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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Registration Open Until February 1st to Receive Landscape Pesticides Advance Notices

Open enrollment for the landscape pesticide registry is November 1 – February 1.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection offers a landscape pesticide registry, which allows Wisconsin residents to be notified 12 hours before commercial pesticide applications are applied to neighboring landscapes.

To be notified, you must provide you contact information and a list of places you which to be notified about that are located on or immediately adjacent to the block where you live. Then you will be contacted when lawn care companies are going to apply pesticides to those areas. There is no cost to this service.

The registry applies only to commercial landscape applications and does not apply to landowners who apply their own pesticide, applications to the inside or outside of buildings, or use in agriculture.

You must register every year, as the list is updated yearly. You can register online on the landscape pesticide registry website or download the form to fill out and register by mail.

Emerald Ash Borer found in Dunn, Florence, Oconto, Pepin, Price, and Shawano Counties

Emerald Ash Borer Detected in Dunn, Florence, Oconto, Pepin, Price, and Shawano Counties

In partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has detected emerald ash borer (EAB) for the first time in the following counties: Dunn (town of Rock Creek), Oconto (town of Little Suamico), Pepin (towns of Lima and Waterville), and Shawano (city of Shawano). These are the first new county detections of 2020 for Wisconsin. There have also been 48 new municipal detections in counties where EAB was previously detected.
In partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has detected emerald ash borer (EAB) for the first time in Florence County (Town of Fence).
In partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has detected emerald ash borer (EAB) for the first time in Price County (City of Park Falls).

To date, Wisconsin has found EAB in 58 of the state’s 72 counties. The entire state is part of the EAB federal quarantine area, so there will be no regulatory changes as a result of these detections.
More information about EAB and detection maps for Wisconsin and the nation can be found at https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/Programs_Services/EAB.aspx.

Note: DATCP will send notifications only when EAB is found for the first time in a county.
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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.”

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.

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