DNR plans public meeting to discuss CWD response efforts

The public can get more details about what the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is doing to respond to chronic wasting disease found in wild deer in southeastern Minnesota at a meeting scheduled for 7-8:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 18, in Preston.
At the meeting in the Fillmore Central School Auditorium, 702 Chatfield St., DNR staff will explain the CWD response efforts planned for this winter, including late-season special hunts, landowner shooting permits and targeted culling.
“DNR’s actions are designed to limit disease spread and keep Minnesota’s deer populations healthy,” said Lou Cornicelli, wildlife research manager. “We’re having this meeting so people can hear face-to-face about what’s going on and ask their own questions.”
Staff also will discuss potential future actions, including a snow-dependent aerial deer survey and expansion of the disease management zone, that now encompasses a 10-mile radius around the city of Preston.
To date, sampling efforts taken by the DNR in cooperation with hunters have detected 30 cases of the neurological disease in wild deer in southeastern Minnesota. The DNR discovered 12 new cases this fall in or around the disease management zone in Fillmore County. The agency discovered one additional case that was recently confirmed for a wild deer harvested in Houston County, about 30 miles from the disease management zone.
Complete Minnesota CWD test results, including locations of positive test results and statistics, are available on the DNR website at mndnr.gov/cwdcheck.
Complete information for hunters about CWD for current and upcoming hunting seasons is online at mndnr.gov/cwd.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR


Prune oak trees in winter to help prevent oak wilt

MADISON - It may not sound like fun, but winter in Wisconsin is an excellent time to prune oak trees. Pruning in winter offers all the benefits of pruning while minimizing the spread of tree diseases. One such disease is oak wilt, a fatal tree disease that spreads through tiny sap-feeding beetles attracted to open wounds on trees.
"Dormant trees in winter are easier to prune because damage is much more visible on tree branches after their leaves have fallen, and pruning is more effective because harmful pests are inactive in cold temperatures," said Paul Cigan, forest health specialist in northwestern for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
Trees should be pruned throughout their entire life to maintain strong structure and remove dead wood. Young trees should be pruned to establish a central trunk, proper trunk taper, and good branch structure and spacing. Older trees should be pruned to remove dead and/or hazardous limbs. But pruning oaks during warmer months of April through July places them at greatest risk for oak wilt infection and should be avoided where possible.
While oak wilt often spreads locally through tree injury, it can also move greater distances on or in firewood logs. Taking recommended precautions, such as pruning in winter, and keeping firewood local will help protect trees in your area and prevent the spread of oak wilt to new counties and townships.
"Several recent oak wilt finds in northern Wisconsin, including first finds in Bayfield and Douglas counties and in over a dozen new northern townships, may have been the result of infected firewood brought from areas with oak wilt," Cigan said.
Experts recommend keeping oak firewood at the same location where it is cut for one year, or until the bark is naturally loose, to prevent the spread of oak wilt.
The DNR offers a pruning brochure with more detailed, step-by-step tips for tree pruning. Find it by searching the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for keywords "tree pruning."
Certified arborists who offer pruning and other tree care services can be found at waa-isa.org/arborists/search.asp. For additional information about oak wilt, search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for keywords "oak wilt."

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR

Mississippi River Pool 10 habitat project assessment available

The draft feasibility study/environmental assessment for the McGregor Lake Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project in Pool 10 of the Upper Mississippi River is now available for public information, review and comment.
The project area includes McGregor Lake and the associated island, channel and backwater complex between the main channel and east channel. The entire project area is about 1,063 acres, and lies within the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge adjacent to Prairie du Chien and Marquette, Iowa.
If you have any comments on the environmental assessment, please provide them by Dec. 29, 2018. Any one may request a public hearing in writing by Dec. 14. Both comments and hearing requests should be addressed to the District Engineer, St. Paul District, Corps of Engineers, Attention: Regional Planning and Environment Division North, 180 Fifth Street East, Suite 700 St. Paul, Minnesota 55101-1678.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR


Wisconsin State Park new reservation system begins Dec. 14

MADISON - Wisconsin State Park System customers can log into the new reservation system to set up their new accounts beginning at 9 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 14.
Starting at 9 a.m. on Dec. 17, 2018 customers can begin making reservations using the new, improved - and less expensive - reservation system.
People will be able to reach the new reservation system at wiparks.net or by searching the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website, dnr.wi.gov, for keyword "camp." All reservations that have already been previously booked will automatically be transferred to the new Camis system. All campers who have reserved sites for next year will receive an email confirming their reservations transferred to the new system. Anyone who has questions regarding their reservations can call the customer service line at 1-888-947-2757 beginning at 9 a.m. on Dec. 17.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is contracting with a new provider, Camis USA, Inc., that was awarded the reservation contract through a competitive bidding process. Camis USA currently operates reservation systems for Michigan, Maryland and Washington state parks.
No new reservations can be booked until Dec. 17. Customers who do not have current reservations only need to set up an account in the new system to begin making reservations with Camis USA.
Under the new system, it will cost users $7.75 to make a reservation, compared to the previous price of $9.65. Customers can also expect many enhancements when making reservations, including better searchability for campsites, and a mobile-friendly website that makes it easier than ever to make a reservation from a phone or tablet. The new system will also accommodate reservations for shelters and amphitheaters. Customers can make reservations for sites up to 11 months in advance of their arrival, either online or by phone. The reservation phone number (1-888-947-2757) and access to the online reservation system through the DNR website will remain the same.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR

Statewide recreation plan ready for public review

MADISON - The public will have an opportunity to review and comment on the draft Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan.
The plan provides guidance to public outdoor recreation policy and planning decisions and is used in allocating recreation-related grants administered by the Department of Natural Resources.
This iteration of the SCORP covers the period from 2019 to 2023 provides updated information on Wisconsinites' participation in outdoor recreation, existing opportunities, and future needs. The plan was developed with the assistance of an advisory team comprised of a diversity of representatives.
The DNR will host an open house meeting on Wednesday Dec. 19, from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Alumni Room of the Dreyfus University Center on the UW-Stevens Point campus. The Center is located at 1015 Reserve St. Stevens Point.
The SCORP provides guidance for public outdoor recreation policy and planning decisions in the state. The plan also guides the allocation of recreation-related grants administered by the department, including the Land and Water Conservation Fund program.
The plan lays out five overarching goals for outdoor recreation in Wisconsin:
* Boost participation in outdoor recreation.
* Grow partnerships.
* Provide high-quality experiences.
* Improve data to enhance visitor experiences and benefits.
* Enhance funding and financial stability.
People can review the plan and the appendices by searching the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for keyword "SCORP."
In addition to the open house, people can also comment on the plan through a public input form on the SCORP page of the DNR website. The form is intended to gather perspectives about the draft SCORP and ideas people may have to improve the document. People can provide input on an online questionnaire, or can download a form and mail it in. Comments, either online or hardcopy, are due by Jan. 4, 2019.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR


DNR to host employment event for military veterans

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is hosting its second annual Veteran Employment Information Event on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 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 event, veterans will have the opportunity to talk to DNR staff, including those who work in the areas of fisheries and wildlife, information technology, GIS and mapping, forestry, enforcement, engineering and more. It’s a chance to find out from those who work it every day about the different job responsibilities, education requirements and how military work experience translates.
Attendees will have the option to meet with current DNR employees who are also military veterans, and learn resume tips for translating military skills and experience to better match position qualifications.
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 and 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 manager who is serving in the MN National Guard. “The DNR has always been incredibly supportive of my service in the National Guard.”
This event is free and will be held at the DNR Headquarters, 500 Lafayette Road N., St. Paul, MN 55101. Space is limited and registration is required. Register for a time slot between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Go to: tinyurl.com/dnrvets2019.
Veterans will receive a welcome packet with additional information when registration is confirmed.
Similar veteran employment informational events will be held in Bemidji, Grand Rapids and Mankato in early 2019.
The DNR is Yellow Ribbon Company – a veteran friendly employer.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR

2019 Wisconsin State Park stickers on sale now

MADISON - People looking for a holiday gift that keeps giving throughout the year can give outdoor enthusiasts access to some of the most scenic areas found in Wisconsin that offer thousands of miles of trails, hundreds of nature hiking opportunities and dozens of beaches, with a 2019 Wisconsin state park admission sticker or state trail pass.
2019 stickers and state trails passes went on sale Dec. 1 at state park facilities and Department of Natural Resources service centers statewide. State park properties will honor 2019 stickers and passes for admission to parks, forests, recreation areas and trails through the remainder of 2018.
The admission stickers are designed by high school students and the winning design is chosen in a statewide contest.
The winning 2019 admission sticker features a pair of hiking boots hitting the trail by Slinger High School sophomore Rory Macha. The winning design will be printed on state park and forest annual vehicle admission stickers and will be displayed on approximately 300,000 vehicles.
Vehicle admission stickers provide access to more than 60 state park, forest and recreation area properties across Wisconsin. The stickers are required on all motor vehicles stopping in state parks and recreation areas. Some state forest and trail parking areas also require a sticker.
A state trail pass is required for all people age 16 or older biking, in-line skating, horseback riding or cross-country skiing on certain state trails. A state trail pass is not required for walking or hiking.
Annual admission stickers cost $28 for Wisconsin residents or $38 for nonresidents. If there is more than one vehicle registered to the same household, additional state park stickers are available for $15.50 for residents and $20.50 for nonresidents. A senior citizen annual sticker for $13 is available for Wisconsin residents 65 years of age and older. Annual trail passes are $25 for residents and nonresidents.
In addition to park, forest and trail offices and DNR service centers, stickers and trail passes are available over the phone from the DNR call center. Phone customers can call the DNR at 888-936-7463 between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. Visa and MasterCard are accepted. Customers need to order stickers and passes by Monday, Dec. 16 to receive them for the holidays.
The Friends of Wisconsin State Parks also offer online sales of admission stickers and trail passes with a donation to the statewide friends group through the organization's website www.fwsp.org (exit DNR).
For more information search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for keyword "sticker."

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR