Women can learn outdoor skills at winter workshop

A supportive environment of fellow women is the backdrop for a workshop that embraces cold and snow this January with classes about sled dog mushing, dark house fishing, birding, archery hunting and other ways to get outdoors.
The winter workshop is Friday, Jan. 26, to Sunday, Jan. 28, at the Audubon Center of the North Woods in Sandstone, and organized by the Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) Program of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
“This annual event is a fun way to try winter activities,” said Linda Bylander, BOW coordinator. “We’ve also expanded course options so women can begin the process of learning how to archery hunt or bow fish with help from experienced instructors.”   
The archery classes are the first in a series of classes that continue later in the year designed for women who want to improve their archery skills and learn how to hunt. Winter workshop participants only interested in the archery classes can attend for a single day for $20.
“Not only can women learn the basic skills of archery hunting, but they have guidance about where to hunt and opportunity to go on mentored hunts available for women who attend the series,” Bylander said.
To host the archery series, the BOW program is teaming up with A-1 Archery, Chilakoot Bowhunters, Safari Club International and the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve of the University of Minnesota.
Participants can choose from a variety of activities to learn about and experience during the weekend. Youth age 14 or older can attend with a guardian.
Lodging, meals, instruction, equipment and evening entertainment are included in the workshop fee, which varies depending on activities chosen.
A winter workshop schedule with a registration form is available at mndnr.gov/bow.                                        

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR

DNR seeks input on Smoky Hills ATV Trail proposal

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources invites public review and written comments on a proposal by the city of Wolf Lake to obtain grant-in-aid funding for the Smoky Hills ATV Trail in Becker County.  
About 18 miles of the trail are currently designated for ATV use. New trail segments would connect existing trails and add approximately 2 miles of new riding opportunities in Carsonville, Green Valley and Wolf Lake townships. The new trail would be maintained by the city of Wolf Lake and the Woods and Wheels ATV Club.
The DNR will accept written comments until 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 2. Comments may be submitted:
* Via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
* Via mail to Dave Schotzko, area supervisor, Parks and Trails Division, Minnesota DNR, 3296 State Park Road NE, Bemidji, MN 56601.
A map of the proposed trail segments can be found at www.mndnr.gov. For more information, call Dave Schotzko, 218-308-2367.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR

December public meetings set for outdoor recreation in Wisconsin

MADISON, WI - The public will have an opportunity to provide input on outdoor-based recreation in Wisconsin as part of a Department of Natural Resources Recreation Opportunities Analysis, which is examining existing opportunities and future recreation opportunities in eight regions throughout Wisconsin.
The final regions to be studied are the Southern Gateways and Lower Lake Michigan Coastal regions. The counties included in these regions are as follows:
* Southern Gateways: Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Lafayette, Richland, Rock, and Sauk.
* Lower Lake Michigan Coastal: Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Sheboygan, Walworth, Washington, and Waukesha.
The public is invited to participate in this analysis by providing information through an online input form by searching the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for keyword "ROA."
The public can provide feedback online or print out the questionnaire and send completed forms to the department. Public input opportunities for these two regions are open through Jan. 2, 2018.
In December, the DNR will host public open house meetings to gather additional input to the Southern Gateways and Lower Lake Michigan Coastal regions. The open houses will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on the following dates and locations:
* Tuesday, Dec. 5, Baraboo - Baraboo Civic Center, 124 Second St.
* Wednesday, Dec. 6, Horicon - Horicon Marsh Education & Visitor Center, N7725 Highway 28.
* Tuesday, Dec. 12, Milwaukee - Urban Ecology Center - Menomonee Valley Branch, 3700 W. Pierce St.
* Wednesday, Dec. 13, Fitchburg - Wyndham Garden Hotel; 2969 Cahill Main.
The ROA process has been underway in other regions of the state. Each of the regions studied will have chapters describing the findings of the analysis. Drafts of these chapters will be compiled providing additional detail. The goal of the analysis is to generally describe recreation opportunities for each region.
For more information regarding the recreational opportunities analysis, search keyword "ROA." To receive email updates regarding the ROA process, click on the email icon near the bottom of the page titled "subscribe for updates for DNR topics," then follow the prompts and select "Recreation opportunities analysis," found within the list titled "outdoor recreation."

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR

DNR invites public input on Iron Range State Recreation Area

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will host a public meeting to review a draft master plan amendment for the Iron Range Off-Highway Vehicle State Recreation Area in Gilbert.
The meeting is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14, in the training center at the Iron Range OHV State Recreation Area, 7196 Pettit Road, Gilbert.
The meeting will provide an opportunity to review the draft, ask questions and submit comments. The DNR began a master plan amendment process for the site with a public open house in June 2017. The draft amendment includes proposed changes to site access, miles of trail within the site and site management.
The Iron Range OHV Recreation Area was designated in 1996 as Minnesota’s first recreation area catering primarily to OHV enthusiasts. Originally 1,200 acres, the site was expanded to more than 3,700 acres in 1999. It has trails for all-terrain vehicles, off-highway motorcycles and off-highway vehicles.
Anyone unable to attend the meeting can submit comments by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by mail to Joe Unger, Parks and Trails Division, Minnesota DNR, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN, 55155-4039. The DNR will accept written comments through Jan. 2.
The draft master plan amendment can be found online at www.mndnr.gov or at the park office. For more information, contact Allan Larsen, site manager, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 218-735-3833.
Visit the Iron Range OHV Recreation Area webpage for more information.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR

DNR to host employment seminar for military veterans

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is hosting a veteran employment seminar Jan. 3, in St. Paul.
Many veterans want to work in a natural resources environment, and many military skills translate into DNR positions.
“If you’ve served in the military, you probably have a lot of experience in many of our professional areas,” said Don Matthys, DNR management resources regional supervisor and U.S. Army retired.
At the seminar, veterans will have the opportunity to talk to DNR staff who work in the areas of logistics, fisheries and wildlife, informational technology, GIS and mapping, forestry, operations, communications, safety, real estate forestry, enforcement, human resources, engineering and landscape architecture and more. It’s a chance to find out from those who work it every day what the different job responsibilities include, education requirements and how military work experience translates.
Human resources staff will provide information on how to apply for DNR jobs, set up job searches, and receive job posting notifications.
Veterans will also be on hand to answer questions about how to successfully juggle military – civilian commitments. Information on DNR veteran support resources will also be available. “I can’t imagine a more military friendly employer,” said John Peterson, DNR emergency planner and currently serving with the 2-135th Infantry MN National Guard. “The DNR has always been incredibly supportive of my service in the National Guard.”
This event is free and will be at the DNR Headquarters, 500 Lafayette Road N., St. Paul, MN 55101. Space is limited, so registration is required. Register for a time slot between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Go to: http://tinyurl.com/dnrvets2018
Veterans will receive a welcome packet with additional information when registration is confirmed.
The DNR is Yellow Ribbon Company – a veteran friendly employer.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR

DNR seeks applications for advisory committee on natural heritage

Any Minnesota resident with a strong interest in the state’s native prairies, forests and wetlands and the state's plants and animals are invited by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to apply by Dec. 14, at 4:30 p.m. for a key advisory board.
The DNR is seeking people to fill three vacancies on the Commissioner’s Advisory Committee on Natural Heritage. Appointees will be responsible for advising the DNR on issues related to sustaining the state’s natural heritage and biological diversity.  
Since 1966, the committee has made recommendations and given support to state scientific and natural areas. The committee also now advises other programs within the department’s Ecological and Water Resources Division, including nongame wildlife, Minnesota Biological Survey, prairie protection, rare resources, wetland monitoring, and terrestrial invasive species.  
Residents with interest or expertise in sustaining the state’s natural heritage may apply online until Dec. 14 at www.dnr.state.mn.us/cac.html. Applicants should have knowledge, demonstrated dedication or experience related to natural area systems, conservation biology, ecology, geology, environmental education, natural resource management, protection of Minnesota's rare species, or marketing, communication or promotions focused on natural resources.
Members are expected to participate in five, 4-5 hour long meetings per year plus one 1-2 day field trip. In addition, members may choose to participate in subcommittees or other meeting preparation. DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr will appoint committee members for terms of up to five years starting in January.
Interested applicants can learn more by visiting the committee’s website at www.dnr.state.mn.us/cac.html.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR

7 deer test presumptive positive in southeast CWD zone

Preliminary tests show that seven deer harvested in southeastern Minnesota’s disease management zone during the first firearms deer season may be infected with chronic wasting disease.
Hunters harvested three of the seven suspect deer near Preston in deer permit area 603, where 11 other deer tested positive during last year’s CWD surveillance efforts. Three others were harvested in Forestville-Mystery Cave State Park, which is still within area 603, but west of the core disease area. The remaining deer was harvested east of Wykoff and north of the park.
Test results from deer permit areas surrounding 603 aren’t yet available and must be analyzed to assess the full extent of the disease and whether or not it has spread outside of the disease management zone.
Once all sampling is completed and test results received, the Department of Natural Resources will follow its CWD response plan and determine next steps, which may include boundary changes to area 603 and additional deer hunting opportunities for the public or landowners.
Lou Cornicelli, DNR wildlife research manager, said it isn’t clear whether the additional positives indicate a westward expansion of the disease or individual deer movements, given all the presumptive positive deer were adult males.

Testing continues on suspect deer and in 603
CWD testing is a two-step process.  
The initial tissue sample is analyzed to determine if the animal is presumptive positive.  
A final test is completed on all presumptive positive samples to confirm if the animal is infected with the disease.
The DNR expects final test results and disease confirmations for all seven deer soon. Those results and any future positives in area 603 will be posted on the DNR website at mndnr.gov/cwdcheck.
Since the archery deer season began in mid-September, 700 samples have been collected in area 603. Hunters brought in 499 of those samples during the first firearms deer season, which began Nov. 4, and concluded Nov. 12. Results are pending on 40 of those deer.
“The DNR wants to thank hunters who submitted samples over opening weekend,” said Jim Leach, DNR Fish and Wildlife Division director. “Compliance was very high, suggesting hunters view this as a very important issue.”
Hunters are reminded that mandatory testing of all adult deer harvested in area 603 continues throughout the 3B season (which starts Saturday, Nov. 18 and concludes Sunday, Nov. 26), as well during the remaining archery, muzzleloader and late seasons. Check stations are located in Preston and Chatfield.
The DNR also will open voluntary surveillance stations from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Nov. 18-19 in Rushford and Houston. The DNR encourages hunters who harvest deer around the disease management zone, in deer permit areas 343, 345, 346, 347, 348 and 349, to participate in voluntary sampling at these locations in order to collect as many samples as possible.
Check the DNR’s website, mndnr.gov/cwd, for specific information on check station locations, additional CWD information and DNR efforts to keep Minnesota deer healthy.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that, to date, there have been no reported cases of CWD infection in people. However, the CDC advises people not to eat meat from animals known to have CWD. Go to www.cdc.gov for more information.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR