DNR To Host Intro To Hunting Webinar Series Beginning July 28

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will host the first of several educational hunting webinars beginning July 28 for members of the public that are new to hunting or hunting curious.

The webinar series is in partnership with the National Wild Turkey Federation, Pheasants Forever and Becoming an Outdoorswoman. The series is designed for those interested in learning about hunting, fishing and trapping.

EVENT DETAILS

What: Wanna Go Hunting? Let’s Get Started! Webinar

Who: New hunters Andrea Lutz, Michael Menon and Martin Perales

When: 7 p.m. Thursday, July 28

Where: Tune in via YouTube here. The webinar will be recorded and can be viewed on YouTube any time using the same link.

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New Report on WI Forests and Carbon Sequestration

Wisconsin Academy Announces 10 Forestry Recommendations to Fight Climate Change

The Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters has identified ten key forestry recommendations that will offset the impact of climate change in Wisconsin. The recommendations are outlined in the newly released report, Wisconsin’s Forested Lands: Opportunities for Carbon Sequestration and Storage.

This report is part of the Wisconsin Academy’s Climate-Critical Lands project, a research initiative which looks at the potential for carbon storage in Wisconsin landscapes. The Academy’s Climate & Energy Team collaborated with researchers and specialists from around the state to develop the report and its recommendations.

“To create an insightful and actionable report, it was imperative that we listen to people with expertise but different perspectives,” said Wisconsin Academy Environmental Initiatives Director Lizzie Condon. “We spoke with foresters, experts who work on building codes, tax law, policy, economics, research, urban wood, and forest products. As a result, the ten recommendations are realistic and achievable for Wisconsin, economically beneficial to the state, and will help mitigate climate change.”

With 17 million acres of forested landcover comprising 46 percent of the total land area of the state, Wisconsin has significant opportunities for carbon sequestration, storage, and emissions reduction through forestry practices on public, Tribal, and private lands.

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WDNR Division of Forestry, 5-year Strategic Direction published

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR)’s Division of Forestry’s Strategic Direction is a five-year plan that builds off of the Wisconsin forestry community’s 10-year Statewide Forest Action Plan. It allows us to connect our vision for the future using tangible strategies and actions.

Since 2012, the division has used strategic planning to define our niche within the broader statewide and national forestry community to:

  • Maximize the value delivered to the people of Wisconsin
  • Efficiently use available resources and collective capacity
  • Effectively adapt to new and emerging opportunities and challenges

The Division of Forestry has been working on developing our next Strategic Direction for the past year.

Earlier this spring, we notified you that we had reviewed and incorporated feedback received on the Strategic Direction and provided a document summarizing that feedback and how it was addressed. We are now proud to present the final Division of Forestry Strategic Direction for fiscal years (FY) 2023-2027. Thank you again for your interest and to all who participated in the development of this plan.

You can find the complete document and learn more about the process used to develop the plan by visiting:

FY2023-2027 Strategic Direction

DATCP to Survey for Spongy Moth in 47 Wisconsin Counties

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) will be setting more than 10,000 traps for spongy moth (formerly known as gypsy moth) in 47 counties from mid-May through early June. DATCP requests that property owners allow trappers access to place traps and not disturb the traps once in place.

“The data we gather from these traps provide an estimate of the state’s spongy moth population and is used to plan for next year’s spray treatment,” said Michael Falk, DATCP Spongy Moth Program Manager. “It also helps DATCP nursery and Christmas tree inspectors check trees for spongy moth egg masses in the fall.”

Traps are small green boxes tied to tree branches. The trap contains the scent of a female spongy moth that is undetectable to other insects and is used to attract and catch adult male spongy moths.

Trappers will monitor traps until male moths stop flying and the traps are removed in August. Trappers wear fluorescent vests and carry identification cards. Each trap is labeled with a phone number that property owners can call if they have questions or decide they want it removed.

For more information on spongy moth trapping:

USDA Biological Control Lab Seeks Green Ash Trees

Emerald ash borer (EAB) is an invasive insect from Asia that was first introduced into the United States in 2002. The Emerald ash borer (EAB) has been found in 64 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties.  Since its discovery, EAB has caused the death and decline of tens of millions of ash trees. Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is using ash trees against the pest to help preserve and protect the tree species. They are asking Wisconsin landowners for their help.

Wisconsin landowners have donated live, infested ash trees to USDA’s EAB biological control program. The staff will then use the wood to rear EAB’s natural enemies and release them in Wisconsin and 28 other EAB-infested States. The biocontrol staff will need more ash trees to continue producing and releasing these stingless wasps that attack and kill EAB and are hoping more Wisconsin residents will consider donating their ash trees this year.

Biological control (Biocontrol) helps to reduce pest populations by using natural enemies such as parasitoids (stingless wasps), predators, pathogens, antagonists (to control plant diseases), or competitors. It is a practical option to suppress pest populations and an environmentally sound method of pest control.

