local features

Ben Meyer/WXPR

On Tuesday, high school junior Mariah Freeman watched water drip through a filter she designed and constructed.

“We’re going to take the filter we’ve made, and we’re going to pour that water through it, and then retest the water in the new bottle,” Freeman explained.

Freeman and her classmates in Cheryl Esslinger’s Earth and Environmental Systems class at Rhinelander High School were simply trying to filter vinegar out of the water and balance its acidity.

Wisconsin Historical Society

In the early twentieth century, it was a risky undertaking to dream of a greenhouse and flower business in a northern logging and lumbering town like Rhinelander. Peter Philipp not only dreamed about it, he successfully built one of Rhinelander’s oldest downtown businesses.

Greg Matzke

Perhaps more than any other fish, northern Wisconsin identifies with the walleye.

But walleye populations in many local lakes have been struggling.            

Some are even at risk of disappearing completely, as the populations are no longer naturally reproducing.

Fisheries biologists have had to get creative to try to address the problem, and they’re doing it in different ways in different parts of the Northwoods.

The Minocqua chain is a prime example.

Wisconsin Historical Society

Another gun deer season has come and gone, and hunters are talking about the fall harvest. Harvest is a pastoral term that sounds odd when used in reference to hunting, so in this week’s Northwoods Moment in History, local historian Gary Entz explores usage of the term and where it comes from.

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When you stay at a hotel, you can reuse dirty towels and sheets to help the hotel save water. In this week’s Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist ponders the value or need to voluntarily help hotels save water.

levysheetmusic.mse.jhu.edu

One of the nicknames given to soldiers in the First World War was “Sammy.”  During the holiday season of 1917, people in the Northwoods were encouraged to support the troops by becoming a “Sammy Backer.”  What was a Sammy Backer?

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Are you doing everything you can to keep toxic heavy metals away from your family and out of the environment? In this week’s Wildlife Matters the Masked Biologist takes aim at the use of lead ammunition.

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Recent Study Finds that Lessons from Tribal Forestlands could Help to Improve the Health of Public Forests in the Northwoods.

Jim Skibo has the story

Ben Meyer/WXPR

In the late 1990s, when Patrick Taylor moved back to his Merrill hometown, he bought a house on the water.

It was one of more than a hundred homes on a mill pond created by the old Ward paper mill dam.

“It was a great area for duck hunting,” Taylor said.

Other people on the water fished, swam, or canoed.

Then, Taylor learned the water was about to disappear.

“The day after we closed on the house, they announced the removal of the dam,” he said in an interview this week.

Wisconsin Historical Society

Buffalo Bill’s Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders was one of the most famous touring shows in American history.  When Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show toured the Northwoods in 1900, one of his performers fell in love with the area and decided he wanted to call it home. 

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This is the time of year when mice invade your home. Well maybe not yours, but definitely the home of the Masked Biologist, as he shares in this week’s Wildlife Matters.

Ben Meyer/WXPR

Jim and Ruth Brennan thought the days of iron ore mining in northern Wisconsin were over.

So when Gogebic Taconite started drawing up plans about earlier this decade for a massive mine near their home in southern Ashland County, they were surprised, to say the least.

“A three- or four-mile ditch that would actually come within about a mile of our house,” said Jim Brennan.

Jim and Ruth live in the town of Morse, near Mellen and Copper Falls State Park.

Their unique house overlooks Lake Galilee.

Library of Congress

Buffalo Bill’s Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders was one of the most famous touring shows in American history.  What few people today remember is that Buffalo Bill Cody brought his show to the Northwoods and thrilled the local area with feats of skill and daring.

Image from Pixabay

Earlier this summer, parts of the forested North were devastated by wind storms and tornadoes, and work to clean up the aftermath is ongoing.

In this week’s Wildlife Matters, the Masked Biologist reminds us that while it is tragic to see trees broken and lying down, sometimes messed is best for wildlife species.

Ben Meyer/WXPR

Records of water levels on many Northwoods lakes often only go back a few decades, if they exist at all.

But one researcher has figured out a way to see the story of lakes going back hundreds of years.

That history, and a clue about the future, is as simple as tree rings themselves.

“We’re proposing using these trees as an Excel spreadsheet, as a way to get at [the history of] these lake levels,” said Dom Ciruzzi, a UW-Madison graduate student working at Trout Lake Station in Boulder Junction.

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