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NRB Approves Pine Marten Protection In Apostle Islands

Wisconsin DNR

The state Natural Resources Board has approved a proposal to name the Apostle Islands as a American, or Pine, Marten protection zone and sets different rules for traps in Marten protection areas. The Marten is an endangered species. Two Marten protection areas are in the Northwoods. One area involves Vilas, Oneida, Forest and other counties where the endangered mammal lives. A second area is in Iron and nearby counties. The new third area  includes  the Apostle Islands.

DNR Wildlife Regulation Policy Specialist Scott Karel,  says there are closed seasons for trapping any species within the Marten protection areas.

Karel says they've studied the issue and feel some trapping could be allowed in the zones if the traps protect the Marten..

"...Of the currently allowed five traps, current studies have found these two different types of traps will allow different types of opportunities without endangering the incidental take of the Pine Marten. The first is a weasel box with a hole opening of less than an 1 3/8 inch....they can't squeeze into that size of hole..."

The other device traps animals four pounds or more. Karel says the Marten tops out at 2.5 pounds, so it won't set off that trap.

In March, representatives of the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission and the U.S. Forest Service expressed concerns about allowing the use of foothold traps within the marten protection zone. They also questioned the ability to enforce this type of trapping in the zone designed to protect the marten. Karel said the department is committed to marten recovery and don't believe the pan tension traps will pose a threat. He felt law enforcement would be able to test the traps to see if they are legal.

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