“Our facility in Brighton, Michigan, is one of a kind,” said EAB biocontrol manager Ben Slager. “We rear almost a million wasps each year and provide them at no cost to our State cooperators for release. We’ve harvested EAB-infested ash in Michigan, Ohio, and last year in Wisconsin. Over the years we have had to travel farther to find the material we need.”

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Northern long-eared bat proposed as endangered

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced on March 22, 2022, a proposal to reclassify the northern long-eared bat as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The bat, currently listed as threatened, faces extinction due to the range-wide impacts of white-nose syndrome, a deadly disease affecting cave-dwelling bats across the continent.

Bats are critical to healthy, functioning ecosystems and contribute at least $3 billion annually to the U.S. agriculture economy through pest control and pollination. The growing extinction crisis highlights the importance of the ESA and efforts to conserve species before declines become irreversible.

“White-nose syndrome is devastating northern long-eared bats at unprecedented rates, as indicated by this science-based finding” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director Charlie Wooley. “The Service is deeply committed to continuing our vital research with partners on reducing the impacts of white-nose syndrome, while working with diverse stakeholders to conserve the northern long-eared bat and reduce impacts to landowners.”

White-nose syndrome has spread across nearly 80% of the species’ entire range and nearly all of its U.S. range since it was listed as threatened in 2015. The proposal to change the status of the northern long-eared bat comes after an in-depth review of the species found that the bat continues to decline and now meets the definition of endangered under the ESA.

[Read more…]

Pixelle sells Stevens Point paper mill

The Stevens Point Journal is reporting that the Stevens Point paper mill has been sold to a Miami-based private equity firm.

Pixelle Specialty Solutions and other affiliated paper mill plants have been sold to H.I.G. Capital.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The Stevens Point mill employs about 300 people. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of this year.

Wisconsin Rapids VERSO mill sold

Swedish company, BillerudKorsnäs, officials announced the completion of its acquisition of Verso on March 31, 2022.  Their press release does not mention the future of the Wisconsin Rapids paper mill.

The acquisition of Verso reinforces BillerudKorsnäs’ strategy to drive profitable and sustainable growth and its ambition to accelerate its growth in North America. As a result of the acquisition of Verso, BillerudKorsnäs is now one of the largest providers of virgin paper and packaging materials with a cost and quality advantage.

Going forward, BillerudKorsnäs intends to simplify its company name and brand to “Billerud”, which it will operate under in all markets, including the U.S.  BillerudKorsnäs is committed to continuing to serve Verso’s customers across all segments and realising its previously announced plans to convert several of Verso’s assets into paperboard machines, while maintaining Verso’s position as a quality and cost leader in speciality and coated paper.

Deer Hunters (& Woodland Owners Concerned about Deer Browse): Help Shape The 2022 Season For Your County

The first round of County Deer Advisory Council (CDAC) public meetings is starting March 21.

At each meeting, County Deer Advisory Councils (CDAC) will consider recommendations on holiday hunts, extended archery seasons and antlerless deer quotas.

Make sure you’re part of the conversation. Visit the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) website for info on your county’s meeting date, time and Zoom link:

Find My County Meeting button

Participate In Deer Season Planning

There are several ways to participate in deer season planning:

CDACS Are Your Voice In Deer Management

Each county in Wisconsin has a County Deer Advisory Council to provide input and recommendations to the department on deer management within their county. Councils work with local DNR staff to schedule meetings, provide community outreach and an opportunity for public input, review population data and deer impacts on forests and agriculture, develop recommendations on county population objectives and create annual antlerless harvest quotas.

In early May, each CDAC will make recommendations to the department for the 2022 season based on deer herd metrics, county deer population goals and public feedback. This summer, the DNR will bring its recommendations for the 2022 season to the Natural Resources Board.

The public can submit questions about the process to DNRCDACWebMail@wisconsin.gov. More information is available on the DNR’s County Deer Advisory Councils webpage.

Emerald Ash Borer Detected in Bayfield Co

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 Bayfield County. A resident reported this ash tree-killing beetle in the city of Bayfield on March 2 and it was confirmed to be EAB by USDA-APHIS on March 11. It appears to have been present in the reported tree for at least three years prior to detection, with the symptomatic tree showing significant woodpecker flecking, epicormic sprouts, and D-shaped exit holes.

Bayfield County is the second new county detection of 2022 and marks the 63rd county detection since EAB was first confirmed in the state in 2008. There are nine Wisconsin counties that have not had an EAB detection. There are no regulatory changes as a result of this detection. EAB was federally deregulated as of January 14, 2021, and Wisconsin instituted a statewide quarantine in 2018.

For more information about EAB and where it has been found, visit 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.