local features

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

What is a wildlife overpass, or underpass, and does Wisconsin have any? Why or why not? Valid questions, to be certain, and the Masked Biologist has a few answers for us.

Dan Dumas/Kim Swisher Communications

On a sunny day last week in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Kevin Sundholm picked up a small handful of marble-sized pellets of iron ore from the ground.

“Those pellets would go through there and they would get baked,” he said, gesturing at the abandoned foundations of the former Groveland Mine complex near Felch, in Dickinson County.

“You can see the remnants up on top of the silos there,” Sundholm said.

He knows the lay of the land. He worked here more than 40 years ago.

Wisconsin Historical Society

Wisconsin’s wolf population has been in the news for the past few months. With efforts to remove wolves from the endangered species list and calls to reinstitute an organized wolf hunt, it seems timely to revisit what originally happened to Wisconsin’s native wolf population. 


Image by CTolman on Pixabay.com

Rocky the owl made headlines recently with a wild ride into the Big Apple. The Masked Biologist ponders the plight of this owl in this week’s wildlife matters.

Image by Vlanka on Pixabay.com

If you live in the Northwoods, you know there are still many family-run funeral homes. Funeral home directors, along with the entire funeral industry, have made changes as a result of the pandemic. But small community funeral directors often have an extra burden.

On a recent Saturday, Bill Sherer carefully wrapped fine thread and colorful chenille around a hook. A handful of fly-tying learners watched and copied the move with the materials in their own hands.

Sherer has been teaching these classes at his self-proclaimed “throwback, old-fashioned” fly-fishing shop, We Tie It in Boulder Junction, for years.

“Here in the Upper Midwest, we have fishing season and we have fly-tying season. It’s a great winter activity,” Sherer said.

But for this winter’s round of classes, Sherer is the only one in his shop.

Wisconsin Historical Society

Teenagers playing pranks on the community is an issue that is as old as civilization itself. Every generation has had to deal with it in one way or another. But a prank is little more than a practical joke or a mischievous act. At what point does an innocent prank cross the line to become juvenile delinquency? An incident from Oneida County’s early history shows how easily the line can be crossed. Historian Gary Entz has the story.


Marshfield Clinic

Over the last few years, members of the Washington D.C.-based Bipartisan Policy Center visited Marshfield Clinic in Minocqua, seeking a window into rural healthcare in America.

Rural areas like northern Wisconsin face hospital closures, physician shortages, and a struggle to access telehealth services, the Center found in a comprehensive report.

Some of the issues facing rural health care have only intensified since the pandemic started, especially telehealth.

wisconsin historical society

Thanksgiving traditionally is a time when people celebrate the harvest and other blessings of the year gone by. It is a time when extended families gather with one another to give thanks for good health and, in some cases, to watch football. The Thanksgiving season of 1933, however, had an element of good cheer that had a lot of people in the Northwoods in a celebratory mood. Historian Gary Entz has the story.


image by david mark on pixabay.com

With the deer hunting season going on, there are undoubtedly some people wondering just how concerned they need to be about Chronic Wasting Disease. The Masked Biologist shares some thoughts in this week’s Wildlife Matters.


Forest Archaeology

Nov 20, 2020
Photo courtesy of Mark Bruhy

If you live up here, you are familiar with the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. What you may not know is that these forests were inhabited for thousands of years and that there is a team of archaeologists who protect and manage these cultural resources.

wisconsin historical society

Many people in small towns take parking for granted. Except for the height of tourist season, finding a parking spot in most Northwoods towns is not a problem. But it was not so long ago that parking in small town business districts was regulated by parking meters. Historian Gary Entz has the story.

image by pixel2013 on pixabay.com

With the recent media frenzy surrounding the election, did you happen to catch the story about the Minnesota gator? The Masked Biologist did, and he crafted it into this week’s Wildlife Matters.

Ben Meyer/WXPR

It’s 3:30 p.m. on a Thursday, time for Aaron Schofield to load up the Lakeside Pharmacy and Grocery minivan.

He’s about to depart from the Lakeside store in Antigo.

“I just kind of hop in the van, head out, go to the address,” he said.

Aaron makes a circuit of Antigo at 3:30 every day, delivering prescription medication to the doors of customers. The number of deliveries are never constant, but never zero.

“Could be anywhere from three to four like today, to 15 to 20 [on other days],” he said. “You really just never know.”

wisconsin historical society

Today is Veterans Day in the United States, but prior to 1954 it was known as Armistice Day to commemorate the end of World War One. To honor Northwoods veterans, historian Gary Entz has a story of two soldiers from Tomahawk who distinguished themselves in the Great War.

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