 261-7589

Help Shape Deer Season For Your Community By Joining Your County’s Deer Advisory Council

Application Deadline July 1

 

Apply for a seat on a County Deer Advisory Council (CDAC) by July 1. / Photo Credit: Wisconsin DNR

MADISON, Wis. – The Department of Natural Resources invites those interested in deer management in Wisconsin to apply for a seat on a County Deer Advisory Council (CDAC).

Council members include representatives from a variety of stakeholder groups interested in white-tail deer management in Wisconsin. The application deadline for all council seats in each county is July 1, 2020.

Founded in 2014, CDACs were established to provide an open venue to develop county-specific deer population objectives and herd management strategies through public involvement. Council members review and consider a variety of metrics on deer herd trends, impacts to habitat and various human-deer interactions.

“All council seats are open to new applicants,” said Kevin Wallenfang, DNR deer and elk ecologist. “We put a great deal of stock in public involvement, and we hope folks take extra interest and apply for a seat on their local council. Those selected will serve for three years, and during that time will have a great deal of responsibility in helping manage deer in their county.”

Council members meet annually to review deer population numbers and associated data, gather public input and provide recommendations to the Department of Natural Resources and the Natural Resources Board regarding deer management decisions in their county.

Councils include representatives from agriculture, forestry, tourism, transportation, hunting, Wisconsin’s Deer Management Assistance Program and local government. Applicants must have experience or involvement with at least one of these seven stakeholder categories.

For more information regarding CDACs and to apply, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keyword CDAC.”

EQIP Application Deadline June 26, 2020

NRCS Announces Second EQIP Signup for 2020 Funding, Apply by June 26, 2020

Providing Conservation Practices to Protect Natural Resources

Madison, Wis. – May 22, 2020 – Farmers and forest landowners will want to plan ahead and sign up early for the second round of 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 June 26, 2020, for funding in 2020. Applications are being taken at all USDA Service Centers offsite link image     in Wisconsin.

EQIP is the primary program available to farmers and landowners for farm and woodland conservation work, offering payments for over 110 basic conservation practices. Last year, Wisconsin received over $38 million in funds for EQIP practices.

[Read more…]

A Deadly Reminder While Walking Pets

A deadly reminder when walking your dog in rural areas as the weather gets nicer… The WDNR and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are asking for the public’s help with a string of fatal animal poisonings in Forest, Marinette and Florence counties, even along the border with Upper Michigan. While the investigation is focused on three counties, officials say others could be impacted. 

Officials are urging people to be cautious when walking their dogs along roadways and trails in these three counties.

The Wisconsin DNR says these suspected poisonings started in 2018, and it’s back now, but worse. Investigators say recently this is happening on very rural roads and mainly on public property but there have also been reports of it happening on private lands.

“We advise the public to just be very careful, be aware of where your dog is walking, and what it’s getting into. The stuff acts very fast,” said Wisconsin DNR Lieutenant, Bryan Harrenstein.

[Read more…]

Spring Hearing Results- DNR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 6, 2020
Contact: Larry Bonde, Wisconsin Conservation Congress Chair
608-235-5825
Kari Lee-Zimmermann, Wisconsin Conservation Congress/DNR Liaison
608-219-9134 or Kari.LeeZimmermann@Wisconsin.gov

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Conservation Congress received a record-setting 64,943 responses to the 2020 Spring Hearing Questionnaire featuring topics ranging from baiting and feeding deer to the use of non-toxic ammunition on state-owned land.  

Due to COVID-19, the in-person portion of the 72 public meetings – known as the Spring Hearings – initially scheduled for April 13 in each county was canceled. The public was able to respond to the natural resources advisory questions from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board, and Conservation Congress online April 13-16.

Results can be found here or by visiting the DNR website and searching keywords “Spring Hearings.”  

“I continue to be amazed by the level of participation by Wisconsinites. It shows very clearly how much people care about the natural resources of this state,” said Wisconsin Conservation Congress Chair Larry Bonde. “Given that this was only the second year we offered an online opportunity, and the extenuating circumstances with the COVID-19, I’m thrilled we had this opportunity in place to provide people an avenue for input.”

The Spring Hearings provide an opportunity for the public to weigh-in on a wide range of natural resource-related advisory questions as well as citizen resolutions previously submitted for inclusion. The Spring Hearings also provide an opportunity for the public to elect Conservation Congress delegates to represent their county on natural resource issues. 

The Conservation Congress is the only statutorily recognized citizen advisory body to the Natural Resources Board. Public input received through this process is advisory to members of the Natural Resources Board, department staff, and anyone working on these issues. 

The results will help guide decision making on potential future rule-making. No final decisions have been made at this time. The public input results will be considered during the Conservation Congress convention that may be held later this summer and during a Natural Resources Board meeting.

NRCS CSP application deadline is May 29, 2020

MADISON, WISCONSIN, April 17, 2020 – The next deadline for Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) applications to be considered for funding this year is May 29, 2020. Through CSP, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) helps forest landowners earn payments for expanding conservation activities while maintaining agricultural production on their land. CSP also encourages adoption of new technologies and management techniques.

“CSP continues to be a very effective tool for private landowners working to achieve their conservation and management goals,” said Angela Biggs, NRCS state conservationist in Wisconsin. “It is the largest conservation program in the United States with more than 70 million acres of productive agricultural and forest land enrolled.”

[Read more…]

PRESS RELEASE: Wisconsin State Parks & Forests to Reopen MAY 1st

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 27, 2020
Contact: DNRPress@wisconsin.gov

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will reopen 34 state parks and forests on Friday, May 1 at the direction of Gov. Evers with special conditions.

Under Gov. Evers’ Badger Bounce Back Plan, which outlines important criteria for Wisconsin to be able to reopen its economy in phases and includes steps to make sure workers and businesses are prepared to reopen as soon as it is safe to do so, the DNR will modify current operations to maintain the safest environment for visitors and staff.

Due to unprecedented crowds, litter, vandalism and the need to protect the health and safety of our visitors and staff, Gov. Evers directed the DNR to close 38 Wisconsin State Parks, Forests and Recreational Areas on Friday, April 10.

[Read more…]

2020 Annual Spring Fish & Wildlife public hearing and WCC county meeting

April 13 – 7 p.m. to April 16 – 7 p.m.

Individuals interested in natural resources management have the opportunity to provide their input and testimony to the DNR and WCC on proposed rule changes and advisory questions relating to fish and wildlife management in Wisconsin.

NOTE: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the in-person portion of the spring hearings has been cancelled.
Starting at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 13, 2020, citizens may go online and provide their input on the proposed questions by utilizing the online option found at DNR.WI.GOV and searching the keywords “spring hearings.” The online input form will remain open for 72 hours.
2020 Spring Hearing Questionnaire
Public hearing/meeting notice [PDF]