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]

 

WWOA testifies at Managed Forest Law Public Hearing

Update 4/7/20 – AB 856/SB867 failed to pass during this legislative session.

WWOA President Randy Cooper testified at the Wisconsin Assembly Committee on Forestry, Parks and Outdoor Recreation on February 4, 2020 about proposed changes to the Managed Forest Law program contained in Assembly Bill 856 (formerly LRB 5118/1).  Read WWOA’s testimony to learn more.

AB 856 proposes modifying Managed Forest Law provisions created under 2015 Wisconsin Act 358:
– how minimum acreage eligibility is determined
– storage buildings or improvements and how they are classified
– changes the definitions for additional parcels of land to be added to an existing MFL order
– provides more direction on how “material changes” to the MFL program will be designed on legislation or  promogated rules
– changes what circumstances withdrawal taxes and fees may be collected
– defines large ownership (1,000 acres or more under one owner) and allows DNR to create rules that allow these ownerships to deviate from the requirements that apply under the statutue
– removes prohibitions on leasing of MFL lands

WWOA will continue to work with the Legislature, WI DNR, and others to improve the MFL program and keep you informed on these proposals.

USDA Continues Programs and Planning

USDA Continues Conservation Planning and Programs for America’s Farmers
and Ranchers

NRCS Services Available by Phone Appointment Only

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 26, 2020 – USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) field offices are open by phone appointment only until further notice, and NRCS staff are available to continue to provide one-on-one, customer-specific advice to producers to help them meet their unique conservation and business goals.

All USDA Service Centers, including those NRCS field offices, are not currently accessible to customers in person.

NRCS staff are working with customers through phone, mail and online communications, and field work continues with appropriate social distancing to help producers with conservation planning and financial assistance through Farm Bill programs.

“Our team is here to work with you, and we are looking at every possible option and flexibility to support the conservation needs of America’s farmers and ranchers,” said NRCS Chief Matthew Lohr. “We want to continue our customer assistance while also taking precautionary measures to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.”

NRCS offers year-round continuous signup for its Farm Bill programs such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Conservation Stewardship Program and the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program. Call respective NRCS field offices about sign up and application submission options.

Additionally, NRCS continues projects with partners, including universities, local and state governments, tribes, nonprofits, and others. NRCS will continue to award projects and to call for proposals for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program, Conservation Innovation Grants and the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program.

[Read more…]

DNR: Spring Hearings In-Person Portion Cancelled

Accepting Public Input Online

Contact(s): Larry Bonde, Wis. Conservation Congress, 608-235-5825
Kari Lee-Zimmermann, DNR, 608-219-9134
March 17, 2020 at 5:43:05 pm

[EDITOR’S ADVISORY: This is a joint news release from the Wisconsin DNR and Wisconsin Conservation Congress.]

MADISON, WI -In light of COVID-19, the Wisconsin Conservation Congress (WCC) and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are closely following guidelines from the Department of Health Services (DHS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization (WHO).

We continue to receive the most up-to-date information, including new guidance from DHS that recommends canceling or postponing gatherings of 10 people or more to help protect Wisconsinites from the spread of COVID-19, particularly those who are most vulnerable to infection and severe disease.

As such, the in-person portion of the 72 public meetings known as the Spring Hearings that were to be held in each county on April 13 are canceled. The public will continue to have the opportunity to provide input on the natural resources advisory questions from the DNR, Natural Resources Board (NRB), and WCC through the online input option.

The online input option will be provided through a link that will be posted on the Spring Hearing page and will go live at 7 p.m. on April 13. The online version will remain open for three days (72 hours). Results will be posted as soon as they are available.

Each year, citizens can recommend changes to natural resource issues through the submittal of citizen resolutions. In addition, two of the five WCC seats in each county are up for election.

Resolutions can either be emailed to SpringHearingInfo@Wisconsin.gov or typed hardcopies can be mailed to: Kari Lee-Zimmermann, Conservation Congress Liaison, P.O. Box 7921 WCC/4, Madison WI 53707-7921. All citizen resolutions must be received by close of business on April 6. Resolutions must also meet the requirements identified on the Spring Hearing webpage.

[Read more…]