Minnesota DNR Roundtable to go virtual in January

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will host its annual Roundtable event in January using an online format.
This COVID-19-related adjustment is intended to protect the health and safety of participants.
For the past 30 years, the DNR has invited individuals, organizations and government representatives interested in fisheries, wildlife, and ecological and water resources to come together and discuss important issues related to those resources. Recent Roundtables have attracted more than 300 people annually.
The date and program details for the 2021 Roundtable are still being developed. The DNR is asking recent and potential invitees to help identify program topics of particular interest this year.
“We are looking forward to connecting with people to discuss important natural resources issues,” said DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen. “Maintaining our connections with Minnesotans is very important to us, and we’re confident that we will have an exciting and engaging 2021 Roundtable.”
Additional information about the 2021 DNR Roundtable can be found on the DNR’s Roundtable webpage.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR


Berklund named new DNR Chief State Forester

MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Secretary Preston Cole has appointed Heather Berklund (pictured) as the department’s new Chief State Forester.
Her appointment became effective Oct. 12.
“I am proud to announce Heather taking on this leadership role,” said Cole. “She brings years of on-the-ground Wisconsin forest management and fire control experience to this position. As the first woman in Wisconsin’s history to hold this role, I know she will bring diverse perspectives to the table in her work.”
Berklund began her forestry career with the Wisconsin DNR in 2000, serving as a field forester in Merrill, Crandon and Mercer for more than a decade before becoming the Ashland-Iron team leader and then the Woodruff area leader in 2016.
In her role as the Deputy Division Administrator of Field Operations for the past three years, Berklund led the public and private lands programs, Good Neighbor Authority partnership coordination, forest certification, tax law and fire protection programs.
In addition to her field experience and leadership skills, Cole said Berklund brings strong communication, collaboration and partnership building skills to her new position along with a broad knowledge of Wisconsin forestry programs and policies.
“This set of skills is crucial because the sustainable management of Wisconsin forests depends on the collaborative work of forest landowners, natural resource professionals, conservation and industry organizations and many others,” Cole said.
Berklund earned a Bachelor of Science in forestry from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and has continued her education through forestry short-courses in Germany and Mexico. She participated in the 2019 Women in Government leadership academy and received the Division of Forestry 2014 Supervisor of the Year award.
Berklund is familiar with forests throughout the state. While the bulk of her career has been in the Northwoods, where she currently resides, she grew up in the Boscobel and Reedsburg areas, exploring the hills and river bottoms in the Driftless Area of southwest Wisconsin. She still enjoys spending time hunting and picking morel mushrooms there on her parents’ 120 acres.
When she’s not working to build relationships with partners and staff, Berklund is engaged and volunteering in her children’s school and extracurricular activities. She and her husband, Bryce, enjoy biking, cross country skiing and other outdoor activities.
Berklund said she is honored to have been selected to lead the Division of Forestry and is committed to continuing to build relationships and collaborate with partners on the sustainable management of Wisconsin’s forests.
“I look forward to leading the Division of Forestry on a successful path as we adapt to changes in the climate and cultural needs,” Berklund said. “The state forestry program has a long history of innovative, well-respected state foresters. I hope to continue this legacy moving forward by showcasing the value that forestry brings to both our state and nation.”
Berklund’s office will continue to be in Rhinelander and her contact information will remain the same as listed above.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR

DNR, St. Louis County rescue personnel save paddler’s life in BWCA

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Sean Williams and members of the volunteer St. Louis County Rescue Squad on Saturday night rescued a man experiencing severe hypothermia in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA).
The man was at a campsite on Nina Moose Lake, which is about 20 miles north of Ely.
The man sent an emergency signal just before 5 p.m. Saturday. Rescue personnel, who were in a square-stern canoe with an outboard motor, arrived at Nina Moose Lake at about 8 p.m.
“It was as dark as I’ve ever seen it out there,” Williams said. “You couldn’t see anything. It was snowing heavily, fog was moving in, and there was ice on the lake. We had to break through ice to get to the middle of the lake, and when we made it to the middle it was so dark we had to use a GPS to find the shore and his campsite.”
When rescuers arrived at his campsite, a rescue squad member applied heat pads to the man’s core to begin warming him. Rescuers got him into warmer gear and built a fire, which he sat near for about 90 minutes while wrapped in a wool blanket. When the man was sufficiently warm, rescue personnel loaded him into the boat and headed back to their entry point. Other members of the rescue squad met them at the final portage and helped get the man out of the wilderness and to medical attention.
The man’s decision to rent emergency communications equipment likely saved his life.
“Had we not gotten there when we did, I don’t know that he would have made it through the night,” Williams said. “Luckily, he had the communications equipment and wasn’t afraid to use it once he knew he was in trouble.”
In addition to carrying a communications device, anyone who ventures into the BWCA should be prepared for all weather conditions and let other people know of their travel plans.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR


Mountain bike trails expanding at Cuyuna Country SRA

An expansion project is underway at Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area near Crosby and Ironton that will provide mountain biking enthusiasts with 10 miles of new trails to ride on this spring.
Construction recently began in the northern portion of the popular Mahnomen Unit to expand the single-track mountain bike trail system.
The project involves adding four gravity flow trails connected by a backcountry trail intended to provide riders with a sense of remoteness and adventure. The new trails will range from beginner to intermediate difficulty.
“The expansion of the trail system is a result of the broad support from the local business and riding community and the Cuyuna SRA Citizens Advisory Council, and the hard work of the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew, which helps maintain the trail system,” said Jonah Moline, Cuyuna Country SRA supervisor.
Construction should not require closure of existing trails. However, visitors may see and hear construction equipment in the area and are asked to avoid construction areas.
Funding for the $970,000 project came from a 2017 state bond appropriation for the SRA.
Upon completion of this project, the Cuyuna Country SRA will offer more than 40 miles of mountain bike trails in addition to the 8-mile paved Cuyuna Lakes State Trail.
Check the “Visitor Alerts” section at mndnr.gov/cuyuna for updates. Updates are also available by calling the DNR Information Center at 888-646-6367 from 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Saturday, or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR

Celebrate Wisconsin’s Forest Products Week

MADISON, Wis. – Gov. Tony Evers has proclaimed the third week in October (Oct. 18-24) as Forest Products Week.
The week recognizes the people who work in and care for our forests, the businesses that create forest products and the many ways forest products contribute to our lives.
“Forest products contribute $24.3 billion annually to the state’s economy,” Collin Buntrock, forest products team leader with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said. “Additionally, our forests directly provide more than 63,000 jobs for Wisconsin residents with a payroll of $4.2 billion. In fact, forestry is the number one employer in seven counties, and every forestry job supports 1.7 additional jobs in the state.”
In addition to celebrating the positive impact of Wisconsin’s forest products sector on the state’s economy, Forest Products Week recognizes the myriad forest products ingrained in our daily lives.
“From paper products such as food packaging, fine writing paper and tissue paper, to lumber used for homes and furniture, the products made by the more than 1,200 forest products companies in Wisconsin help make our life better,” Buntrock said. “Emerging forest products such as mass timber, nanocellulose and biochemicals are beginning to unlock innovative uses for wood that may help the state’s industry diversify in the future.”
Forest Products Week also salutes the people who care for the 17 million acres of forests in Wisconsin.
“Sustainable forestry is key to maintaining Wisconsin’s forest-based economy,” Buntrock said. “While 31% of Wisconsin’s forests are owned by county, state and federal governments, the 57% of the forestland owned by about 391,000 individuals and families supplies a majority of the wood used by Wisconsin’s forest products industry to make the products we use every day.”
Buntrock’s team of forest products specialists helps Wisconsin’s forest industry build and maintain strong markets while ensuring that forests remain a vital part of the state’s economy and culture for future generations.
To learn more, visit the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR


DNR launches waste characterization study at Wisconsin landfills

MADISON, Wis. – This past September, SCS Engineers began collecting and sorting samples of municipal solid waste at landfills across the state as part of a study aimed at better understanding what Wisconsinites are throwing in the trash.
Results of the study will provide a powerful planning tool for waste reduction and minimization efforts across the state, and when compared to prior studies conducted in 2003 and 2009, will help officials identify trends in waste and recycling.  
“Millions of pounds of materials are diverted through recycling, e-cycling or composting every year, which keeps hazardous materials out of the environment, saves valuable landfill space and supports Wisconsin’s economy,” said Kate Strom Hiorns, DNR recycling and solid waste section chief. “But more can be done. This study will help determine the communication, infrastructure and resources still needed.”
Crews will visit 12 landfills across the state to sort 400 municipal solid waste samples and visually characterize 640 construction and demolition waste loads. Crews are trained to identify 85 material types, representing eight waste categories including plastics, organics and hazardous materials. Region, hauler type and the source of the waste will also be recorded.
“The DNR is looking for opportunities to minimize and divert waste statewide, but also at the source or regional level,” said Casey Lamensky, DNR solid waste coordinator. “The DNR will continue to work with local governments, businesses and organizations to ensure they have the resources they need to divert materials from the landfill.”
Waste characterization data from 2003 and 2009 provided crucial information for waste management decisions still affecting residents today. Dane County used the 2009 study, which identified construction and demolition materials as one of the top contributing material groups, to properly size a construction and demolition recycling facility at the Rodefeld Landfill.
“We hope the 2020 data will be similarly used,” Lamensky said. “Dane County is a great example of why this information is important.”
The final report will be published this spring. From mid-October through mid-December, crews will be sampling at landfills located in Appleton, Wisconsin Rapids, Weyerhaeuser, Watertown, Muskego, Franklin, Menomonee Falls and Eau Claire.
To learn more about recycling in Wisconsin, visit the DNR’s what to recycle web page.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR

2nd DNR confiscated hunting, fishing equipment auction set

This fall’s second and final Minnesota Department of Natural Resources public auction of confiscated fishing, hunting and trapping equipment will be held Oct. 24.
The auction, which will be held online at www.hillerauction.com, includes 252 firearms and 39 bows that were confiscated following serious game and fish violations. A list of the equipment included in the auction is available.
The bidding catalog for the auction will be available by 5 p.m. on Oct. 19, and bidding will begin Oct. 20. The catalog includes a written description and photo(s) of each item. Onsite inspection is available Friday, Oct. 23, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Hiller Auction Service in Zimmerman. The auction will begin closing at 11 a.m. on Oct. 24, with a staggered ending, one item ending per minute. Bidding will extend on that item if there is a bid in the final 5 minutes and extend as many times as needed until there are no bids for 5 minutes. Extended bidding does not affect the ending times of other items.
Winning bidders will be sent an invoice after completion of the auction. Items will need to be picked up at Hiller Auction Service, 10785 261st Avenue, Zimmerman, MN. Shipping is not available.
Please note: Bidders who purchase a firearm will be required to pass a Federal Firearms background check in person when paying for and picking up the firearm(s) at the auction location. All equipment will be sold as-is, including all defects or faults, known or unknown. Once they’ve been purchased, items cannot be returned.
For more information, see DNR Enforcement’s auction page.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR