Wolves doing well; should be delisted in WisconsinWolves in Wisconsin have been a hot button issue for many years. When it comes to wolves, there is no middle ground. People either love them or hate them.
Wolves in Wisconsin have been a hot button issue for many years. When it comes to wolves, there is no middle ground. People either love them or hate them.
They have increased in number and have, in some areas, caused some serious problems. They are perhaps the most misunderstood animal in Wisconsin.
Contrary to some people’s beliefs, wolves were not brought into the state. They were allowed to come in on their own from Minnesota and Michigan and protected. A management plan was written and it established that when a set number of animals were reached, they would achieve the status of threatened, a step down from endangered. This would allow the state then to manage them. Limited hunting could be allowed to control their numbers and the wolf would join the ranks of a sought after trophy. This would be a win-win situation for both man and beast.
As the wolf population grew, steps were taken several times by the federal government to delist the wolf and each time, through the work of misguided “do-gooder” organizations, lawsuits were filed and the wolf continued to expand in number.
These people that are behind the effort to block delisting should join the real world and realize the damage they are doing. Increased wolf numbers lead to negative interactions with hunters, pet and livestock owners and the general public. A wedge has been inserted that separates and the only thing that will rectify the situation is a delisting now!
A few individuals have resorted to the three “S” principal which is shoot, shovel and shut-up. They risk a huge fine and other severe problems if apprehended. We need to defuse the problem now for the good of the wolf and the public.
With proper management given, the wolf can achieve the status that this truly beautiful animal deserves.
Winter Burn Piles
By Tom Kerr
Recently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been taking advantage of our snow pack to burn some of the woody debris piles left from oak savanna and prairie restoration projects. Scattered across several Waterfowl Production Areas, these piles could not be chipped when contractors removed the invasive trees and brush that had overtaken the prairie and oak savanna. Removal of these invading species is an important part of our goal of restoring the prairie, wetlands and oak savanna historically found across much of St. Croix and southern Polk counties.
As we continue the restoration of these sites, we will seed these areas to native prairie grasses and flowers. Following seeding, the Fish and Wildlife Service will use controlled burns, chemical treatment or grazing to reduce the regeneration of these invading species, especially box elder and buckthorn.
Buckthorn seeds can remain viable in the soil for a minimum of five years and some reports indicate up to 15 years. Multiple treatments are often necessary to reduce these plants to a level where they do not impact the native habitat. Although these sites will be treated several times during the first few years of restoration, our goal is to get to a maintenance phase. In this maintenance phase, we burn on a longer rotation, maybe once every five years, to prevent the invasion of trees and invasive species into the prairie.
For more information on the St. Croix Wetland Management District, check out our website at www.fws.gov/midwest/stcroix/.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s St. Croix Wetland Management District is looking for volunteer birders to perform waterfowl pair and brood surveys on specific wetlands located in portions of St. Croix and Polk counties.
Volunteers and district staff have successfully collected three years of data from a handful of wetlands on service owned and managed Waterfowl Production Areas. Due to the quality of data accumulated through these surveys and the continued interest from local volunteer birders to participate, the district office will be expanding the data collection area to include all wetlands found on WPA’s and state managed lands within a corridor. This corridor can be generally described as the area located from New Richmond north to Star Prairie and east to Deer Park.
This data has been used by district staff to help estimate local waterfowl production and to compare local population trends to national averages.
In preparation for the surveys, the district office will be hosting duck identification training on Feb. 23 and March 1 from 6 to 8 p.m. The address for the district office is 1764 - 95th Street, New Richmond.
Training will consist of bird identification, a description of study protocol and a discussion of previous year’s data. Training opportunities are mandatory; however, if you are unable to attend either of the two scheduled training opportunities please contact Chris Trosen to discuss options.
Data collection will begin roughly on May 15 and run through the first week of June. Observation periods for data collection will be the first two hours of sunlight starting at approximately one-half hour before sunrise and the last hour before dark starting approximately 15 minutes before sunset, whenever possible counts will be conducted in the morning.
If you are a local birder or will be traveling through the area during the study and wish to participate, contact Chris Trosen, Wildlife Biologist with the St. Croix District office by phone at 715-781-4107 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Warden Paul Sickman
For inland Wisconsin waters in 2011, ice fishing shelters must be removed by Sunday, March 6, for waters south of Highway 64 and Sunday, March 13, for waters north of Highway 64.
At this point in the season, ice conditions start to deteriorate and make removal unsafe and difficult. A shanty that breaks through the ice can create a safety hazard for boaters and anglers during open water season. Failure to remove a shanty or ice fishing shelter by these deadlines could result in a forfeiture of $263.10.
Additional costs may be incurred if the DNR must arrange to have the shanty removed or if the shanty or ice fishing shelter breaks through the ice and must be recovered and disposed of. After these dates for removing ice fishing shelters from a frozen lake or river, an angler may continue to use a portable shelter but must remove it daily and when it is not occupied or actively being used.
For questions or to report a violation, contact Warden Paul Sickman at 715-684-2914, ext. 120.