James River Park System

Despite the late spring, birds and animals are busy raising inexperienced young. A wildlife expert says stay away if you see young animals as momma isn't far away.

Raccoon young, called kits, are born sightless but are capable of walking, climbing and running when they are 6-8 weeks old. If you see raccoon kits, their mother is likely nearby even though you don't see her.

DNR wildlife biologist Dianne Robinson says most of the time the kits are ok....

pixabay.com Simon

Mother Nature's snow wrath felt by northern Wisconsin residents might be difficult on animals not yet adapted to our changeable weather. While amounts varied, the general consensus was the Northwoods picked up at least 20 inches of snow this past weekend, with some points in eastern Wisconsin getting 30 inches of snow.

DNR wildlife biologist for Vilas county, Michele Woodford says the birds coming north are the ones feeling the brunt of the snow...


The annual spring fish and wildlife public hearings are set for all 72 counties in Wisconsin Monday, April 9.

Kari Lee-Zimmerman is the DNR's liaison with Wisconsin Conservation Congress who says citizens are invited to participate to provide input on possible policy or rule changes. The hearings are held the second Monday in April.

Lee-Zimmerman says the hearings provide a conservation sounding board...


Look for a change in how recreational vehicles are licensed. The DNR announced Friday customers renewing registrations for their boat, ATV, UTV, snowmobile or off-highway motorcycle this year will now receive renewal postcards.

The postcards replace the letters that have previously been sent. Customers are encouraged to take care of their renewals well before they intend to head out on the water and trails. ATV, UTV and off-highway motorcycle renewals received after March 31 will be assessed an additional $5 late fee.

Wisconsin DNR

A meeting next Monday in Rhinelander could have an impact on future recreation in the Northwoods.

The DNR is hosting the meeting to get feedback about outdoor recreation for a Recreation Opportunities Analysis they are doing.

DNR recreation specialist Cameron Bump says the analysis is examining existing outdoor-based recreation opportunities. Bump says they held an initial set of meetings in March and have put together a draft document for the public to provide input...

Courtesy: Wisconsin DNR

We waited for the warm sunny days to return and they have, but a DNR spokesperson says that also means the chance of wildfire has also risen sharply. Governor Walker has declared a state of emergency in response to elevated wildfire conditions.

Catherine Koele is DNR wildfire prevention specialist in Woodruff. She says Northwoods is at the peak of wildfire season...

Wikimedia Commons

Reports indicate a truck went through the ice on the Willow Flowage this week. No injuries were reported, but a DNR recreational safety warden says the recent warming spell has changed the dynamic out on the hard water.

Northeast Wisconsin Warden Jeremy Cords says the melt water caused by warmer temperatures causes runoff from melting snow. Even though that water is cold, it is warmer than the ice.

He says you can see how this rotting of the ice happen when you pour a cold drink....


A DNR official explains the new proposal to raise some recreational fees after the agency reported a deep deficit in the Fish and Wildlife Account.

Wisconsin DNR

A Montana-based sportsmans group with a Wisconsin chapter has gathered a petition with more than 1,700 signatures for the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board to think again about selling some public land. The Board is meeting Wednesday in Madison to consider the next round of public land sales. The legislature in 2013 told the DNR to sell 10,000 acres by 2017.

Wisconsin DNR

In light of the recent flooding in northern Wisconsin, well water safety has become a cause for concern. Floodwaters and runoff can affect private wells and people with flooding should assume their well is contaminated. DNR private water field supervisor, Marty Nessman says people in the affected areas should have their wells checked before using the water again.


Michael Murphy

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports eight states in the Midwest have gotten more than $200 million dollars as part of the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. One of those projects is based here in the Northwoods. The federal funds were received for a study of bobcats.

DNR animal researcher Nathan Roberts based in Rhinelander is doing an extensive study on the elusive cat. He says they need to find out the population size so they know how many can be hunted and maintain a sustainable population ...


A DNR ecologist thinks the coming deer season in Wisconsin will be similar to last year's hunt. Big game ecologist Kevin Wallenfang says indicators from the bow hunting season and from from eyewitnesses find this season is shaping up like last year. While agricultural areas continue to see good deer numbers, the Northwoods is still trying to recover...

"....the northern part of the state is still in a recovery period following a bad winter a couple of years ago. Across the state, our reproduction was pretty good this year...."

Meyer Critical Of Parts Of DNR Reorganization

Jul 29, 2015
Wisconsin Wildlife Federation

The  D-N-R unveils a major reorganization this week that consolidates most air-and-water pollution enforcement into one division -- and moves hot-button issues to a new unit that supports businesses. Officials say the changes are designed to make the agency more responsive to all its users -- from business-and-farm permit applicants to hunters and anglers. It comes amid an 18-percent decline in the D-N-R's workforce over the past 20 years. The new Business Support and External Services unit is planned as a "one-stop" center for business help.


Some lands  outside the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest are among the parcels the DNR has put up for sale.

In the last budget, the legislature said the state had to put up for sale at least 10,000 acres of state-owned property located outside the scope of state project boundaries.

The DNR's Steve Miller says this includes some property outside the Northern Highland land and some land in Lincoln county. He says you can find the listings on the DNR website...


Biologists say habitat preservation is critical to preserving wildlife. The DNR reports turkey, pheasant and waterfowl hunters contributions have led to large increases in habitat preservation.

More than 500,000 acres of land have been restored for both turkey and pheasant hunters each  says DNR ecologist Krista McGinley.....

"....over three-quarters of pheasand and turkey stamp revenues has gone to restoring, maintaining habitat for those species in the state..."