DNR confirms CWD in Wood County wild deer

WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources confirms the first wild deer has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD) in southern Wood County in the Town of Port Edwards, within 10 miles of Juneau and Adams counties.
As required by state law, the DNR will renew the baiting and feeding bans in Wood, Juneau and Adams counties.
The CWD-positive deer was an adult buck harvested during the 2020 gun deer season and tested as part of the department’s disease surveillance efforts. State law requires that the DNR enact a ban on the baiting and feeding of deer in counties or portions of counties within a 10-mile radius of a wild or farm-raised deer that tests positive for CWD. Because the deer was harvested within 10 miles of Juneau and Adams counties, bans in those counties will also be renewed.
The DNR will continue surveillance near the CWD positive detection location. Collecting CWD samples is important for assessing where and to what extent CWD occurs in deer across the state.
As ever, successful CWD management depends in part on citizen involvement in the decision-making process through local County Deer Advisory Councils (CDAC).
The upcoming Wood County CDAC meeting to discuss deer population objectives will include additional information on the new CWD detection. This meeting will be held virtually via Zoom on Jan. 21, at 7 p.m. Additional details regarding the Wood County CDAC is available on the DNR website. (Select Wood from the drop-down menu.) Preregistration is not required.
CWD is a fatal, infectious nervous system disease of deer, moose, elk and reindeer/caribou. It belongs to the family of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) or prion diseases. CWD occurs only in members of the Cervidae or deer family - both wild and captive. The Wisconsin DNR began monitoring the state's wild white-tailed deer population for CWD in 1999. The first positives were found in 2002.
More information regarding baiting and feeding regulations and CWD in Wisconsin is available on the DNR website.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR


State Natural Resources Board schedules special meeting Jan. 22

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Natural Resources Board will meet virtually on Friday for a special meeting to discuss the next steps to establish a wolf hunt in Wisconsin in 2021.
The virtual meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 22, originating from the Public Meeting Room G09, State Natural Resources Building (GEF 2), 101 S. Webster St., Madison, Wisconsin. The Board will act on items 1-2 as listed on the agenda.
The public can watch the special meeting via Zoom at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84528478152. If the meeting is at capacity and you are unable to join, the special meeting will also be livestreamed at https://dnrmedia.wi.gov/main/Play/731c92f70bb84be69b8f69ef1ccbb99c1d.
Although the public will not be allowed to attend the meeting in person due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the public is encouraged to participate. The deadline for remote public appearance requests and written comments is 8 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 21.
Please submit written comments on the agenda item to discuss the next steps to establish a wolf hunt in Wisconsin in 2021. More information on how to testify before the Board is available at https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/about/NRB/public.html.
The NRB will also meet virtually for the upcoming board meeting at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 27, to consider several proposed emergency rules and donations. The Board will act on items 1-4 and 7-8 as listed on the agenda. More information is available at https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/newsroom/release/40481.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR

Environmental review scheduled for City of Eau Claire project

MADISON, Wis. – The City of Eau Claire is an applicant for funding through the Safe Drinking Water Loan Program (SDWLP) to address deficiencies in its public drinking water system.
The project primarily includes the replacement of lead service lines throughout the City of Eau Claire.
Activities related to this project are minor actions under Chapter NR 150, Wis. Admin. Code, for which no environmental analysis is required; however, following the SDWLP federal requirement 40 C.F.R. §35.3580, an environmental review must be conducted before funding this project. The SDWLP has determined that the project will not result in significant adverse environmental effects, and no further environmental review or analysis is needed before proceeding with funding the project.
The SDWLP is soliciting public comments regarding this decision and the potential environmental impacts of this project. Written or verbal comments are encouraged. Provide comments to: Kevin Olson, Community Financial Assistance, Department of Natural Resources, CF/2 101 S Webster St. PO Box 7921, Madison WI 53707 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The comment submission deadline is Feb. 2, 2021.
Based on the comments received, the SDWLP may prepare an environmental analysis before proceeding with the funding process. The analysis would summarize the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' consideration of the project's impacts and reasonable alternatives.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR


Environmental review set for City of Edgerton project

MADISON, Wis. – The City of Edgerton is an applicant for funding through the Safe Drinking Water Loan Program (SDWLP) to address deficiencies in its public drinking water system.
The projects primarily include the replacement of lead service lines throughout the City of Edgerton.
Activities related to this project are minor actions under Chapter NR 150, Wis. Admin. Code, for which no environmental analysis is required; however, following the SDWLP federal requirement 40 C.F.R. §35.3580, an environmental review must be conducted before funding this project. The SDWLP has determined that the project will not result in significant adverse environmental effects, and no further environmental review or analysis is needed before proceeding with funding the project.
The SDWLP is soliciting public comments regarding this decision and the potential environmental impacts of this project. Written or verbal comments are encouraged. Provide comments to Kevin Olson, Community Financial Assistance, Department of Natural Resources, CF/2 101 S Webster St. PO Box 7921, Madison WI 53707, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., by Feb. 2, 2021.
Based on the comments received, the SDWLP may prepare an environmental analysis before proceeding with the funding process. The analysis would summarize the DNR’s consideration of the project's impacts and reasonable alternatives.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR

DNR to host online listening sessions into PFAS investigation

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is holding online listening sessions on Wednesday, Jan. 20, to seek public input on PFAS contamination in Marinette, Peshtigo and surrounding communities.
The meeting is the 12th in a series of 14 meetings the DNR will host for area residents.
The listening sessions will include routine updates from the DNR, Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) and other partners regarding the status of PFAS investigations and cleanup actions in the community.
The Jan. 20 sessions will take place online from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. and from 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. No pre-registration is required. The sessions will be conducted using Zoom video conferencing.
PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are a group of human-made chemicals used for decades in numerous products including non-stick cookware, fast food wrappers, stain-resistant sprays and certain types of firefighting foam.
These contaminants have made their way into the environment through spills of PFAS-containing materials, discharges of PFAS-containing wastewater to treatment plants and certain types of firefighting foams.
More information on how to participate in the listening session is available at https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/Contaminants/Marinette.html.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR


Minnesota DNR invites public input on deer population goals

Minnesotans interested in deer populations in certain areas of the state can take an active role in shaping deer population goals during an open public input process starting Monday, Feb. 8.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources sets deer population goals - how much of an increase or decrease is desired in a deer population in a particular deer permit area - as part of managing the state’s wild deer herd. The goals are being updated on a staggered basis in 14 regional goal-setting blocks that comprise multiple deer permit areas. The population goals established in this process will provide direction for management in each goal-setting block for a 10-year period, with a midpoint review at the five-year mark.
This year, to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission and support social distancing measures, the DNR is shifting to online-only engagement, rather than in-person workshops.
“We’re adapting from last year’s new workshop process, mirroring those workshop activities in an online format,” said Barbara Keller, DNR big game program leader. “We’re excited to see how people engage with this topic and encourage anyone who has an interest in deer management to give feedback on future deer population trends in the areas where they live, work and recreate.”
This is the second year of a four-year, statewide process, with several geographic blocks addressed each year. This year focuses on blocks in the southwestern and northeastern parts of the state. The goal blocks and deer permit areas for this year are as follows:
* Minnesota River goal block – 274, 275, 278, 279, 280, 281, 282, 283, 284, 290.
* South-Central goal block – 230, 232, 233, 253, 254, 255, 291, 292, 293, 299.
* Blufflands Plateau goal block – 234, 237, 238, 250, 252, 286, 288, 289, 294, 295, 296.
* Border Uplands/St. Louis Moraines goal block – 119, 132, 171, 173, 176, 177, 178, 179, 181, 199.
Details, including how to participate, are listed on the DNR’s deer goal-setting webpage.

Join the goal-setting process
The DNR will gather public feedback using its online community engagement tool, in two separate phases.
During the first phase, from Feb. 8-28, participants may give input on whether the deer population should increase, decrease or stay the same, and share their ideas on deer management. During the second phase, from March 15-25, participants may provide feedback on proposed population goals developed based on input from the first phase and other information available to the DNR.
Anyone may participate, regardless of affiliation or knowledge of the process. Background information about deer management and population goal setting will be provided. Participants who cannot access the webpage through a computer browser or mobile device may provide feedback by calling the local area manager listed on their deer permit area map for the permit areas of interest.

Goal-setting and deer management information
In 2019, the DNR updated its deer population goal-setting process, which previously obtained input through citizen advisory committees and in-person public meetings. The new format design allows more participants and encourages discussion across viewpoints.
In addition to goal setting, anyone can talk directly with area wildlife managers about deer management or attend deer open houses, held statewide outside of the goal-setting process. The open houses are designed to encourage conversations about deer and deer management, enhance local relationships and foster two-way communication between the DNR and the public.
More information about open houses is on the DNR website.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR

DNR seeking nominations for 2020 Hunter Ethics Award

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is now accepting applications for its annual Wisconsin Hunter Ethics Award.
Nominees are selected based on exceptional moral actions and character while out in the field.
Established in 1997, the Wisconsin Hunter Ethics Award recognizes a hunter whose action is symbolic of Wisconsin's hunting heritage. This honor represents an outdoor tradition enjoyed responsibly, respectfully and safely.
“Ethical behavior demonstrates the moral character of the hunting public and illustrates how people can assist one another while recreating together in the outdoors,” said Casey Krueger, DNR Chief Conservation Warden.
Any hunter or non-hunter can nominate a licensed Wisconsin hunter for the Wisconsin Hunter Ethics Award for their actions during the 2020 calendar year. Although many nominations result from gun deer season, ethical actions can occur during a squirrel hunt, turkey hunt, waterfowl hunt or other Wisconsin hunting season.
"Ethical actions come in many forms. Examples could include helping another person during a hunt or taking steps to protect our natural resources," Krueger said. "Over the years, award recipients have returned lost gear, helped others find lost game or assisted another hunter facing a challenge of some kind."
A four-person committee reviews the nominations and selects the person deemed most deserving of this award. The annual honor’s creators are Bob Lamb, retired outdoors editor of the La Crosse Tribune, Steve Dewald, retired DNR conservation warden supervisor, and Jerry Davis, a retired University of Wisconsin-La Crosse biology professor and outdoors writer.
The nomination committee focuses on singular actions or events rather than individuals who have long term conservation-related programs.
Submit nominations by email or letter explaining what the ethical act was to:
The Department of Natural Resources
c/o April Dombrowski, DNR Recreational Safety Section Chief
101 S. Webster St., P.O. Box 7921
Madison, WI 53707-7921
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The deadline to submit a nomination is Feb. 19, 2021.

To become eligible for the 2020 award:
* The nominee must be a licensed (resident or nonresident) Wisconsin hunter.
* The ethical hunting act must have occurred in Wisconsin during the 2020 calendar year.
* Nominations are considered for any DNR-regulated hunting activity in Wisconsin.
* Written nominations must contain the name, address and telephone number of the witness or witnesses, or be aware of the behavior, which led to the nomination.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR