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 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 designs for Minnesota’s 2019 turkey stamp

Wildlife artists can submit entries for the 2019 Minnesota Wild Turkey Stamp from Monday, Dec. 4, through 4 p.m., Friday, Dec. 15.
The cost of a turkey stamp is included in a turkey license, but pictorial stamps are sold as collectibles. In the contest, the eastern wild turkey must be the primary focus of the design.
Artists are prohibited from using any photographic or other electronic product as part of their finished entries. Winning artists may issue limited edition prints of the artwork and retain proceeds.
Final judging is open to the public and will take place at 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 21, at DNR headquarters, 500 Lafayette Road, in St. Paul. The public is welcome to come and view the winning design from 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, Dec. 22.
Revenue from stamp sales is dedicated to wild turkey habitat management. Extirpated from Minnesota around 1900, wild turkeys now thrive throughout nearly all of Minnesota but the extreme northern forested portions of the state.
For more information on stamp contests, guidelines for submitting work, and to sign up to receive regular email updates on stamp contests, visit mndnr.gov/stamps. Contest guidelines are also available from the DNR Information Center by calling 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367.

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

Investigation leads to charges against deer farm in Trempealeau County

MADISON, WI - The owner and one employee of a Galesville, WI, deer farm will face criminal charges and civil penalties for allegedly running an illegal deer-hunting operation, the State of Wisconsin announced today.
A joint investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection revealed that Travis Brush, owner, and Randall Hoff, an employee, of Brush Ranch Outfitters were involved in luring wild deer into a high-fenced captive deer farm with the intent to harvest trophy bucks. The accused were found to have altered the fence to allow wild deer to enter the facility from which customers may purchase a hunting opportunity and harvest deer year round. The use of illegal bait along with hunts during closed seasons and hunting with the wrong licenses also were investigated and led to additional charges.
"The investigation was initiated when members of the public reported unusual activity to the agencies," said Todd Schaller, Chief Conservation Warden for the DNR. "Together the agencies were able to combine resources and work with the Trempealeau County District Attorney on charges."
The Wisconsin deer farming industry is regulated by both the DNR and DATCP who have authority over different aspects of farm-raised white-tailed deer. The DNR is primarily responsible for regulating fences, while DATCP regulates most all other considerations including deer health, animal movements and hunting ranches.
"In this instance, we found that the actions of Brush Ranch Outfitters created a situation where captive deer and wild white-tailed deer commingled to create a potential disease risk that, if we had not stopped it, could have had a negative impact on the deer population in this part of Wisconsin," said Dr. Paul McGraw, Wisconsin State Veterinarian with the DATCP Division of Animal Health.
Rick Vojtik, president of Whitetails of Wisconsin, says this investigation touches on a top priority for members of the statewide deer-farming organization.
"We appreciate the work of the DNR and the DATCP in stopping this practice," Vojtik said. "The White Tails of Wisconsin is against the activity highlighted in this case because we are concerned about diseases being spread in farming and non-farming situations."
Schaller and McGraw say the joint investigation illustrates how Wisconsin's citizens and natural resources are served effectively and efficiently by two state agencies combining expertise and assets.
"Each agency brought its strengths to the case which has everything to do with the preservation and health of the state's highly valued resource - its white-tailed deer," Schaller said. Hunting is also a major statewide economic driver for the state during fall hunting seasons.
"The DNR focused on the illegal hunting practices of wild deer along the perimeter fence, while DATCP investigated the improper harvesting of trophy bucks and the disease-related implications of their activity," McGraw said.
The watchful eye of the public is to be commended in this investigation, say officials from both agencies.
"DNR wardens and DATCP investigators cannot be everywhere, so we value our working relationship with the citizens who share the state agencies' mission to protect and serve," Schaller said.
People who have information regarding natural resource violations may confidentially report by calling or texting: VIOLATION HOTLINE: 1-800-TIP-WDNR or 1-800-847-9367. The hotline is in operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Trained staff relay report information to conservation wardens. Likewise, reports about captive deer farms can be sent This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 1-800-572-8981.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR


Baiting, feeding ban begins Dec. 1 in Monroe County

MADISON, WI - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has received confirmation that a wild deer tested positive for chronic wasting disease in northeastern Vernon County which already has a prohibition on baiting and feeding due to a previous detection in the area.
As required by law, this finding will initiate a baiting and feeding ban for Monroe County, effective Dec. 1.
Since Monroe County is adjacent to a county with a CWD positive test result, the ban will be in place for a two-year period. However, individuals interested in baiting or feeding deer should know that if any additional positive test results occur over the next two years, the ban will be extended accordingly.
The 1-year-old doe was harvested in Greenwood township and is the first confirmed positive in Vernon County. To find out if the disease is present in other wild deer in the area, the DNR will conduct disease surveillance within a 10-mile radius around the positive location.
State law requires that the Wisconsin DNR enact a ban on feeding and baiting of deer in counties or portions of counties within a 10-mile radius of a captive or free-roaming domestic or wild animal that tests positive for CWD or tuberculosis.
Since baiting and feeding is already prohibited in Vernon County, this finding re-starts the clock on a three-year baiting and feeding ban there due to this CWD detection.
For more information regarding baiting and feeding regulations and CWD in Wisconsin, visit the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, and search keywords "bait" and "CWD" respectively.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR

Funding available to assist in promoting safe ATV operation

MADISON, WI - Organizations interested in assisting the Department of Natural Resources in the recruitment and training of all-terrain vehicle (ATV) safety instructors and volunteer trail ambassadors may apply for funding through a two-year program to promote the safe operation of ATVs and UTVs in the state.
The program funding is for up to $297,000 for each year.
Eligible organizations must provide documentation that they are registered with the Wisconsin Secretary of State's office as non-profit organizations and have an established board of directors.
Funding applicants must create and provide a business plan detailing the methods and approaches the organization will use to accomplish a number of requirements that will promote the operation of ATVs and UTVs that is safe and responsible, does not harm the environment and does not conflict with laws, rules and department policies.
Among these requirements are:
* Assisting the DNR in recruiting, assisting and providing support to volunteer safety instructors ATV/UTV clubs and organizations and promoting the ATV safety education program.
* Assist the DNR and Tourism in creating an outreach program to inform local communities about appropriate ATV/UTV use in their communities. the economic benefits that may be gained from promoting tourism to attract ATV/UTV enthusiasts.
* Techniques the organization will use to recruit, train and manage volunteer trail patrol ambassadors to help monitor the recreational operation of ATVs/UTVs on public trails.
* Improve and maintain its relationship with the DNR, Tourism, ATV/UTV dealers, manufactures, recreation partners and off-highway motorcycle clubs
Additional requirements apply and the organization that receives the funding must be able to provide supporting documents showing objectives have been met through the use of reports, receipts and audits.
Organizations interested in applying for the funds should visit the DNR website.
Applications must be postmarked no later than Monday, Nov. 20.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR