Wild Wisconsin - Off the Record

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Wild Wisconsin: Off The Record is bringing you inside voices on Wisconsin's outdoors. It doesn’t matter if you live to hunt and fish, watch birds, love camping, or you're someone who likes to get outdoors for a walk every once in a while, there's something here for everyone. read less
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Episodes

75 Years Of Fish Research: The Northern Highlands Fisheries Research Area
Jun 16 2021
75 Years Of Fish Research: The Northern Highlands Fisheries Research Area
Back in 1946, the Wisconsin Conservation Commission had the idea to set aside an area made up of five lakes in Vilas County for fisheries research.  Using special free permits and mandatory reports from all anglers fishing the lakes, they’ve gained a lot of knowledge and tested the impact of various fishing regulations on those fishing populations.  We’re celebrating the 75th anniversary of this groundbreaking research area. To learn more, we spoke with the facility’s lead reasearcher, Greg Sass. Listen in as he talks about the way the data is used, how it has evolved over the years and what the hopes to see over its next 25 years.Learn more about research at the Wisconsin DNR: https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/Research--------------------------------------TRANSCRIPTSARAH HOYE: [00:00:00] From the Wisconsin DNR, this is Wild Wisconsin. Bringing you inside voices on Wisconsin's outdoors.KATIE GRANT: [00:00:16] Welcome back to another episode of Wild Wisconsin "Off the Record". I'm your host, Katie Grant. After World War II, fishing and resort-based tourism was beginning to boom in northern Wisconsin, specifically near Boulder Junction. At the same time, the Wisconsin Conservation Commission, which is now known as the DNR recognized a need to better understand the fish population in the area. In 1946, they established what was then known as the Five Lakes Research Project across well, five lakes in the area. It utilized special licenses and reports from all anglers on these lakes to gain data and test the impact of various regulations and stocking practices.Flash forward to 2021. And we are celebrating the 75th anniversary of this groundbreaking research area. Over the years over 243,000 anglers have fished the shores of just Escanaba Lake accounting for over 1 million hours of angling effort. It's now known as the Northern Highland Fisheries Research Area.Greg Sass has been the lead researcher there for half a decade. Sit back and listen in as we talk with him about how the research here is used, how it's evolved over the years and what he hopes to see over its next 25 years. All right. Well, welcome to the show, Greg. We are very excited to talk about the Northern Highland Fishery Area and its upcoming anniversary.But first, why don't you tell us a little bit about who you are and what it is? GREG SASS: [00:01:53] Well, thanks so much for having me, Katie. It's exciting to talk about, uh, the 75th anniversary of the Northern Highland Fishery Research Area coming up. Uh, my name is Greg Sass and I'm Fisheries Research Team Leader in Wisconsin, DNR Office of Applied Science.And my role within the agency is to lead our group of fisheries, research, scientists, biologists, and technicians to address high-priority fisheries research needs for our fisheries management program, um, and other program partners. So, um, I helped to facilitate that program. Um, I oversee and direct the Northern Highland Fishery Research Area Program. And then we work extensively, uh, with university partners and our stakeholders and tribal partners, um, as well to conduct research, to benefit the fisheries of Wisconsin and beyond. KATIE GRANT: [00:02:40] We've both mentioned the Northern Highland Fishery Area. Can you tell us a little bit about what it is and why it was established?GREG SASS: [00:02:48] Absolutely. The Northern Highland Fishery Research Area, um, was established in 1946 by the Wisconsin Conservation Commission at the time, which is now of course our Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Um, and at that time in northern Wisconsin, um, the tourist-based in, in fishing resort-based economy was just starting to pick up.And we didn't have a tremendous amount of information about our fisheries in this part of the state. And in listening to anglers and stakeholders, our anglers were concerned about stunting and fish populations, and stunting is basically, um, slow growth and in low size structure or a lot of small fish in a population.And in response to that, the Wisconsin Conservation Commission, uh, set aside five lakes in Vilas County, near Boulder, Boulder Junction to use as experimental fisheries research lakes. And at that time to address the question of stunting and fish populations, the default regulation on all five lakes was that there would be no size limit, no bag limit, and no closed season on any species unless specified for research purposes. And so, um, the, the lakes were set aside initially to, uh, look at a test. We're gonna allow, um, as much harvest of any size and. Um, any fish species, uh, without any closed seasons to see how those fish populations responded.Um, in addition to that, the five lakes were chosen to be representative of the lakes in the area. So, um, Vilas County has about 1300 lakes and they're, they're very diverse from clear to, uh, very tannic, meaning that the waters slightly stained brown, um, to deep, to small, to large. And so the five lakes that were selected kind of represent that gradient with Escanaba Lake, uh, being a drainage lake with fish species, diversity Pallette Nebish lake, being what we call our classic kettle lakes, where an ice block was left in the landscape from a glacier. So they're deeper and they're clear, um, and relatively unproductive. And then we have two sphagnum bog lakes, which are kind of more of our wetland lee lakes with darker water color in a Mystery Lake and Spruce Lake.KATIE GRANT: [00:04:51] Can you just kind of clarify a little bit because I don't understand necessarily the different kinds of lakes. You mentioned that the kettle lake is, is left from the glacier. Can you talk a little bit more about the other two? GREG SASS: [00:05:02] So when I talk about Escanaba Lake being a drainage lake, it means that it has an inflow and outflow.And so, uh, the inflow to Escanaba Lake comes from Spruce and Mystery Lake into the lake. And then the lake flows out to Lost Canoe Lake. And so that's what we mean with drainage lakes, uh, for Pallette Nebish when I say it was an ice block left in the landscape. These are lakes that are, um, their lake levels are dominated by precipitations and we have high levels of precipitation over time.the lake levels are going to be higher. Um, when we have a drought, like we did in the early 2000s up here, those lake levels are going to be lower because the water table is lower for precipitation. And with our sphagnum bog lakes, these are lakes that are surrounded by lowland areas, uh, with vegetation like spruce, uh, leather leaf, uh, wild cranberry.They're more of our wetlands sort of lakes. And with that wetland influence, uh, they tend to have, uh, a tea or a coffee-stained color water. And that's what I mean, when I say tannic.KATIE GRANT: [00:05:57] The main purpose of the fishery area is really research. Right? Can you tell us a little bit about some of the projects that have happened there over the years?GREG SASS: [00:06:06] Absolutely. Like I mentioned, early on the initial regulations were set up to, um, see about stunting and fish populations and how, um, high exploitation or a lack of regulation would influence that. But over time, there's been a number of different research projects that have been conducted on the lakes that have had, um, you know, pretty fair significance and importance.
Smile, You’re On Camera: Snapshot Wisconsin Wildlife Photo Project Catches Critters
Apr 30 2021
Smile, You’re On Camera: Snapshot Wisconsin Wildlife Photo Project Catches Critters
Researchers across the world rely on curious citizen scientists to be their eyes and ears, collecting data that can help solve some of the biggest questions in science. Citizen scientists can be anyone from any background who wants to volunteer their time to helping the scientific community learn more about the world around us.  At the Wisconsin DNR, we rely on these volunteers for a number of research projects, including Snapshot Wisconsin. On this episode, we spoke with Christine Anhalt-Depies, Snapshot Wisconsin Project Coordinator, to learn more about the largest citizen science project we have here in the state. Listen in to learn more about how the data gained from the project is used to help manage wildlife throughout Wisconsin and how you can be a part of it. Apply to host a trail camera: https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/Research/ApplyHostTrailCameraClassify Snapshot Wisconsin photos: https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/zooniverse/snapshot-wisconsinExplore Snapshot Wisconsin for your classroom: https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/research/projects/snapshot/intheclassroom.html--------------------------------------TRANSCRIPTSARAH HOYE: [00:00:00] From the Wisconsin DNR, this is Wild Wisconsin. Bringing you inside voices on Wisconsin's outdoors.KATIE GRANT: [00:00:16] Welcome back to another episode of Wild Wisconsin, Off the Record. I'm your host, Katie Grant. Imagine a 10 point buck staring right at you. Or maybe a bobcat and her kittens casually strolling by. A romp of otters playing in the snow. A rare whooping crane stretching out its wings. These are just a few of the amazing moments caught on camera through the DNR Snapshot Wisconsin project. Snapshot Wisconsin is a citizen science program that gets the public involved to help monitor Wisconsin's wildlife. Volunteers host a network of trail cameras that take snapshots of wildlife as they pass by. Volunteers then work to classify the species from their trail cameras with a little help from the public.The data helps the DNR understand where certain animal populations exist around the state and is used to make important wildlife management decisions. In this episode, we sit down with Christine Anhalt-Depies, DNR's Snapshot Wisconsin Project Coordinator, to talk about the impact of this groundbreaking project and how you can get involved.All right. Hello Christine, welcome to the show. Uh, you've been here before, but why don't you go ahead and tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do here for the DNR. CHRISTINE ANHALT-DEPIES: [00:01:37] Yeah. Hi Katie. Thanks so much for having me again. I'm glad to be here. My name is Christine Anhalt-Depies. I am a Research Scientist uh, within the Office of Applied Science and I coordinate the Snapshot Wisconsin project. KATIE GRANT: [00:01:51] So, we're going to get into that a little bit more in a second, but April is Citizen Science month. It's the time where we get to celebrate the volunteers from really all walks of life who get involved in the research that we do by collecting data, analyzing results and really helping us solve some of the biggest mysteries in science. We have projects all over the DNR in many different fields where we utilize the help of everyday residents of Wisconsin. And Snapshot Wisconsin, as you mentioned is just one of those. Can you explain to us what Snapshot Wisconsin is, and kind of what its goal is?CHRISTINE ANHALT-DEPIES: [00:02:27] So Snapshot Wisconsin is a volunteer-run statewide trail camera network for monitoring wildlife. Its goals are to provide a unique opportunity for public engagement in natural resources and to produce information that can be used in wildlife management decision-making. The project started out small in just a few areas of the state back in 2015. It started as a pilot project to really refine our methods. We were working just in monitoring the elk herds of Wisconsin. We then started working with a number of volunteers in a limited number of counties back in 2016. And the program launched statewide in 2018. And today our network has over 2100 cameras and over 2000 volunteers.KATIE GRANT: [00:03:16] I didn't realize that initially started with monitoring the elk herd. I think that's a really interesting fact that, you know, it started with this one project and has kind of grown to be much more than it is. CHRISTINE ANHALT-DEPIES: [00:03:29] That's right. So we still continue to monitor the elk herd today with Snapshot Wisconsin cameras and it was the perfect place to start off the project. And, um, it's been fun to continue to see the project grow well beyond that.KATIE GRANT: [00:03:42] What are the ways that people can get involved in Snapshot Wisconsin? I know there's a couple of different methods, right?  CHRISTINE ANHALT-DEPIES: [00:03:47] That's right. So, first off, I just want to define Citizen Scientists that are often, um, you know, we often hear this term, but really it just means these are members of the public who are partnering with scientists to conduct research. Um, and what's neat about Citizen Science is oftentimes there's research projects that would not be possible at all without Citizen Scientist support. And so, you know, Snapshot Wisconsin is a perfect example of one of those projects that would not be possible without Citizen Scientists.Um, trail cameras of course are popular among ecologists to study wildlife, but it takes a lot of people power to deploy trail cameras and also maintain them. So in the case of Snapshot, the volunteers, the Citizen Scientists are those who are responsible for putting out the cameras, keeping them going and also submitting the photos to the Wisconsin DNR. And in our project, Citizen Scientists also play a huge role in helping to identify the wildlife that are collected by these trail camera photos.KATIE GRANT: [00:04:54] So if I were to volunteer to have a trail cam on my property, what sort of a time commitment is involved with that?CHRISTINE ANHALT-DEPIES: [00:05:02] Sure. So the, the first way, um, to volunteer for the program would be to host a trail camera. And we ask those volunteers to commit to hosting a trail camera for at least a year. Now we do have volunteers who stick around for much longer than that. We have some volunteers who are reaching their fifth year with the program, which is neat to see volunteers wanting to continue to participate for that long.The trail cameras themselves need to be checked just four times a year. So it's not a significant time commitment in terms of needing to go out, um, and exchange batteries and collect photos.KATIE GRANT: [00:05:39] Let's say I have five minutes on a Saturday. Is that enough for me to jump online and start identifying photos? Or do I have to commit to anything with that? Or how does that work? CHRISTINE ANHALT-DEPIES: [00:05:49] Yeah. So the second way that folks can get involved in the Snapshot Wisconsin project is to help classify photos or identify what's in the photos. And while our trail camera hosts identify many of the wildlife photos, those that they don'...
The Outdoor Beat | Voices Of The Warden Service
Apr 14 2021
The Outdoor Beat | Voices Of The Warden Service
As the Wisconsin DNR prepares to welcome another warden recruitment class, now, more than ever, diversity in the field is essential to make sure the warden service reflects the communities they serve. In this episode, we hear from DNR Conservation Wardens Vong Xiong and Juan Gomez who come from different walks of life and serve the same mission. Both share how they were introduced to the career field, the experiences they’ve had and why it’s important to have people of color in the warden service. Learn more about becoming a Wisconsin conservation warden: https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/WardenRecruitment--------------------------------------TRANSCRIPTSARAH HOYE: [00:00:00] From the Wisconsin DNR, this is Wild Wisconsin. Bringing you inside voices on Wisconsin's outdoors.KATIE GRANT: [00:00:17] Welcome back to another episode of Wild Wisconsin Off the Record. I'm your host, Katie Grant. It's a new season. Spring has sprung and we're looking for our newest class of Conservation Wardens. At the Wisconsin DNR, we want to make sure our wardens represent our community. So today we're talking with wardens Juan Gomez and Vong Xiong about their experiences on the job and why diversity matters. So sit back and listen in.All right. Thank you guys for joining us today. On this episode, we really want to talk about what it's like to be a Warden, why you wanted to become a Warden, what some of the challenges are that you face as a Warden and what your favorite part of being a Warden is. So to get started, why don't you guys go ahead and, and each introduce yourselves. Tell me your name, where you're based, the region you cover and kind of, you know, what it is that you do here. Vong let's go ahead and start with you. WARDEN VONG XIONG: [00:01:17] Thanks, Katie. Again, I appreciate you having us on the show here and, um... kind of about who I am. My name is Vong Xiong. I'm a Conservation Warden for Jackson County in Wisconsin and I cover all of Jackson County right now.There are two stations, technically one is vacant. So I do cover both sides of the County and, uh, that's... I'm a Field Warden so I spend every day out patrolling, enforcing ATV, boating, snowmobile laws. Uh, whatever the seasons bring is what I enforce. So that's pretty much the sum of what or who I am.KATIE GRANT: [00:01:55] Perfect. And Juan, why don't you go ahead. WARDEN JUAN GOMEZ: [00:01:58] Sure I appreciate it. Um, my name is Juan Gomez. I am a Lieutenant with the Department of Natural Resources. I started in 2008 as a Field Warden, very similar to Vong, uh, down in Kenosha. Um, I spent about a year and a half in the Kenosha station before transferring to Walworth County where I spent a larger bulk of my career.Um, when I was a Field Warden down there, um, I covered the county of Walworth by myself for, uh, a pretty extensive period of time, um, engaging with the public and enforcing recreational vehicle enforcement, environmental enforcement, um, uh, and a number of other areas that the department is responsible for.Uh, in 2017, I promoted and I supervise the Field Wardens in Sheboygan and Fondulac County. I've again, been here since 2017, uh, have enjoyed every minute of it. I've had the opportunity now to, uh, use the skills that I learned while in the field and working with the field members that are now, uh, under my supervision to kind of help, uh, you know, mold them to be the best Field Wardens that they can be.KATIE GRANT: [00:03:08] Absolutely. So DNR Conservation Wardens are credentialed law enforcement officers. You guys work across the state and are responsible for enforcing natural resources and recreation safety laws. You also educate the public on conservation topics and help patrol those state parks, forests and trails. Can you guys walk me through a little bit of what a typical day is? If there even is one. WARDEN VONG XIONG: [00:03:34] You know, with, with a lot of our presentations, that's probably one of the most common questions that we received. You know, what does a typical day look like? And quite honestly, there is no typical day. So for example, right now, the fishing season is starting to become really hot. You know, fish are starting to swim up river and, and people are really starting to catch fish.I might be out there with the intention of working fishermen today, you know, checking licenses, checking bag limits, and, and that kind of enforcement. But my, um, direction might be changed. Like a couple of weeks ago when I had to respond to a vehicle that was on fire in the state park. So it's one of those situations where something like that can happen in a split second and it could change your day.You know, obviously we work closely with our, with our Sheriff's departments and we get dispatched, um, to help them out, you know, or we get dispatched to a traffic stop to help out the deputy with a traffic stop or whatever the case may be. So it changes almost daily.KATIE GRANT: [00:04:41] For sure. So, you know, when you say you might be out there, uh, checking for licenses, checking bag limits during fishing season, are you just kind of randomly doing that to ensure compliance or, you know, what, what is the, the thought process or the reasoning behind doing kind of random checks like that?WARDEN VONG XIONG: [00:05:00] Yeah. So as everybody is aware of, as most people are aware, the Department of Natural Resources is tasked with enforcing laws, making sure that people abide by the regulations set forth by the, by the department to ensure that resources aren't being overused or, or being, um, over-utilized. And that everybody has a fair shake at these opportunities that Wisconsin provides as far as fishing, hunting, um, any of those recreational sports.So by having, or by, by. uh, patrolling and being out there on a daily basis or on a weekly basis, whatever the case may be based on workload. Um, it, it allows the public to see us in a light that is positive because realistically we're, we're checking licenses and, you know, flying the flag, quote-unquote you know, talking to folks from the community and, and showing the community who we are as a person.But the second part of that is to make sure that people do abide by those laws. So that those resources aren't being, um, spent, or aren't being used by somebody that may or may not have already caught their bag limit for the day, or have already caught their bag... uh, I'm sorry. possession limit for the two days that they were fishing.KATIE GRANT: [00:06:19] Right. Yeah. We're... The DNR isn't just some building in Madison or, or wherever. Uh, we're people too. Right? Uh, that's a really great point to make Vong. Both of you took unique paths to becoming Wardens. Juan, you grew up in Chicago in the Humboldt Park neighborhood with little exposure to the outdoors. And I read recently in Latino Outdoors that your family sent you to summer camp in Wisconsin to keep you away from gangs. How did your summer camp experience lead to your interest in the outdoors? WARDEN JUAN GOMEZ: [00:06:52] Sure. So, um at about the age of 11 in my local church, there was an opportunity for, uh, for me to go to a summer camp in Eagle River, Wisconsin and my family jumped on that opportunity, uh, just to get me out of the neighborhood.Uh, the neighborhood that we lived in ...
Logging Off – Outdoors And Your Mental Health
Feb 17 2021
Logging Off – Outdoors And Your Mental Health
It doesn’t matter if it’s January or June, snowing or sunny and 85 degrees; it’s always a good idea to get outdoors in Wisconsin. Sure, we have plenty of beautiful opportunities all across our state. But it’s not just a matter of looking at some pretty scenery. Studies have found a significant link between getting outdoors and improved mental health.  On episode 57, we spoke with Dr. Shilagh Mirgain, a psychologist with UW Health about the benefits of stepping away from the screen, logging off and getting outdoors. Listen in to learn more about Nature Deficit Disorder, how even just a few minutes a day can be beneficial, and what you can do to reap the benefits of nature, even if you simply cannot get outside.Learn more about Dr. Shilagh Mirgain at https://www.drshilaghmirgain.com/Find your next adventure at https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/adventure--------------------------------------TRANSCRIPTANNOUNCER: [00:00:00] Welcome to Wisconsin DNR's Wild Wisconsin "Off the Record" podcast. Information straight from the source.KATIE GRANT: [00:00:12] Welcome back to another episode of Wild Wisconsin Off the Record. I'm your host. DNR's Digital Communication Section Chief Katie Grant. With all the changes from the COVID-19 public health emergency, I'm sure a lot of adults feel the same way that I do lately. I stare at a screen all day while working from home with no meetings to use as an excuse to get away from those screens anymore.Then after work, I stare at a little screen while staring at a big screen until I go to bed and I start it all over again. And studies confirm what many adults are feeling. The average adult spends more time behind a screen than they do even sleeping. And it's not just the adults. Even before the pandemic, kids spent as little as 30 minutes a day playing outside. But they spent more than seven hours in front of a screen.All of this screen time really takes a toll on people's physical and mental health. But in a world where we're telecommuting and increasingly reliant on technology, how can we minimize the effect of all of that screen time on our mental health? In this episode, we sat down with Dr. Shilagh Mirgain. A psychologist with UW Health to talk about the benefits of getting outside, nature deficit disorder and how you can get a little bit of those benefits of being outdoors, even when you can't get out there. So sit back and listening to learn more.All right. We are welcoming Dr. Shilagh Mirgain to the show today. Thank you so much for joining us. Uh, can you go ahead and get us started by telling us a little bit about yourself, your background, um, and what it is that you do? DR. SHILAGH MIRGAIN: [00:02:02] Thanks, Katie. I'm really honored to be a guest on today's episode. I am a clinical psychologist at UW Health who specializes in health and sports psychology.I've been at the University of Wisconsin for 15 years and have really um... One of the highlights for me of moving to Wisconsin has been discovering all the amazing outdoor, um, places to go in Wisconsin. And I've just had lots of adventures over the years of discovering, um, what, what is called Wild Wisconsin. All those natural, uh, wilderness areas that really make our state amazing.KATIE GRANT: [00:02:41] Yeah, it is one of the things that we are truly blessed with here in Wisconsin. And I've, I've talked about this with a lot of, of guests on the show. Um, it's something that I think a lot of Wisconsinites take for granted because, you know, especially if you've grown up here, it's, it's been around you all along and it's easy to take that for granted. What would you say is your favorite part of your job? DR. SHILAGH MIRGAIN: [00:03:05] That's a great question. I love helping people. And with my job, I'm really working on the mind-body connection and really harnessing the power of the mind to really improve various health outcomes. I work with chronic medical patients like heart disease or chronic pain, um, injury rehab.And then as a sports psychologist, I'm also working on that mind-body connection to really fuel optimal performance. And many people you know, we can look to medical management taking the pill, but the favorite part of my job is to have people learn how to use a skill. And a variety of skills from mindfulness to cognitive behavioral therapy to acceptance work can really have profound impacts on people's quality of life and really allow them instead of just surviving to go to thriving and really flourishing.KATIE GRANT: [00:03:56] Yeah, absolutely. You mentioned that mind-body connection and, um, you know, one of the things that a lot of your articles that we've looked into, uh, talk about is the benefit of spending that time outdoors. Generally speaking, why is getting out in nature, even when it's cold and snowy and you maybe don't want to go out there. Why is that so important to our overall wellbeing? DR. SHILAGH MIRGAIN: [00:04:22] It's such a great question and there's that, uh, phrase that nature is the best medicine and there's really some truth to that. And I am often prescribing nature to my patients and there's really robust research on this. Um, for example, one study looked at two groups of walkers.The two groups went for a walk for just a few minutes, five, ten minutes. The first group went for a walk in the park while the other just walked around the city looking at the city landscape of skyscrapers and sidewalks. And the results were really interesting that they showed that just a short walk in a park and that natural landscape, as little as 10 minutes actually affected participants' brains. The walk helped decrease stress hormones, like cortisol and actually improved thinking and memory. You know, and all of this really goes to suggest that time in nature can help relieve mental fatigue, improve focus and help boost our mood. And I think a real takeaway is that nature is restorative in many ways. And I always say that nature offers us something beyond what human connection can. There's a way when we go into a natural environment that we feel a sense of relief or calm or peace or perspective and it can really enhance our wellbeing.KATIE GRANT: [00:05:44] Yeah, for sure. And I think this is something that obviously with the COVID-19 pandemic has been kind of top of mind. Um, but this isn't new science. Um, you published an article about this all the way back in 2015. And in that you cited some alarming facts. Uh, the average adult spends more time behind a screen than they do sleeping.And kids spend as little as 30 minutes in unstructured outdoor play each day but more than seven hours on average in front of a screen. What are some of the consequences of all of this screen time? DR. SHILAGH MIRGAIN: [00:06:19] There is a concept that was coined in the book Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv, who said, um, nature deficit disorder, that term Nature Deficit Disorder. And we had it pre-pandemic, but you know, I think everyone can appreciate during the pandemic, our screen time has gone through the roof. Kids are spending all day behind screens if they're doing virtual learning. So many of us adults are working remotely and on Zoom calls all day. And so we're kind of tethered to our screen and it's in part of what has really taken a toll during the pandemic that we are connecting to one another ...
She Sleds – Wisco Sled Divas
Jan 27 2021
She Sleds – Wisco Sled Divas
On Episode 56, we talk to Wisconsin snowmobilers, Erica Marten and Jen Marcott-Bong, founders of the female-focused Facebook Group “Wisco Sled Divas” connecting women who love to ride. Erica and Jen share some of their best tips, tricks and snowmobiling stories – including what to pack, favorite trails and how you can make the most of your next ride. Since safety is an important part of the ride, the Wisconsin DNR reminds all snowmobilers to think smart before they start.Learn more about staying safe on Wisconsin’s trails: https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/Education/OutdoorSkills/safetyEducation Learn more about snowmobiling in Wisconsin: https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/Snowmobile Find the Wisco Sled Divas Facebook Group, here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/wiscosleddivas --------------------------------------TRANSCRIPTANNOUNCER: [00:00:00] Welcome to Wisconsin DNR's Wild Wisconsin "Off the Record" podcast. Information straight from the source.KATIE GRANT: [00:00:13] Welcome back to another episode of Wild Wisconsin Off the Record. I'm your host DNR's Digital Communication Section Chief Katie Grant. Did you know that the sport of snowmobiling started right here in the Badger state. Over the years interest in this hobby has grown exponentially and now more than 200,000 registered snowmobiles hit our 25,000 miles of groomed trails each winter. We just finished up International Snowmobile Safety week. While much of the state is still waiting for trails to open. We are doubling down on all things snowmobiling and encouraging you to think smart, before you start. Remember the basics. Don't drink and ride. Always wear a helmet and stay on marked trails.Need a refresher on snowmobile safety and the laws in Wisconsin? You can find them at dnr.wi.gov. In this episode we chat with Erica Marten from McFarland and Jen Marcott-Bong from Phillips. These two are friends and co-founders of a new female focused Facebook group called Wisco Sled Divas. They started the group this past November, and it's growing rapidly. Consider it a virtual space for fellow riders to connect, share information and support one another. Erica and Jen share some of their best tips and tricks. Including what to pack, favorite trails and how you can make the most out of your next ride. So sit back and listen in.Allright,  so welcome to the show, Jen and Erica. Uh, why don't you guys go ahead and get us started off by just telling us a little bit about who you are and what it is that you do and Erica, we will go ahead and start with you. ERICA MARTEN: [00:02:05] Great. Thanks. My name is Erica Marten. I am in McFarland, Wisconsin and I am currently a recruitment specialist at UW Madison.KATIE GRANT: [00:02:17] Fantastic. And Jen how about you? JEN MARCOTT-BONG: [00:02:20] Um, so my name is, uh, Jen Marcott- Bong and I live in Phillips, Wisconsin and I am a Director of HR for a, um, global manufacturing company. KATIE GRANT: [00:02:34] Awesome. And how did you guys meet? Being, you know, in separate parts of the state. JEN MARCOTT-BONG: [00:02:40] So I used to live in the Madison area. Um, I just recently moved to Phillips about, well, I shouldn't say recently about five years ago I moved here and Erica and I used to work together.Um, so we worked at a, uh, a recruiting company in Madison and that's how we got to know each other. And then our husbands became BFFs as well. KATIE GRANT: [00:03:01] Those are always the best kinds of friendships. How did you guys get into snowmobiling then? ERICA MARTEN: [00:03:08] Um, well, um, my parents bought our family a Yamaha snowmobile when I was in high school. Um, and it was something my dad and I could bond on because I wasn't really the tomboy. I was the girly girl in the family. Um, and that quickly became one of my favorite things to do in the winters because it was fast. Um, but it was also fun. And unfortunately I kind of lost touch with it during college. Priorities changed.Um, but my husband got back into it a few years ago, thanks to Jen's husband um, and I was able to make my re-entry, um, with his hand me down sled at the time. And it kinda just brought back all those memories from high school, how fun it was, um, and how great... It's a great way to get out, um, take in the scenery and be active in the winter months.JEN MARCOTT-BONG: [00:04:05] For me a very kind of similar story. Um, grew up in a snowmobiling family. We, as a young kid, we actually had a cabin on Solberg Lake, which is in Phillips, um, so spent most of my winter weekends in Phillips, um, snowmobiling with my family. And, um, I just kind of learned to really enjoy it because I come from a family of mostly boys.So I was kind of a tomboy as well. And, um, similar story in the sense of got out of it when I went to college, had to sell my snowmobile cause you know, poor college student and um, when I met my husband, he um, for lack of better terms is obsessed with it. Um, and so got back into it because it was something he really enjoyed and it was something we could do together.And my brothers were still snowmobiling, so we kind of became a family thing again and kind of like Erica, I remembered how much fun it was. Being out of it for so long. KATIE GRANT: [00:05:03] What is each of your favorite things about snowmobiling? ERICA MARTEN: [00:05:07] Um, I'd say that when, when you're out, you're truly among friends because everybody is out there for the same reason. Um, you get to see new places, making new memories, but just in a completely different way. You're not stuck in the car. You're actually out on a sled taking it all in. And there's um, you know, I think is... Jen and I have both found there's a true sense of community with snowmobiling. Um, and that's, that's what makes it really enjoyable.JEN MARCOTT-BONG: [00:05:40] I would agree. Um, you know, I really enjoy just that aspect of, of getting out and seeing new places. And I think a lot of times when we go out snowmobiling, we have some sort of destination, whether it's, uh, a landmark or a new town or something that we possibly haven't been to before, just to kind of get out and explore and you know, meet new people. And it's something fun that we get to do with our friends and, and, uh, meet new people along the way. KATIE GRANT: [00:06:07] Very cool. That sense of comradery, uh, I think is something that we keep coming back to on this podcast when it comes to so many of the things that you can do in Wisconsin's outdoors, whether it is snowmobiling or fishing or hunting or whatever it may be. So it's really cool to hear that kind of carry through here. What are some of your favorite trails, uh, to ride in Wisconsin? JEN MARCOTT-BONG: [00:06:30] So I'm partial to the trails in Price County, mainly because that's what I grew up on. I grew up riding them, having a cabin on Solberg Lake and now that I live in Price County that's where most of our riding is done.So for me, um, there's, there's a lot of different types of trails. Um, you kno...
Gotta Catch ‘Em All: Angler After All Species In WI
Jan 13 2021
Gotta Catch ‘Em All: Angler After All Species In WI
With roughly 15,000 lakes and over 84,000 miles of rivers and streams, there are plenty of opportunities for Wisconsinites to fish around every corner.  Free Fishing Weekend is coming up this weekend – Jan. 16-17, 2021. It’s the perfect opportunity to give ice fishing a try. Grab some gear and find your adventure on any water bodies in Wisconsin where there is currently an open season. All other rules and regulations apply. Learn more at bit.ly/WisconsinFFW. On this episode, we spoke with Emily Edge, a self-proclaimed “die-hard fishing lady” and the 2020 Wisconsin Women Fish Rookie Of The Year.  Emily talks about her unique fishing mission, tells us some pretty incredible fishing stories, and discusses what’s so special about fishing in the Badger State.  Follow Emily on Instagram at @the_reel_em_angler.--------------------------------------TRANSCRIPTANNOUNCER: [00:00:00] Welcome to Wisconsin DNR's Wild Wisconsin "Off the Record" podcast. Information straight from the source. KATIE GRANT: [00:00:10] Welcome back to another episode of Wild Wisconsin Off the Record. I'm your host DNR's Digital Communications Section Chief Katie Grant. With more people finding their adventure outside in 2020 due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the DNR also saw a large increase in the number of fishing licenses purchased. And we expect that trend to continue as we start out the new year. Thinking about giving it a try? Now is the perfect time to grab your gear and hit the ice. Our annual Free Fishing Weekend is coming up January 16th and 17th. That means you can fish for free. No license or trout stamp required on nearly all Wisconsin waterways. All other normal rules and regulations apply. Check out our website for more information. To celebrate this upcoming event, we sat down with 28-year-old Emily Edge, a self-described diehard fishing lady to get her take on what's so special about fishing in the Badger state. Emily was born and currently lives in southwest Wisconsin and has fished all over the US. While she's been fishing her whole life, she got serious about it around three years ago when she revisited her childhood pastime in honor of her late uncle. Emily was named the 2020 Wisconsin Women Fish Rookie of the Year. And her ultimate goal is to catch all of Wisconsin's fish species. Sit back and listen in to learn why this hobby is about way more than just landing the big one. And maybe even get inspired to give ice fishing a try yourself. Welcome to the Wild Wisconsin Off the Record podcast. Why don't you go ahead and get started by just telling us who you are, what your name is? Um, a little bit about what it is that you do and where you're from. EMILY EDGE: [00:02:03] Yeah. So my name is Emily Edge I go by the "Reel Em Angler" and I am pretty much a die-hard fisherman or fishing lady.Um, I'm from southwest Wisconsin, um, and that's where I currently reside. KATIE GRANT: [00:02:17] How long have you been fishing? EMILY EDGE: [00:02:18] Um, so I've been fishing my whole life. I grew up doing it, however I wasn't big into it, back then I kind of thought it was like dumb or silly, you know? And then when I got to be a teenager that definitely was not a hobby of mine.Um, but I've been fishing religiously like I like to say the past three years now. So since 2017, when I moved back to Wisconsin. And I grew up fishing with my mom and my uncle. They're big into fishing. My mom likes to catfish, so that's kind of what I grew up doing. And then now it's ventured into... I do all sorts of fishing for all species and all types of... all types of fishing not just hook and line fishing. I like to noodle, or I like to try other techniques too.  KATIE GRANT: [00:03:00] What got you interested in giving it a try again, back in 2017, give or take? EMILY EDGE: [00:03:05] So I don't really have a great answer for that. I guess, um, an uncle of mine passed away and he was the big fishermen and he got me into it. Um, so when he passed away, I kind of just felt that that was something I kind of needed to try to do more, to be like, close to him, if that makes sense. Um, so I kind of just picked it up and then I discoved that, wow I love this and it's so great being outdoors and being by myself or going out with other people. So I just started, you know, I didn't really know much at the time, just fishing with a bobber and nightcrawler on a hook and was catching little bass or a little panfish.And I thought it was the greatest thing in the world. And now fast forward three years, and now I'm doing all sorts of kinds of fishing. So it's really taken off from just, just trying it essentially back in 2017 or 2016 and it's really exploded. KATIE GRANT: [00:03:56] You're on a bit of an interesting mission. You're out to catch one of each of 160 plus fish species. What inspired you to give this a try? EMILY EDGE: [00:04:07] I don't even have an answer for that really, because, um, last year, last September in well, 2019, I was fishing on the Wisconsin River by myself and I caught my first Sturgeon. Um, and that was wild. And then, uh, like two casts after that, I caught my second Sturgeon.Um, and that took what? 27 years to catch one, let alone two back to back. Um, so from there I kind of just got researching this different species of Wisconsin. Yes. I know like the basics at the time, like Panfish, Bass, Muskie, Northern. Um, and then I really got digging into it and I've realized that there are so many fish in this state that aren't talked about mostly and I was just fascinated. Uh, so I'm now after all fish in Wisconsin. Is it possible? I have no idea. Uh, it's going to be a really hard task. Especially when I get into like the micro species and all the different rough fish. But it's something that, um, I've set as a goal and hopefully will try to accomplish as many as I can. It's been difficult kind of, uh, but in 2020, uh, from March until I think in the last one was like October, I caught 11 new species. So in that short amount of timeframe once I, when I started this, um, I accomplished a lot of species in one year. So hopefully 2021, will be double that for species.KATIE GRANT: [00:05:38] Absolutely. I it's just such a cool, unique way to go about doing something you love, which I just think it's, it's really cool that you've decided to do this. EMILY EDGE: [00:05:48] Yeah. And there's so many fish that when people ask me, well, what haven't you caught? And I'm like, well, I honestly haven't caught a lot because when you break it down into like the rough fish and especially the trout, um, I've only caught really just a couple, um. A lot of people think that for, um, Redhorse, for example, which is a sucker, um, they think that every single like sucker, they catchis the same kind, but really there's like Shortnose, Redhorse, uh, I think Blue River Redhorse.So, um, there's a lot of different species of each fish that, um, or classifications I guess, if it is. I don't know the proper terminology, but there's a lot more in depth than what people think. So I think I've caught more species than I've thought I have. I just have not gone through my pictur...
A Look Back At A Wild Wisconsin Year
Dec 22 2020
A Look Back At A Wild Wisconsin Year
‘Tis the season for celebrations and recollection. We’re looking back at all 15 Wild Wisconsin – Off The Record podcast episodes from 2020 and delivering our “greatest hits.” Hear highlights from a few of our best episodes and find a new favorite as we head into the new year. Listen to the full episodes here:50 Years Of Earth DayWhat 50 Years Of Clean Air Looks LikeIt’s Your First Buck, Buddy Find all of our past episodes here. Or tell us who you’d like to hear from in 2021.--------------------------------------TRANSCRIPTANNOUNCER: [00:00:00] Welcome to Wisconsin DNR's Wild Wisconsin "Off the Record" podcast. Information straight from the source.KATIE GRANT: [00:00:12] Welcome back to another episode of Wild Wisconsin Off the Record. I'm your host DNR's Digital Communications Section Chief Katie Grant. For our final episode of 2020 we wanted to do something a little different. Whether you've been listening for a few episodes or for years, we hope you'll enjoy some of 2020s greatest hits.We start with clips from our episode on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Now, this episode is special for two reasons. For starters, the founder of Earth Day was Wisconsin's very own Gaylord Nelson, a former Wisconsin Senator and Governor. And for this episode, we were actually joined by his daughter, Tia Nelson, who has an impressive resume for her work in environmental advocacy.Listen in as Tia talks about her father's legacy.Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist has gained international recognition for her climate strikes. She's also known for having said, "Adults keep saying we owe it to the young people to give them hope, but I don't want your hope. I don't want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to act as if the house is on fire, because it is." How does it make you feel to see her and other young activists who are leading the environmentalist fight and do you think they fit with your father's legacy? TIA NELSON: [00:01:40] Yes. They certainly do. It's really... the story of Greta Thunberg is, um, a really inspiring one and it is one that I reflect on quite often for the following reason. It would have been impossible for Greta to imagine when she was sitting alone, protesting in front of the Swedish parliament that that simple act of defiance would launch a global youth movement.Just as Rosa Parks could not have known that that simple act of defiance, saying no to that bus driver when he demanded she move to the back of the bus, she simply quietly said one word. No. It changed the course of history. Just as my father could never have known that the simple idea of setting aside a day to teach on the environment on April 22nd, 1970 would launch the environmental movement, propel the environmental movement forward in these unimaginable ways. Keep in mind, there was no Environmental Protection Agency. Uh, it was signed into law by a republican president, Richard Nixon, um, some months after the first Earth Day. The Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, uh, Endangered Species Act, a whole slew of laws that we take for granted today passed that first decade after Earth Day. More environmental laws were passed, um, in the decade that followed that first Earth Day than any other time in American history. And so, Greta's story is inspiring to me in the way that Rosa Parks' story is inspiring in the way that my father's story is inspiring. These were individuals who had a set of values, who cared passionately about something and they took action and they kept at it and they changed the course of history. It demonstrates to me the power of individual action to inspire others, to become involved and be a part of the solution. And that to me is, is incredibly inspiring. Earth Day was successful beyond my father's wildest dreams. He never could have imagined that 20 million people would gather on that day or that 50 years later we would be celebrating, uh, his legacy in this way.And I, and I, I think that, that people on the hundredth anniversary of Earth Day, uh, will be saying the same thing about Greta Thunberg and the youth activists around the world who have done exactly what my father had hoped youth would do. And youth did do that first Earth Day. It shook up the establishment and made them pay attention. KATIE GRANT: [00:04:37] So at Wisconsin DNR we are embracing Earth Day 365 and encouraging residents to take small steps all year. So that taking care of our natural resources isn't just a thing that we think about once a year. Do you have any suggestions for small steps that people can take to make difference?TIA NELSON: [00:04:53] There's a number of powerful, small steps one can take. From reducing food waste to avoiding single use plastic to uh, composting food scraps to using energy efficient appliances to things like... funny little fact to know and tell is that something called Phantom power. Meaning our devices plugged into the wall when we're not using them.Uh, probably about 15% of average homeowner’s electricity consumption. Simply unplugging those appliances, uh, when you're not using them, uh, is a way to save energy and it saves money um, so, um, being a conscious consumer. Uh, being aware of one's impact on the planet, knowing that, you know, one of my favorite quotes from my father is... "The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment, not the other way around." And so, um, we have to recognize that our natural resource base is finite, um, and that we have to, uh, be good stewards of it. And that individual action, how we conduct ourselves in our daily life really does matter.  Um, voting for, um, uh, elected officials, whether at the local or state level who put forward policies that protect our rights to breath clean air and drink clean water is really important. Outrider.org has a section, um, about how you can help. Uh, it includes a way to assess, uh, your personal greenhouse gas footprint and, uh, things you can do to, um, reduce it. So, um, get involved. Talk about it. Take action and, uh, join an organization that suits your particular interests.KATIE GRANT: [00:06:51] Catch more from Tia and her passion for the environment on episode 46, titled "50 years of Earth Day." Sticking with the theme of anniversaries we also wanted to highlight clips from our episode on the 50th anniversary of the Clean Air Act. We brought in two leading air experts, Gail Good and Brad Pierce to discuss the impact of clean air here in Wisconsin. They give an explanation of the Clean Air Act, how Wisconsin faces some unique challenges and ways our state's air quality has improved over the last 50 years. What is the Clean Air Act? GAIL GOOD: [00:07:29] The Clean Air Act is one of the most successful pieces of federal legislation that's ever been enacted. You mentioned it was put into place 50 years ago, and that's, that's true actually at the end of this year, right on December 31st, 1970 was when the Clean Air Act was signed into existence. It's gone through several amendments. Clean Air Act, um, was designed really to um, cut down on air pollution while growing the economy. And the benefit of that, the cut down in air pollution is that it's actually saved lives over the ...
Reduce, Reuse, E-Cycle: Wisconsin’s 10 Years Of Electronic Waste Legislation
Dec 16 2020
Reduce, Reuse, E-Cycle: Wisconsin’s 10 Years Of Electronic Waste Legislation
In 2010, Wisconsin established legislation that banned electronics waste from the landfills. Over those ten years, Wisconsinites have recycled more than 325 million pounds of TVs, laptops, cellphones and more. As one of only 25 states with some sort of an electronics recycling law, Wisconsin is widely considered to have one of the most successful programs in the country. But it isn’t without its challenges. On this episode, we speak with Sarah Murray, Wisconsin DNR’s E-cycle Coordinator, and Sen. Mark Miller of Monona, the legislation’s author and advocate, to learn more about what E-cycling is, how the last ten years have gone, and how Wisconsinites can help it be even more successful going forward. Find a location to recycle your old electronics: https://wisconsindnr.shinyapps.io/EcycleCollectorSite/ Read more about E-cycling in Wisconsin in the Fall 2020 issue of Wisconsin Natural Resources Magazine: https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/wnrmag/2020/Fall--------------------------------------TRANSCRIPTANNOUNCER:[00:00:00] Welcome to Wisconsin DNR's Wild Wisconsin: Off The Record Podcast – information straight from the source.Katie Grant: [00:00:12] Welcome back to another episode of Wild Wisconsin: Off The Record. I'm your host, DNR's digital communication section chief Katie Grant. 2020 has been a year for a lot of anniversaries in the world of natural resources. Earth Day celebrated its 50th year along with the EPA, and the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts.It was also the 30th anniversary of Wisconsin's recycling laws and the 10th anniversary of our electronics waste legislation. For today's episode, we sat down with a couple of people who have been involved with electronics recycling in our state from the beginning, but first – a pop quiz. You just bought a new TV. What do you do with the old one? A) leave it on the wall to use as a place to tape your kids, artwork, B) take it to an electronics recycling collection site, or C) put it in your curbside recycling bin and hope for the best. So what do you think?  "A" might be a great way to reuse the TV, but do you really want two TVs on the wall?We'd answer "B," taking it to an electronics recycling collection site. In this episode, you'll learn more about why recycling these items makes a lot of sense for Wisconsin's natural resources. To get us started, we sat down with the DNR's E-cycle Wisconsin coordinator Sarah Murray to learn a bit more about what the law includes and why it's so important we recycle these items. Sarah take it away. Sarah Murray: [00:01:43] Sure. Well, I am the E-cycle Wisconsin coordinator for the DNR, and I've been in that role since the program started in 2010. Katie Grant: [00:01:54] Yeah. What does it mean to be the E-cycling coordinator? What is a little taste of what is it that you do day to day?Sarah Murray: [00:02:00] So there's a few different things the DNR does for the E-cycle Wisconsin program. One is we work with all the different groups that need to participate in the program, so collectors and recyclers and manufacturers need to register with us and report to us. So there's administration of that. During those reporting periods during the year, and then looking at the data, analyzing it, making sure everything is correct, making sure, for example, that we have all the electronics collection plate information correct so we keep that updated on our website for the public, doing other outreach to let people know about the program and about why it's important to recycle electronics. And then working with my coworkers on the team – we're actually doing physical inspections of a lot of the collection sites and recyclers and answering questions that folks have about the program. So those are some of the highlights. Katie Grant: [00:03:01] Fantastic. So before we get too far into it, can you tell me a little bit about what actually is E-cycling and what kind of items fall into that category?Sarah Murray: [00:03:13] Sure. E-cycling is just sort of the acute term we came up with for recycling electronics. And so, as people can imagine, there's a whole lot of things that are electronics right now. You know, almost everything it seems like is starting to have a little circuit board in it and other electronic components.But when we talk about E-cycle Wisconsin, it was a program set up by Wisconsin's electronics recycling law to specifically collect and recycle a specific list of electronics for households and schools. So we're thinking consumer electronics: a TV, TV accessories, like a DVD player, or even a VCR, computers, including things like tablets, laptops, monitors, computer accessories and desktop printers. So those are some of the things that we're collecting through the E-cycle Wisconsin program and focused on specifically. Katie Grant: [00:04:06] Why is it so important that we actually recycle these items rather than just tossing them into the garbage can or even throwing them in the curbside recycling bin?Sarah Murray: [00:04:16] Yeah, there's a couple things there. So in general, it's important to recycle electronics for two primary reasons. One is some of them, especially older electronics, do contain hazardous materials. So the old tube style TVs have up to several pounds of lead embedded in the glass. A lot of the first-generation flat panel TVs and monitors had fluorescent tubes and then continuing mercury. There's other heavy metals, chemical flame retardants and things in electronics.So we don't really want those just out in the environment or being recycled improperly where it's causing potential harm to workers. We want to make sure they're handled safely. And then the other side of that is nearly everything in electronics can be recycled. So we want to conserve those resources for the program. In the last 10 years for example we've managed to collect and recycle the equivalent of about 47 million pounds of steel, 16 million pounds of copper, 8 million pounds of aluminum, not to mention glass and plastic, and that can all be reused and made into new products.You asked too about why we can't just put it in our curbside bins. So if you think about a lot of our electronics, like take a laptop – it's just a lot more complicated than a can, or a bottle or a cardboard box. There's a lot of different pieces to it, so it can't be handled in the same facility with the same equipment.A lot of electronics need some degree of hand disassembly, even though they do also use shredders and other high-tech machines. When we're talking newer electronics with lithium-ion batteries too, we don't want those mixing with other trash or recycling because if the batteries get damaged, like say, if they get crushed by equipment, they can actually spark and cause a fire. And so they need to be handled at a facility that knows to look for those and can carefully remove them. Katie Grant: [00:06:07] That's a really good point. You know, we've shared before on Facebook, the pictures of dumpsters on fire, for example, because batteries were in there or they got crushed and they did start on fire.  And I think that's something that a lot of people don't realize can actually happen with that. Sar...
On The Hunt
Nov 12 2020
On The Hunt
Hunting is a long-established tradition woven into the fabric of Wisconsin’s culture. As hunters new and old make their way into the woods this November, we wanted to know what makes this season so special in Wisconsin. In this episode, we hear from Carissa Freeh, a wildlife biologist for Pheasants Forever in central Wisconsin. Hunting since 2014, she shares advice for anyone interested in trying it but not sure where to start. Also joining the podcast is lifelong hunter Jim Wipperfurth, a retired DNR wildlife technician, hunter’s safety instructor, and mentor for the DNR’s Learn To Hunt classes. Hunting since his father first took him out in the ’70s, Jim shares his love for the hunt.   Whether it’s your first deer season or your 50th, there’s something exciting about heading out to your treestand on a cool, crisp November morning. Listen in as these guests talk about their favorite time of year – Wisconsin deer season. Find more information on deer hunting in Wisconsin at dnr.wi.gov/adventure/deer  --------------------------------------TRANSCRIPTANNOUNCER: [00:00:00] Welcome to Wisconsin DNR's Wild Wisconsin "Off the Record" podcast. Information straight from the source.KATIE: [00:00:13] Welcome back to another episode of Wild Wisconsin, Off the Record. I'm your host, DNR's Digital Communication Section Chief Katie Grant. This year, many of Wisconsin's residents have found themselves connecting with our natural resources more than ever before. Many of our state parks had lines of people waiting to get in this summer.Overall the park saw 15% more visitors in 2020 than in 2019, and fishing license sales were up 21%.As the leaves start to crunch and the mercury drops we're seeing another interesting trend. As of 10 days before the start of this year's gun deer season, sales of gun deer licenses are up 9% over 2019. Whether they're new hunters or people who just took a couple of years off, we're certain these hunters will find something unique to enjoy in the experience that is hunting in Wisconsin.On today's episode, we spoke with a couple of hunters. One who got into the sport within just the last couple of years and one who has been doing it pretty much his entire life. To learn more about what makes deer hunting in Wisconsin so special. Though our two guests come from different backgrounds and have different experience levels one thing is clear. They are passionate about hunting. So sit back and listen in to hear their stories. First up is Carissa Freeh. CARISSA: [00:01:44] Yeah. Hello. My name is Carissa Freeh. Um, I am currently a Wildlife Biologist, uh, for Pheasants Forever and I work in central Wisconsin. Prior to my job with Pheasants Forever I held, um, a couple of different positions with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in the Wildlife Health section. And then as a Field Biologist up in Merrill, Wisconsin. KATIE: [00:02:10] How long have you been hunting for?CARISSA: [00:02:13] I began actually hunting um, I believe in about 2014. Um, my first hunt was actually kind of unique. Um, It was... a mentored raccoon hunt. KATIE: [00:02:29] Very cool. Tell us a little bit how you, how you ended up going on a, a mentored raccoon hunt.CARISSA: [00:02:35] Sure. So I, uh, went to college at UW Madison and after a little bit of soul searching, ended up majoring in Wildlife Ecology and just absolutely fell in love with the major and my peers. And I actually didn't have a hunting background growing up. Um, my immediate family did not hunt and some of my uncles and distant relatives who did, um, we're not living in Wisconsin. So I just was really never exposed to it. And in one of my college courses it was just highly recommended that you know, those of us going into the field of wildlife management, um, to at least just take a Hunter Safety course with hunters being such a big stakeholder and important in the conservation world.Um, they just thought it would be really important for us, you know, in our careers moving forward that we understood kind of that, that hunting heritage that's so rich in Wisconsin. So that was kind of my intention. Um, so I, took Hunter Safety for that reason. And afterwards was still you know, very interested in hunting.And shortly after finishing my course, I started getting some emails and saw some flyers of Learn to Hunt courses that the DNR was hosting. And it, it just so happened that the first one I saw and a weekend that was available to me was a Learn to Raccoon Hunt course. So that was super fun. It was a weekend course where we just learned about the management of hunting in general, and particularly, um, hunting with hounds, raccoon hunting. And I was successful in the mentored hunt and harvesting my first ever animal, which was a raccoon. And really just fell in love with the comradery and the people just being so willing to teach and share and particularly fell in love with dogs. Because of that I now have my own hound and do a little bit of bird hunting as well. And deer hunting and turkey hunting, but it all really just kind of started with that first mentored hunt.KATIE: [00:04:40] So tell me about how you went from small raccoons to hunting something big, like deer.CARISSA: [00:04:47] So, after my first Learn to Hunt class I just really wanted to learn more. And I think what really sparked the next step, um, in particularly hunting deer, was the motivation of food. And so the next, uh, Learn to Hunt course again, that I actually took through the DNR was, a Learn to Hunt for Food class that was targeted around deer hunting. And this was a longer course. I think it ran a couple of months and we would, we would meet and have class, and it was much more in depth of a course. Um, because instead of, you know, some of our standards, like youth hunts, where a lot of the youth that maybe attend, um, have family members that have already exposed them to, you know, what to look for when hunting deer or the equipment you need.Or even how to properly butcher a deer. This class was really geared towards more of those adults who had the interest and motivation to hunt for sustainable meats. And so the class went into all those details and talked about firearms and firearm handling. And we had days that we got to go in the field together and basically scout for good deer hunting spots. And the teachers of that course you know, taught us what to look for, what signs to look for. We had a course on butchering the deer. Um, so that would, we would ultimately be self-sufficient in doing that once we completed the course. Like many of the Learn to Hunt classes, they culminate in a mentored hunt. And I was fortunate enough to get paired with a mentor who's actually a DMAP cooperator. So, the Deer Management Assistance Program. Um, he's a cooperator in that program, and I was paired up with him and on a September afternoon I harvested my first deer at his property. KATIE: [00:06:44] Tell me a little bit about what it was like to actually be successful in that, and what did it mean to you to be successful?CARISSA: [00:06:52] You know, it's really, it's really difficult to pinpoint what it means. And I think that that's something that I value so much about hunting is the fact that it is such a unique experience person to person. It's incredibly hard to describe l...
CWD Updates For The 2020 Deer Season
Oct 28 2020
CWD Updates For The 2020 Deer Season
Chronic Wasting Disease is an always fatal, infectious disease that affects deer, elk, moose, and reindeer. Hunters (and non-hunters, alike!) play an important role in helping us monitor the disease across the state. And in 2020, we've made it easier than ever before to help us do exactly that.On this episode of Wild Wisconsin, we sit down with DNR wildlife conservation specialist, Amanda Kamps, to learn more about how hunters can participate by getting their deer sampled for CWD, the improvements that have been made to the process and some changes you should be aware of for the 2020 deer season. She also discusses some important ways non-hunters can help along the way.Learn more about CWD in Wisconsin at https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/wildlifehabitat/cwd.htmlFind a CWD sampling location near you at https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/WildlifeHabitat/registersample.htmlListen to Episode 33 to learn more about important CWD research happening here in Wisconsin: https://share.transistor.fm/s/7e55a356Listen to Episode 29 to learn more about the basics of CWD: https://share.transistor.fm/s/5b651fb8--------------------------------------TRANSCRIPTANNOUNCER: [00:00:00] Welcome to Wisconsin DNR's Wild Wisconsin "Off the Record" podcast. Information straight from the source.KATIE: [00:00:13] Welcome back to another episode of Wild Wisconsin Off the Record. I'm your host, DNR's acting Communications Director, Katie Grant. More and more hunters in Wisconsin are looking for ways to get involved with Wisconsin's management of Chronic Wasting Disease. CWD is an always fatal infectious nervous system disease that affects deer, moose, elk, and reindeer.As the name suggests this disease slowly deteriorates the brain and nervous systems of the host animal, causing it to lose excessive weight and behave abnormally before ultimately dying. CWD was first discovered in Wisconsin in 2002. Since then, Wisconsin hunters have played an important role in helping us learn more about the disease and its impacts on Wisconsin's deer herd.This year, we are looking to expand that sampling, to continue to better understand where the disease is throughout the state. Whether you're a hunter or simply a Wisconsinite who's concerned about protecting our animal populations, there are ways that you can help. In this episode, we speak with DNR Wildlife Conservation Specialist, Amanda Kamps on how hunters can report cases of CWD to assist the DNRs efforts.She also goes into details about the various tools and resources hunters can use and updates us on new developments as far as CWD monitoring goes and so much more. So sit back and listen in. AMANDA: [00:01:48] All right, well, I am Amanda Kamps. I am the Wildlife Health Conservation Specialist for Wisconsin DNR. And part of my main responsibilities are to work with Chronic Wasting Disease and our monitoring and management of the disease and work with our staff statewide in a whole variety of different aspects from sampling efforts to public outreach and education. I'm aware of research that we have going on. So, involved in quite a variety of different things when it comes to CWD. KATIE: [00:02:22] Yeah. So just to get us started, what is Chronic Wasting Disease? Or as, as we often refer to it CWD.AMANDA: [00:02:31] Of course. So CWD is a fatal infectious nervous system disease, belonging to a family that's known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathys or prion diseases.So prion diseases is probably a much easier name to say, uh, when we're talking about CWD. And this is a disease that's found in cervid species. So we're talking deer, moose, elk, and reindeer or caribou. It has been found in the state in Wisconsin here. Our first positives were detected back in 2002 from a few deer that were harvested during the 2001 deer hunting season. But in general, uh, in Wisconsin, we had actually started monitoring for CWD in 1999. KATIE: [00:03:25] So what does it do to the deer? AMANDA: [00:03:27] So CWD is kind of like the name implies, so it's a chronic disease. Um, it's wasting, so it's a disease that takes some time to show some outward effects. So by chronic, it means that it takes that time in order for that to be visible, at least for, for us to see in deer. And with the wasting disease part of it is that when, uh, a deer had the disease for quite some time and now we're starting to see those outward symptoms of the disease. It's starting to get skinnier. It's starting to act a little bit more abnormal. And so it's, it's more or less really looking like the animal is wasting away. KATIE: [00:04:09] So I am I correct in remembering that when, when you and I have talked about this before, it's not exactly eating away at the brain, but it kind of in a way is, am I remembering that correctly?AMANDA: [00:04:20] Well, it's causing a change in the brain. The disease can be detected throughout the nervous system. So in the brain and the spinal cord, um, in the lymph nodes throughout the body. And what happens is when, uh, if a deer is infected with it, those prions, which are abnormal shaped proteins, once those start to accumulate enough in the body, they start creating a change in things like the lymph tissue, like the brain. Then it starts creating this change in those tissues, which then create then that outward appearance or the clinical signs that we see. KATIE: [00:05:00] Perfect. So it's been around here in Wisconsin for a while. Why do we care about it here? What potential bad could it bring to Wisconsin?AMANDA: [00:05:09] Yeah, that's a great question. And, you know, we were monitoring or sampling for it for, you know, since 1999. And certainly we don't know when exactly it came into the state, but at least in that 2002, when we got those test results back. Uh, that's when we had at least first detected it here. And so by having the disease here, you know, looking at research and seeing what we know about the disease already is that our research is suggesting if it's left unmanaged, that CWD can eventually spread throughout our entire state here. And that other modeling research suggests an increase of CWD prevalence in a deer herd will cause a moderate to substantial long-term reduction in the harvestable surplus. And there's other researchers in other states like out in Wyoming and they're seeing indications that CWD may be reducing both the age structure and overall populations in some of the highest, uh, CWD prevalence areas out there. So if these indications are correct, ultimately, uh, this could lead to declines in Wisconsin. Which then could have a significant impact on deer hunting here in the state. KATIE: [00:06:32] I think it's, you know, important to note here that it isn't just Wisconsin that's dealing with this, right? It is, you know, a lot of states throughout the country. There are some, some other countries looking at this, correct? AMANDA: [00:06:45] Yeah, that's correct. KATIE: [00:06:46] Right, right. So you mentioned that we have been sampling and testing for it here in Wisconsin for quite some ...
Find Your Adventure, Go Wild In Wisconsin
Oct 15 2020
Find Your Adventure, Go Wild In Wisconsin
2020 has been an unpredictable year. Despite the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Wisconsinites have remained resilient. Although times have been tough, Wisconsinites have gotten outdoors to enjoy the many adventures available in our state.In this episode of Off the Record, we asked residents on Facebook to share their inspirational stories of how they found their adventure at Wisconsin State Parks this summer. These four stories represent a collective upward trend in outdoor activity throughout Wisconsin. Find your adventure in Wisconsin at https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/outdoorrecreation/adventure.html--------------------------------------TRANSCRIPTANNOUNCER: [00:00:00] Welcome to Wisconsin DNR's Wild Wisconsin Off the Record podcast. Information straight from the source.KATIE: [00:00:12] Welcome back to another episode of Wild Wisconsin Off the Record. I'm your host DNRs Acting Communications Director, Katie Grant. While the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly presented its fair share of challenges, Wisconsinites have remained resilient. And if there's one thing Wisconsinites did a lot of this year, it was get outdoors. Between the middle of March and June 20, 26.4 million people visited Wisconsin state parks, and throughout all of summer, our parks saw 14% more visitors than in 2019.The spring turkey season saw 20% more turkey licenses sold. And sales of first time fishing licenses nearly doubled with more than 20,000 more sold this year, than in 2019. In this year of uncertainty, the DNR is proud of the upward trend of people partaking in the exploration of all of the outdoor activities our state has to offer. Here's DNR Secretary Preston Cole with more.PRESTON: [00:01:17] Outdoor recreation is essential to our economy. Our quality of life, our personal well being and happiness. Wisconsin is home to 49 state parks, 15 state forests, 44 state trails, 84,000 miles of rivers and streams and roughly 15,000 lakes. Leaving folks with tons of opportunity to get outdoors. Being outdoors impacts us in a myriad of ways. But specifically our individual health and wellbeing. Outdoor recreation accounts for 7.8 billion economic impact in Wisconsin. Businesses that sell and rent bikes, kayaks, camping gear are all busier than ever.The increases that people are enjoying the great outdoors and everything that Wisconsin has to offer has been incredible for us to witness. It's clear to us that navigating this pandemic, that parks and Wisconsin's natural resources, in general, are essential for us as a people. And certainly for Wisconsinites.While we'll be exploring ways to enrich our parks in the short term and long term, looking for ways to improve the opportunities for newcomers, increases accessibility for individuals with mobility issues, provide better awareness and opportunities for those different ethnic backgrounds or social economic status.Even though you may see fewer DNR staff in person at your favorite state park, know that they are still working around the clock to ensure you have a positive and safe experience. KATIE: [00:02:42] We wanted to hear how you spent your summer finding adventure in Wisconsin. Our guests today share their stories of how they took advantage of Wisconsin's vast array of parks and recreation areas this summer. Some experienced things for the first time. Others continued old traditions. So sit back and listen in to hear their stories. ERIN: [00:03:05] Hi, my name is Erin and I am from New Berlin, Wisconsin, my boyfriend, Brandon, and our two dogs, Mac and Cam are on a journey to camp in fall at as many beautiful Wisconsin state parks as we possibly can. And this unprecedented summer really gave us an opportunity to take our first ever summer camping trip. So we ended up packing up our pop-up camper and headed an hour west of New Berlin to Lake Kegonsa in Stoughton, Wisconsin. And we had a truly unforgettable four day weekend. While at Lake Kegonsa we honestly explored every single dog-friendly hiking trail. And we even did some geocaching in the woods.And for those of you who have done geocaching before, there are a ton of these in Lake Kegonsa so I highly recommend trying it. But after a trip to the lake, we had hours of campfires. We saw a giant Osprey nest and honestly encountered more ticks and mosquitoes than I'd probably like to admit. We ended up making a memory we will never forget. And got to cross another state park off our list. So thank you so much, Wisconsin state parks and park staff for allowing us to keep our lives super adventurous during such an interesting time in our world history and letting us explore the hidden beauty that is Lake Kegonsa State Park. Next up, we have Mirror Lake State Park scheduled for this October and we can not wait.JOHN: [00:04:33] My name is John Stellflue. The COVID-19 virus has affected each and every one of us in some way, shape or form. You know, this spring, it caused two of my turkey hunts to be canceled. I had two tags, one for season three in zone one and one for season four in zone four. But with everything going on with Covid we all agreed we probably shouldn't get together as a group and hunt. I was very disappointed. I looked forward to these turkey hunts like many of you guys look forward to gun deer season. But as I drove to work the next morning, I realized that the border of zone one is just west of my home in Sun Prairie. My wheels started to spin.I knew it was some public land that could work just fine for us. I called my friend. He had the same tag and same season and told him, Hey, let's do this. And he said he was in. I had less than a week to scout, found us a few spots and the plan quickly started to come together for a last minute public land hunt.Hey, worst case scenario is we spend a few days social distancing in the turkey woods and perhaps find some morels and ramps. Nothing wrong with that. This was going to be my first public land hunt. We... I've always hunted private in the past. My biggest concern was that we were going to be dealing with a lot of hunting pressure.I couldn't have been more wrong. With all the people not working, Gym still being closed, the only thing many people could do for exercise was to walk the public land. We saw and heard a lot of them. After two and a half days of dodging people, I made the call to head to Governor Dodge State Park. My thought was, this is a very large park and we could escape the people.We went to the backside of Twin Valley Lake figuring we could get away from the crowds that were enjoying the park on the first day that the parks were open. Cause prior to this, they had been closed because of Covid. We were wrong. It seemed no matter what we did we couldn't escape the people who were enjoying the parks.As we ate a sandwich on the tailgate of my truck, desperately searching for answers, a friendly DNR park employee stopped and asked if we were seeing any turkeys. I said, all we're seeing is people. He gave us a tip and suggested an area of the park that wasn't frequented by a lot of people. We headed there to check it out.We really liked what we saw and both of us had spots picked out for the following morning. As the sun came up, I heard gobbling off to my left. I smiled... really big smile. Didn't take long before a group of Jakes showed themselves in front of me. I yelped at them and they started coming to my way. They stopped.
Run For The Record Books
Sep 30 2020
Run For The Record Books
Each year, over one million people use Wisconsin’s Ice Age Trail to recreate, meditate or take in the unique sights sculpted by a glacier thousands of years ago.Last spring, Coree Woltering, a North Face sponsored ultrarunner, embarked on a challenge that very few have attempted in the IATs 12,000-year history.For over 21 days, Woltering endured an ankle sprain, remnants of a tropical storm and a barrage of mosquitoes and ticks all in route to setting the record for the fastest known time across the trail. Not only did Woltering successfully overcome every obstacle, but in the process, he also helped raise over $28,000 for Feeding America, a national nonprofit that assists food banks across the country.In this episode of Off the Record, we sat down with Woltering to discuss his origins as an ultrarunner, his desire to be a champion for diversity in the world of outdoor sports and how cupcakes and Kwik Trip chicken sandwiches fuel his run. Follow Coree On Social MediaFacebookInstagramTwitterLearn more about the Ice Age Trail at https://www.iceagetrail.org/Listen to episode 47 -- Hitting Wisconsin’s Trails With The Thousand Miler--------------------------------------TRANSCRIPTANNOUNCER: [00:00:00] Welcome to Wisconsin DNR's Wild Wisconsin "Off the Record" podcast. Information straight from the source.KATIE: [00:00:10] Welcome back to another episode of Wild Wisconsin Off the Record. I'm your host DNR's Digital Communication Section Chief Katie Grant. The last six months have been full of uncertainty. Although the changes look a bit different for everyone.We've all had to adapt in some way. Early on in the pandemic, Coree Woltering an Ultra Marathon Runner from Ottawa, Illinois realized he was going to have to the shift gears as a sponsored athlete, he saw that races were being canceled for summer and his future was uncertain. He decided to turn lemons into lemonade and attempt to break a fastest known time record for running the Ice Age Trail across Wisconsin.And he decided to take it a step further by raising money for Feeding America, a national nonprofit that helps food banks all over the country. Coree's attempt began on June 1st at the Ice Age Trails, Western Terminus located in Interstate State Park in St. Croix Falls over the next 21 days, 13 hours and 35 minutes.Coree raced against the clock arriving at the Eastern Terminus in Sturgeon Bay on June 22nd. Beating the record by about four and a half hours. We chatted with Coree via zoom to hear what it was like to run 1200 miles and learn a bit more about the eating, training and music that goes into pulling off the success. So sit back and listen. It. COREE: [00:01:38] Hey guys. Yeah. So, um, my name is Coree and I am a professional Trail and Ultra Runner for the North Face. Um, so basically I get to go explore trails and different areas and try to run fast on them. KATIE: [00:01:57] That's a pretty simple way of describing it, but what you do sounds in reality, a lot harder than that. Uh, how did you get into long distance running? COREE: [00:02:08] Um, that is a great question because sometimes I still wonder that. So I grew up, you know, playing multiple sports and was running usually to stay in shape for the sports and then kind of realized I was decent at it. And, um, So I ran in high school, ran in college, um, but it is more sprints and middle distance that I was doing.And then I also ran cross country. So I had to kind of get used to a little bit longer of distances. And then, um, just through a few injuries and stuff, I actually took up triathlon because I was like, you know, I know how to run. I can swim. So may as well buy a bike and start riding and next thing, you know, I find myself racing the middle distance and the sprints on the track, but then I'm racing half Ironman races in the summer to stay in shape for everything. And, um, turned out to be pretty decent at that. And so I raced the world championships twice. And then, um, moved to Boulder, Colorado and thought I wanted to become a professional triathlete and started hanging out with trail runners and found out that trail running was my passion.KATIE: [00:03:20] Very cool. Competing in Ironman triathlons just absolutely blows my mind. I have a couple of friends who do it and it, to me is crazy. Cause I'm not a runner at all, but good for you for doing, is there an official distance where it is no longer? Just long distance running and it is suddenly Ultra Running.COREE: [00:03:41] Um, so Ultra Running would be considered basically anything over the typical marathon of 26.2 miles. Um, but I believe like the first like official ultra distance is 50 kilometers, so about 31 miles. KATIE: [00:03:57] All right. That makes sense. Congratulations. You very recently, uh, set the record for the fastest known time running the Ice Age Trail. Why did you specifically pick the Ice Age Trail and why now? COREE: [00:04:13] Yeah. Um, so I picked the Ice Age Trail because I do a lot of training on the southern Kettle Moraine area um, trails down there, and then I've done quite a bit of stuff in the Devils Lake area. So it just kind of became this thing of like, Okay.I've seen a couple areas of the Ice Age trail, but now I'd like to explore more of them. So in May, uh, I basically decided that I was going to go after the Ice Age Trail FKT in June. Um, so not a lot of time to plan, but I took a couple of trips up to northern Wisconsin and got on some of the more technical areas up there and just kind of learned in the course a little bit.And then, um, And then yeah, just went for it in June. And I guess now was the time to do it because, um, like with COVID like we, we didn't have any races happening and we really don't know when the next race will be happening. So because of that and like, I have time to kind of do this and then recover after and not have to worry about getting ready for another race or something.Um, Yeah. So that was the first part of why. Um, and then the second part of why actually kind of... kind of happened, you know, like, um, you know, three or four days before I started, um, the George Floyd incident, um, I had no idea just like how much of a movement that was going to start. Um, but at the time I felt like this was kind of like my time to do this as, um, just a positive story of people of color in the outdoors, doing awesome things because...Uh, there just weren't a lot of positive stories happening at the moment. KATIE: [00:06:03] Yeah, absolutely. The way that you got started in this particular one, I think is a, such a very cool story, especially with everything going on in the world, not only with, um, you know, like you had mentioned the incident with George Floyd, but also with COVID and kind of the world being completely different right now than it ever has been before. Have you ever done a race that's this long before. Or this many like consecutive days? COREE: [00:06:32] No. So like the longest race that I'v...
What 50 Years Of Clean Air Looks Like
May 20 2020
What 50 Years Of Clean Air Looks Like
Ninety-four percent of Wisconsinites live in an area that meets all federal air quality standards. Fifty short years ago, that wasn’t necessarily the case. The first Earth Day in 1970 paved the way for a couple of landmark environmental initiatives, including the signing of the Clean Air Act. The Clean Air Act is widely considered one of the most comprehensive and successful pieces of legislation ever signed into law. We continue to benefit from it today. The act has achieved tremendous reductions in air pollution, protecting public health and saving lives, while allowing for economic growth and development. To learn a bit more about what the Clean Air Act is and its impact on the reduction of air pollution throughout Wisconsin, we sat down with leading air quality experts Gail Good and Brad Pierce. Gail Good is the Director of the Air Management program at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and a co-chair for the National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA) Emissions and Modeling Committee. Brad Pierce is the Principal Investigator of RAQMS (Real-time Air Quality Modeling System) and Director of the Space, Science and Engineering Center at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.  Learn more about air quality in Wisconsin at https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/AirQuality/index.asp Download the Wisconsin Air Quality Monitoring App for Android devices here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=app.envitech.Wisconsin Download the Wisconsin Air Quality Monitoring App for Apple devices here: https://www.apple.com/lae/ios/app-store/--------------------------------------TRANSCRIPTAnnouncer: [00:00:00] Welcome to Wisconsin DNR's Wild Wisconsin - Off The Record podcast. Information straight from the source.Katie Grant: [00:00:11] Welcome back to another episode of Wild Wisconsin - Off The Record. I'm your host DNR's digital media coordinator, Katie Grant. The first Earth Day was a turning point for environmentalism in our country. The awareness it braised resulted in real changes, including the creation of the environmental protection agency and the signing of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts.Without these acts, there were few things in place to limit pollution. As a state, Wisconsin has made major progress in the last 50 years when it comes to air quality. To help us celebrate Clean Air Month and the 50th anniversary of the Clean Air Act, we wanted to learn a bit more about how the air was in Wisconsin in 1970, how it is today and how you can help us keep the air clean for the future.On today's episode, we sat down with Gail Good and Brad Pierce. Gail is the director of the air management program here at the DNR. In addition to her work for the DNR, she is a co-chair for the National Association of Clean Air Agencies' emissions and modeling committee. Brad is the director of the Space Science and Engineering Center at UW -Madison.He has more than 25 years of experience in the design, development, and execution of global atmospheric models. Since 2001, he has been the principal investigator of the real-time air quality monitoring system, which has been used globally since 2012 to make real-time air quality predictions. Sit back and listen in to learn more about air quality in Wisconsin and hear the answers to questions you asked about it on Instagram.  Gail Good: [00:01:53] My name is Gail good. I'm the director of the Air management program here at DNR. Brad Pierce: [00:01:58] And I'm Brad Pierce. I'm the director of the Space Science and Engineering Center at UW-Madison. And I'm an atmospheric scientist. Katie Grant: [00:02:07] Fantastic. So we are here today to talk about the 50th anniversary of the Clean Air Act.  So what is the Clean Air Act? Gail Good: [00:02:16] The Clean Air Act is one of the most successful pieces of federal legislation that's ever been enacted. You mentioned it was put into place 50 years ago, and that's, that's true actually at the end of this year, right on December 31st, 1970. So when the Clean Air Act was signed into existence, it's gone through several amendments. Clean Air Act, um, was designed really to, uh, cut down on air pollution while growing the economy.And the benefit of that, the cutdown and air pollution is that it's actually saved lives over the 50 years it's been in existence. Katie Grant: [00:02:49] Fantastic. Was it just for Wisconsin or is it a federal thing that covers every state? Gail Good: [00:02:55] The Clean Air Act is a federal piece of legislation, so it does indeed cover every state.Katie Grant: [00:03:00] When it was enacted, what did it initially mean for residents of Wisconsin and I guess the entire country.Brad Pierce: [00:03:07] From personal experience? Katie Grant: [00:03:08] Yeah! Brad Pierce: [00:03:09] So I remember driving, I grew up in Minneapolis and we had family out East. I remember driving through Gary, Indiana on the way out East in the, in the early seventies and you could smell Gary, Indiana at that point, and it was very polluted.And now when you drive through Gary, Indiana, it doesn't smell like pollution anymore and the air much better. So, you know, that's from personal experience. Seeing that change dramatically over the, over my lifetime is pretty amazing. Gail Good: [00:03:41] Yeah, when the act was first put in place in the seventies it really gave us the ability to begin to study air pollution and its effects and how much it was kind of impacting people and of the world around them.And then over time, it's given us the ability to, you know, write permits for sources and just understand air quality issues in even more detail. Katie Grant: [00:04:03] What does it mean for us today? Because it's still in place now. Yes. So what, what does it mean for us today? What, what, might we see that we wouldn't see if we didn't have the Clean Air Act today.Gail Good: [00:04:15] So we're we implement the federal Clean Air Act here, um, in the air program at DNR. Um, we basically, what happens is through that act, EPA sets requirements and boundaries and things that we can do and implement here. So we're doing that here in the program. And then, um, we work within those boundaries to implement the act still today.So it's very much a part of what we're doing now in the air program. Katie Grant: [00:04:41] And you had mentioned seeing the change in Indiana, but what has changed about Wisconsin's air quality in the last 50 years, and how might people who aren't scientists notice a difference here in our state? Brad Pierce: [00:04:55] So I think it's a little. I do kind of global air quality. So for me it's a little easier to talk about it on maybe, for the United States as a whole. And if I look back on, uh, when I used to work at NASA, we were doing work with satellite data that was measuring the a...
Hitting Wisconsin’s Trails With The Thousand Miler
May 6 2020
Hitting Wisconsin’s Trails With The Thousand Miler
Wisconsin has thousands of miles of trails that can be used for everything from hiking to snowmobiling – and lots in between. State trails are an easy way to start exploring Wisconsin’s outdoors. We’re also fortunate enough to have two of 11 National Scenic Trails wind their way through our state -- all of the Ice Age Trail and about 200 miles of the North Country Trail. The Ice Age National Scenic Trail spends nearly 1,200 miles winding its way through Wisconsin’s many lakes, river valleys, hills, and even state parks. In 2013, author Melanie Radzicki McManus decided to take on the Ice Age National Scenic trail to set a trail running record. And once wasn’t enough for her – she hiked and ran the trail in both directions. She also chronicled her journey in “Thousand Miler: Adventures Hiking the Ice Age Trail.” Beyond her adventures in Wisconsin, she has traveled the world hiking and writing. On this episode of Wild Wisconsin – Off the Record, Melanie shares her experience hiking in Wisconsin and beyond, plus gives her best tips for getting started. Also weighing in is Brigit Brown, the DNR’s section chief for recreation management, who shares more on Wisconsin state trails. Listen in to learn more about Wisconsin’s thousands of miles of trails and the many ways you can use them.  Learn more about Melanie Radzicki McManus at: https://thethousandmiler.com/ Learn more about Wisconsin’s state trails and find your nearest one at https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/findapark.htmlFind your next adventure at https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/outdoorrecreation/adventure.html--------------------------------------TRANSCRIPTAnnouncer: [00:00:00] Welcome to Wisconsin DNR's Wild Wisconsin -- Off The Record podcast, information straight from the source.Katie Grant: [00:00:13] Welcome back to another episode of Wild Wisconsin -- Off The Record. I'm your host, DNR's digital media coordinator, Katie Grant. These are unprecedented times as we embrace our new normal. We at the DNR hope you find this podcast to be a little escape from all things COVID-19. On this episode of Wild Wisconsin, I talk with award-winning journalist, author and hiking enthusiast, Melanie Radzicki-McManus. Available now, the Wisconsin native's first book, the Thousand-Miler, is a memoir about her record-setting trail run of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Melanie has traveled the world hiking and trail running. She joins us to talk about her journey.As you know, several things are postponed with COVID-19 including this podcast. We've recorded this episode before the COVID-19 pandemic when Melanie was about to start her next long-through hike. You'll hear a bit more about that in this episode, but... which... We wanted you to know that she is back home and safe now.As a friendly reminder under Governor Ever' Safer At Home Order for those looking to explore the outdoors, we encourage you to stay in your local community and social distance to help slow the spread of COVID-19. For now, listen into my conversation with Melanie Radzicki-McManus, the Thousand-Miler.Melanie Radzicki-McManus: [00:01:32] My name is Melanie Radzicki-McManus, and I am a freelance writer. Um, travel is one of my specialties, and I write a lot about hiking in particular, uh, or active travel. But hiking is my super niche spot. Katie Grant: [00:01:47] Yeah. So we brought you on here today to talk about one of the experiences you've had here in Wisconsin.So back in 2013 and in 2015, you actually ran the Ice Age Trail. Why did you decide that this was something you wanted to do in the first place and why the Ice Age Trail specifically? Melanie Radzicki-McManus: [00:02:07] Well, it's kind of a longish answer and it stretches back to, uh, I guess you could say 2009 when I first learned about the Camino.Um, and in, um, in Spain. It's a ancient pilgrimage trail and a lot of people were hiking it. So I went over to Spain and I was just captivated by this long-distance trail and following these yellow blazes through the Spanish countryside. And so I started going back many times, writing many articles. I had an app guidebook on the Camino.And then in 2012, a running, friend of mine named Jason Dorgan told me about something called the Ice Age Trail in Wisconsin. And he said, it's a lot like this Camino you love so much, Melanie. So I researched it that night and I was flabbergasted because here I was a travel writer for, I don't even know at that time, 20 some years.I had never heard of the Ice Age Trail. When I learned that it was a long-distance hiking trail, twice the length of the Camino, almost 1,200 miles in my own backyard. One of just 11 prestigious national scenic trails. I knew I had to, um, explore it. And I didn't have too much time to take off of work to explore it.So I thought, well, I want to hike the whole thing and run it. Um, or I want to explore the whole trail. I don't have that much time, but I'm good at running, so I could actually run the trail like my friend Jason did, who had set what's called a fast-packing record on the trail in 2007. And I thought, oh, he's the only one that's ever tried to do it.And he's a guy. So I could say, I could set the record for women and just to have a bunch of fun in the process, write a bunch of stories, learn about the trail, et cetera. So that's what got me started the first time in 2013 and then I just got so hooked. Um, I was obsessed in a healthy way with the trail and being outside for such a long period of time. And so I decided I wanted to write a book about it, and then that meant I needed to hike it again, or that's what I told my husband.Katie Grant: [00:04:03] Once wasn't enough. Melanie Radzicki-McManus: [00:04:04] Right. So it's like I had to do it again opposite direction for the book. So I did it twice. Katie Grant: [00:04:09] So you wrote a book. Tell us a little bit about ... About the experience of writing the book and I guess what it's called so we can find it. Melanie Radzicki-McManus: [00:04:15] It's called Thousand-Miler: Adventures Hiking the Ice Age Trail, and it's this story. It's a story of the Ice Age Trail. It gives the history, it talks about my experience on the trail, and that's kind of the thread that holds the book together.And as I encountered different hikers along the trail, I weave their stories into the book as well. I also have a chapter devoted to Jason and his, um, fast-packing attempt, and another chapter devoted to the first person to through-hike the trail who did it back in I think like 1979 when I was probably in a disco.Katie Grant: [00:04:47] Wow. What were your favorite segments of the Ice Age Trail? Melanie Radzicki-McManus: [00:04:53] I'm glad you said favorite segments with an s. Cause I'm a person who never has one favorite. There are so many wonderful segments in this trail. Um, I like the Chippewa... Chippewa Moraine segment a lot. It's in the northwest portion of the state because it's just kind of a perfect, you know, not too hilly, but not flat.The trails are all perfectly groomed. You pass these ...
50 Years of Earth Day - Off The Record Podcast
Apr 22 2020
50 Years of Earth Day - Off The Record Podcast
Earth Day was founded by Wisconsin’s very own Gaylord Nelson. Then a senator, and former Wisconsin governor, Nelson had a simple idea for a day of awareness for the planet.  The year was 1970. Gas was cheap. There were no regulations like the Clean Air Act or the Clean Water Act to keep factories from polluting our air, land, and water. A rising consciousness after several environmental disasters had the country buzzing with a desire to do more. His idea took off, and millions joined in across the country. Today, Earth Day is celebrated by more than a billion people around the globe. Nelson’s daughter, Tia, is paving the way for his legacy to live on through her environmental advocacy. She is the managing director on climate at the Outrider Foundation. In this episode, she sheds light on her father’s work, what Earth Day means to her and how you can get involved.Learn more about Nelson’s legacy in the spring issue of Wisconsin Natural Resources Magazine: https://dnr.wi.gov/wnrmag/ Learn more about Outrider Foundation at https://outrider.org/features/earth-day-film/--------------------------------------TRANSCRIPTAnnouncer: [00:00:00] Welcome to Wisconsin DNRs Wild Wisconsin - Off The Record podcast, information straight from the source.Katie Grant: [00:00:12] Welcome back to another episode of Wild Wisconsin - Off The Record. I'm your host, DNRs digital media coordinator, Katie Grant. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. That's 50 years of living, changing and advancing. In 1970 a gallon of gas was 36 cents. The Beatles released, "Let it be" and then later broke up and a quarter would get you a dozen eggs. It was also the year of the very first Earth Day founded by former Wisconsin governor Gaylord Nelson. It was a time when factories pumped pollutants into the air, lakes and rivers with few repercussions. Gas guzzling cars ruled the roads. Before 1970 there was no EPA, no Clean Air Act, and no Clean Water Act.Then a senator, Gaylord Nelson, had an idea to raise awareness about air and water pollution. His idea took off and on the first Earth Day in 1970 millions of Americans participated in rallies, marches and teach-ins for environmental education across the country. Earth Day catalyzed a movement in the United States that founded the Environmental Protection Agency and ignited a spirit of stewardship that has driven progress for five decades.Today, Earth Day is celebrated around the world with billions of people participating in their own way. Although Gaylord Nelson passed away in 2005, his legacy lives on through his daughter, Tia, who was 14 at the time of the first Earth Day. She has since followed in her father's environmental protection footsteps.Today, Tia Nelson is the managing director on climate for the Outrider Foundation. She is internationally recognized as a champion for environmental stewardship and climate change. Before the Safer at Home order, we spoke with Tia in early March to hear more about her father's life work, what Earth Day means to her and how you can get involved.Just because most of us are at home doesn't mean you can't celebrate Earth Day this year as we all do what we can to slow the spread of COVID-19, the DNR encourages you to celebrate 50 years of Earth Day close to home. Be sure to practice social distancing if you're out in the community. At the Wisconsin DNR, we embrace Earth Day 365. For us, every day is Earth Day. Sit back and listen in to how a Wisconsin senator helped establish Earth Day 50 years ago and how his daughter keeps his memory alive today. Tia Nelson: [00:02:37] My name is Tia Nelson. I'm managing director for the climate change program at the Outrider Foundation. We seek to educate, engage, and inspire action on big global challenges like climate change, help people understand the risks, but importantly also help them understand the opportunities to be a part of the solution.Katie Grant: [00:03:00] Fantastic. So you could be doing anything in the world. Why are you so passionate about the environment? Tia Nelson: [00:03:07] I have always had a love of nature. I spent a lot of time in the outdoors as a child. I went on to study wildlife ecology at the University of Wisconsin. I had wanted to be a veterinarian, but I'm pretty severely dyslexic, and so I struggled in school and once I found out that veterinarians had to go to school as long as doctors did, I figured that wasn't the best path for me.And I had the real privilege to study under, uh Joe Hickey, uh, who had done really important early work on how DDT was thinning, uh, eggshells and impairing, uh, the reproduction of bird species, especially, uh, predators, um, in Wisconsin and across the country. It was a big inspiration to my father who then went on to introduce the first bill to ban the use of DDT.So I was, uh, influenced, um, by great professors like Joe Hickey, uh, Orin, Ronstead, uh, Bob McCabe. Um, Bob was Dean of the Wildlife Ecology school. When I, uh, started attending the university and he actually inscribed, uh, and gave to my father the first day that my father was sworn in as governor, uh, a inscribed first edition copy of the Sand County Almanac with a beautiful inscription in it. I haven't here on my desk, um saying, um, "with and in between the lines of this book, you shall find great wisdom." Um, so I guess that's a long way of saying that, uh, nature was imbued in me as a child just as it was for my father, and I just seem to gravitate to the issue naturally and studied it in school and went on to work in the Capitol.I worked for the DNR as a fisheries technician summertimes while I was in college. It was a great job. Um, it's always been my life's work and my passion. Katie Grant: [00:05:07] Yeah. Did you ever feel pressure to work in the environmental space or you just knew it was what you wanted to do? Tia Nelson: [00:05:13] I just did it. It just was me. It was just a part of me and, uh, a keen interest of mine from a very young age.Uh, it must have obviously been influenced by my father and his work. Um, but I don't remember an epiphany moment. Um, it simply was imbued in me from a very early age, and it wasn't something that I honestly gave a lot of thought to. It was just who I was. Katie Grant: [00:05:43] Tell us a little bit about your father's legacy. For anyone who doesn't know, why is he so important to Wisconsin and Earth Day in general? Tia Nelson: [00:05:50] Well, my father grew up in a small town called Clear Lake in Polk County in northwestern Wisconsin. Not far from the St. Croix River where he camped and fished and canoed and his experiences in nature as a child had a big influence on him.The places his father took him, uh, the St. Croix, uh, which I just mentioned. Also, they visited the Apostle Islands. It's interesting for me to reflect on the fact that those childhood experiences in nature here in these magnificent, uh, natural landscapes in Wisconsin became inspiration for him once he was elected to office.And he served in the state senate for 10 years. He became governor when I was two. In 1958, he was elected and he became known pr...
Shape Your Future - Off The Record Bonus
Mar 11 2020
Shape Your Future - Off The Record Bonus
Every 10 years, the U.S. population is counted via a census – and the 2020 census is right around the corner. In March, about 95% of the nation’s households will be receiving an invitation in the mail to participate. And 2020 will mark the first year that the census can be completed online. How and why should you respond to that invitation? In this week's bonus episode, we talked with Joanna Beilman-Dulin from the Department of Administration to learn why it's important to participate and how it all works.--------------------------------------TRANSCRIPTAnnouncer: [00:00:00] Welcome to Wisconsin DNRs Wild Wisconsin - Off The Record podcast, information straight from the source.Katie Grant: [00:00:12] Welcome back to another bonus episode of Wild Wisconsin - Off The Record. I'm your host DNRs digital media coordinator, Katie Grant. At the DNR, one of the tools we use to better understand animal populations such as eagles, deer, rattlesnakes and more is to simply count them. That's also the goal of the census that happens every 10 years to better understand our human population and where we all live. 2020 is a big year for a lot of things. We're celebrating the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and the Clean Air Act, the 30th anniversary of Wisconsin recycling laws, and if you couldn't guess where this was going, the 2020 census.For this week's bonus episode, I sat down with Joanna Beilman-Dulin to learn why it's so important for you to participate and how it all works. So to sit back and listen in. Joanna Beilman-Dulin: [00:01:04] I am Joanna Beilman-Dulin and I am an employee at the Department of Administration. And what I do there is I am doing census coordination.The 2020 census is right around the corner and it's so important for Wisconsin, and I do whatever I can to help promote the census and answer questions about it. Katie Grant: [00:01:22] Fantastic. So, let's just kind of start at the beginning. What is the census? Joanna Beilman-Dulin: [00:01:27] Sure. The census is a count of our nation's population. Every 10 years. Article 1 Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution mandates that our nation's population be counted.So we know where people live, what communities look like and it helps inform a lot of really important decisions made at the federal level, state level and even the local level. Katie Grant: [00:01:47] So how does it all work? Joanna Beilman-Dulin: [00:01:48] In mid-March, about 95% of the nation's households are going to get a, an invitation in the mail to participate in the census.And when they get those invitations, you can go online, uh, to fill out your census online. It's actually really exciting. This is the first time ever that you can do the census online. Katie Grant: [00:02:06] Yay, technology. Joanna Beilman-Dulin: [00:02:07] Absolutely, yay technology. Um, it's also mobile-friendly, fun fact. Um, but so people will get an invitation in the mail to participate and hopefully everybody responds right away, of course.But, um, folks as if they don't respond right away, they'll continue to get a couple of reminders in the mail. Um, and then eventually a paper copy would come to them. Katie Grant: [00:02:26] OK. And then what if you don't fill out the paper copy? Joanna Beilman-Dulin: [00:02:30] Well, if you don't fill out the paper copy and you don't fill it out online or by phone, which are the three ways you can fill it out, um, beginning in about May, uh, census takers will, uh, be going door to door to, uh, check in with folks and make sure that they are remembering that they need to fill out the census. It is required under our constitution for every resident of the United States to participate. Uh, so they'll be going door to door to, um, connect with folks and follow up with people who haven't filled it out yet.We want to make sure that we get a full, accurate count of everyone because as I said before, it just makes such a difference in our nation's policies. Katie Grant: [00:03:06] Yeah. What kind of questions can you expect to be asked on the census? Joanna Beilman-Dulin: [00:03:10] So there are a number of different demographic type questions. Uh. How many people live in your household? What are their names? Uh, what race, what, uh, sex are people, questions of that nature. There's a lot of information that can be turned into statistics that can be useful later on. Um, any responses that people give are not going to be personally identifiable down the road. And, um, one question that's not on there actually is a citizenship question.There was a lot of discussion about this several months ago about whether there would or would not be a citizenship question. There is not. Katie Grant: [00:03:45] OK. Good to know. So how is all of this information used and why is it so important that we participate? Joanna Beilman-Dulin: [00:03:51] It is used in so many different ways. I'm so glad you asked that question.It will help guide the distribution of about $675 billion in federal funds. It will be used to determine how many different congressional seats, uh, each state gets in the next, uh, decade. Um, and it will also be used to help inform decisions that are made at the local level. It will be turned into demographic information that can be used by businesses trying to decide should we expand, should we relocate? Who are our customers? It will be used by, uh, you know, climate scientists and people making environmental policy decisions to look at where a different population centers and how are different governmental policies impacting people? Katie Grant: [00:04:33] What are some of the reasons that people sometimes choose not to participate?Joanna Beilman-Dulin: [00:04:39] I'm really glad you asked that question because there are a lot of historically under-counted populations. Um, our goal, of course, every 10 years is to count and account for every single person living in the nation, but some folks might be hard to locate, hard to contact, maybe nervous about sharing their information with the government.Um, there are a wide range of historical reasons. There are a lot of, um, more contemporary reasons as well. Um, and so we want to take opportunities like this to reach out to people and, you know, encourage them, ask them to respond. Um, even if they're a little bit nervous. Um, census responses are protected and kept confidential by federal law.Um, your, in your responses that you provide to the census are not going to be shared with any outside agency, including other agencies of the government. They reside purely within the U.S. Census Bureau. Um, the Census Bureau will then turn that into statistical information that can be used, but they will never be releasing any personal, uh, personally identifiable information.Katie Grant: [00:05:42] And they're not asking for things like your social security number or your phone number or anything like that, right? Joanna Beilman-Dulin: [00:05:48] They are wanting to get just demographic data. T...
Celebrating Wisconsin’s Women in Research - Off The Record Podcast
Mar 4 2020
Celebrating Wisconsin’s Women in Research - Off The Record Podcast
More and more women are getting involved in science-based careers historically dominated by men. Although women are still underrepresented in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has a number of women scientists. In honor of International  Women’s Day on March 8, we talked with three women research scientists at the DNR. Listen in as Stephanie Shaw, Jennifer Stenglein and Christine Anhalt-Depies discuss their work, experiences as researchers and their advice for other women interested in science-based careers.--------------------------------------TRANSCRIPTAnnouncer: [00:00:00] Welcome to Wisconsin DNRs Wild Wisconsin - Off The Record podcast, information straight from the source. Katie Grant: [00:00:12] Welcome back to another episode of Wild Wisconsin - Off The Record, I'm your host, DNRs digital media coordinator, Katie Grant. International Women's Day is March 8th. It's a global day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. International Women's Day has occurred for well over a century with the first gathering in 1911 which was supported by over a million people. The 2020 theme encourages us to work together to create a gender equal world. According to the UNESCO's Institute of Statistics, only about 30% of the world's scientific researchers are women.Let's meet a few of them. Jennifer Stenglein: [00:00:51] Hi, I'm Jennifer Stenglein. Christine Anhalt-Depies: [00:00:53] Hi, I'm Christine Anhalt-Depies.Stephanie Shaw: [00:00:55] Hi, I'm Stephanie Shaw. Katie Grant: [00:00:57] These three women all work for our Office of Applied Science. Sit back and listen in to our conversation about the obstacles faced by women in STEM fields, what inspired them to pursue a career in science and the advice that they have for girls who are interested in following a similar path.Jennifer Stenglein: [00:01:14] All right, so I'm a research scientist, a quantitative wildlife research scientist, and my job is a couple of different things. Part of it is working on a statewide trail camera project called Snapshot Wisconsin, where we work with a bunch of volunteers to collect data for wildlife decision support. And the other part of my job is about deer and deer populations.So we gather data statewide to become inputs into our population models and derive population estimates for each deer management unit of Wisconsin. And we work with wildlife management staff across the state, and they work with their County Deer Advisory Councils to help get that information out there.Katie Grant: [00:02:00] Very cool. How about you, Christine? Christine Anhalt-Depies: [00:02:03] I am also a research scientist with the DNR and like Jen, I work on the Snapshot Wisconsin project. I'm the project coordinator. So that involves working with a whole team of people, including Jen, um, where we partner with the people of the state to monitor wildlife using this statewide network of trail cameras.Stephanie Shaw: [00:02:23] So I'm a fisheries research scientist for the DNR. So very similar stuff to what the other ladies work on, except I am obviously fish oriented, kind of how, uh, um, Jen mentioned it or it's, um, quantitative population dynamics, I guess. So it's a lot of modeling. Um, and kind of looking at taking info from a lot of management assessments and really looking at how kind of aquatic ecology, um, harvest and different types of things kind of play out.And trying to help kind of get our managers information on kind of the best things to do for their sport fish populations. Katie Grant: [00:02:59] Very cool. I feel like I, I'm not the smartest person in the room right now, surrounded by a lot of really smart women, which is super cool. What got each of you interested in a career in science and I guess, how old were you when you knew that this or something like it was what you wanted to do? Stephanie, let's start with you. Stephanie Shaw: [00:03:17] Um, you know, I always remember liking science as a little kid. I don't know that I recognize it as science, but I liked being outside and I liked, you know, typical tomboy, girly things like bugs and dirt and fish and animals. And, um, I guess I didn't really get into science until kind of school and later, you know, when you start to get formal classes and stuff. And I, though, they were always my favorite classes, you know, and um, that kind of continued through college. And, um, I guess eventually I ended up where I am, where I could do science and be outdoors and all that good stuff. So, yeah. Katie Grant: [00:03:53] And why fish? Stephanie Shaw: [00:03:55] Ah, interesting question. Um, I really like being on the water. I do fish, not so much anymore. Uh, cause I think about fish all the time and I think I kinda got into fisheries really. I don't know. Aquatic ecology was really interesting to me. I find it kind of fascinating because, you know, unlike maybe some other national resources, you can't really see what's going on.It's kind of a mystery. So it's kinda cool to be able to kind of like dive in there and do sampling and kind of see what's going on underneath the water. And I don't know, I just think it's fascinating. Katie Grant: [00:04:27] That works. Stephanie Shaw: [00:04:28] Okay. Katie Grant: [00:04:28] Christine? How about you?Christine Anhalt-Depies: [00:04:30] Like Stephanie, I've always been interested in wildlife and the outdoors from an early age.Um, and I have a pretty specific memory where I was able to put a career to wildlife in the outdoors for the first time. Um, growing up I did a lot of camping and hiking and went on a vacation with my family to, uh, Badlands National Park. Uh, and there were a couple of women who were, uh, camping near us.And doing a mark-recapture study on prairie dogs. And I had the opportunity to go out with them and help them with some of their fieldwork. Uh, one of the mornings when we camping and for the first time learned that there was this whole career path that you could do where you work with wildlife and you get to be outside.And so I guess I'm one of those sort of unusual people who from the age of eight or nine, knew exactly what I wanted to do. And, um, ended up. Sticking with that career path for most of the most, most of my education. Katie Grant: [00:05:29] Very cool. Jennifer Stenglein: [00:05:30] Yeah. Similarly, I really enjoyed being outdoors as a kid, and we did camping and fishing and things outside, so that definitely helped me develop my interests.I didn't know I wanted to be this, uh, a Ph.D. wildlife researcher when I grew up. I had a fantastic science teacher in high school who I'm still very good friends with, Kevin Hennis, and he, uh, allowed me to do an independent study on conservation. And gave me a whole bunch of books of.. Aldo Leopold.. was one.I grew up in Ohio and so Aldo Leopold wasn't a regular part of the high school curriculum in Ohio, but I learned about ...
It's Your First Buck, Buddy! - Off The Record Podcast
Feb 19 2020
It's Your First Buck, Buddy! - Off The Record Podcast
During the 2019 hunting season, we asked you to pass it on and take someone hunting with you. Justin Morrissey was already a step ahead of us and was working with his best friend, Joey Wakeen, who has Down syndrome, to get ready for the season. The friends, who are really more like brothers, decided it was time for Joey to give hunting a try. They started, without success, with turkeys in the spring. After practicing shooting for safety and accuracy all summer and fall, they were ready for deer season. Days before Joey’s birthday they headed out into the stand and had success – Joey’s first buck! On this episode of the Wild Wisconsin - Off The Record Podcast, we sat down with them to learn more about their friendship, what it was like for Joey to get his first buck (from both of their perspectives), and why mentoring is so important to the Wisconsin tradition of hunting and fishing.Learn more about National Shooting Sports Foundation and the +One Movement at https://www.letsgoshooting.org/plusonemovement/Learn more about mentored hunting in Wisconsin at https://dnr.wi.gov/education/outdoorskills/mentor.html--------------------------------------TRANSCRIPTAnnouncer: [00:00:00] Welcome to Wisconsin DNR's Wild Wisconsin - Off The Record podcast -- information straight from the source. Katie Grant: [00:00:09] Welcome back to another episode of Wild Wisconsin - Off The Record. I'm your host DNR's digital media coordinator, Katie Grant. At Wisconsin DNR, we love sharing your stories, whether they're about how you fell in love at a state park, how you learned to fish, that one time you saw a rare bird on your backyard feeder or really anything else in between. We're delighted when you tell these stories to your friends on social media and tag us in them, and we get even more excited when you allow us to share your stories with the world.Leading up to the 2019 deer season, we started to get tagged in a series of posts from Justin Morrissey about his experience mentoring his friend Joey Wakeen -- who's really more like a brother -- to get ready for Joey's first time deer hunting. We silently followed along hopeful that Joey would have success.Justin Morrissey: [00:01:01] All right, Joey and I are ready to go. What do you think Joey? Joey Wakeen: [00:01:05] Ready to go. Justin Morrissey: [00:01:08] That's right. We're ready to go. So yeah, we just got our stuff ready here at the truck. I got, I got the camera, I got the big gun here. Joey's got the .308 on him and uh, we're going to stay right by each other the whole way and get off to the blind.[gun shot] Joey, you got him. You got it buddy. You got him. What do you think, buddy? Dude, look at that. Joey, it's your first buck buddy. Joey Wakeen: [00:01:46] I got it. I got shot a buck. I just shot a buck. I got it, mom. It's just, this is good. This boy. Justin Morrissey: [00:01:58] Tonight. What's the day today? Joey Wakeen: [00:02:00] I shot a buck. Justin Morrissey: [00:02:02] Joey shot a buck. The date doesn't even matter. Yeah, it is the day that Joey Wakeen got his first deer.Joey Wakeen: [00:02:09] Yeah. Justin Morrissey: [00:02:10] And it's a nice six pointer, isn't it?Joey Wakeen: [00:02:12] Yeah! Justin Morrissey: [00:02:13] Right on. Good job, buddy. So anyways, uh, and guess what? What, what, what day is Friday this week? Joey Wakeen: [00:02:20] This is fun night. This is my birthday. Justin Morrissey: [00:02:23] It is Joey's birthday. This is like your birthday buck. Huh? That's a good present, huh? Joey Wakeen: [00:02:30] Yeah! Justin Morrissey: [00:02:30] So what do you think? Joey Wakeen: [00:02:32] This is good. Justin Morrissey: [00:02:33] This is just plain old good, isn't it?Joey Wakeen: [00:02:36] Yeah, it is pretty good. Justin Morrissey: [00:02:37] Right on, buddy. All right. Katie Grant: [00:02:40] I was able to chat with Justin and Joey to learn a bit more about what the experience was like for them. Why mentoring is important in the world of hunting and fishing and what their next big adventure will be. So sit back and listen in. Justin Morrissey: [00:02:54] My name is Justin Morrissey. I am the manager of social media for the National Shooting Sports Foundation.I grew up in Baldwin, Wisconsin, which is in the west-central part of Wisconsin, uh, kind of close to the Minnesota border. And I grew up hunting. Uh, I'm very passionate about it. My dad got me introduced to it and my brother and I definitely, um, kind of built, built up each other over the years and helped each other gain new experience and we kind of motivated each other to, and challenged each other to get more involved in hunting and try new things.And then over the years we got other friends involved and had a lot of great experiences. And that kind of led to me having a career in the outdoor industry. And then when, let's see, it was bud 10 years ago. I was a sophomore in high school when my drama or speech teacher forensics coach, uh, Roxy Wakeen, and, uh, she approached me and asked me if I would be available to mentor her son Joey.And so I became Joey's respite care provider for, uh, at that point. And I've been that for about 10 years, but there were some periods in between that, um, like when I moved to Connecticut for three and a half years that I wasn't really around as much to hang out with Joey. Um, but now I moved back to Wisconsin, still have my same job of work remotely, and it's kind of put me in a position where I can mentor Joey again and hang out with him. Katie Grant: [00:04:36] Cool, Joey, why don't you tell us a little bit about who you are? Joey Wakeen: [00:04:41] Oh, I'm Joey, I'm out. I go to work. My second cousin goes to middle school. Yeah. I working at clean and clean, clean, all busy. So it's like they got to go to them. This is his land. I shot in a deer about, I'm going to check his shoulder. This is, yes. Good, down.Justin Morrissey: [00:05:13] So, so what do you, what do you like to do for fun, Joey? Like, what do you like to do for fun besides go hunting now? You like to play basketball, right? Joey Wakeen: [00:05:24] Yeah. Justin Morrissey: [00:05:25] You like to go bowling.Joey Wakeen: [00:05:26] Yeah, basketball and bowling.Justin Morrissey: [00:05:29] Is there a big one? Swimming in the summertime? Joey Wakeen: [00:05:32] Yeah, swimming and this is last summer. Justin Morrissey: [00:05:39] And you're probably about rea...
Wisconsin State Parks: A Love Story - Off The Record Podcast
Feb 5 2020
Wisconsin State Parks: A Love Story - Off The Record Podcast
There’s a lot of love for Wisconsin’s state parks. In honor of Valentine’s Day, visitors share their Wisconsin State Park love stories about first dates, surprise engagements and scenic wedding days. Listen in to hear how their special day is something they’ll remember forever. --------------------------------------TRANSCRIPTAnnouncer: [00:00:00] Welcome to Wisconsin DNRs Wild Wisconsin - Off the Record podcast, information straight from the source. Katie Grant: [00:00:12] Welcome back to another episode of Wild Wisconsin - Off the Record, I'm your host, DNRs digital media coordinator, Katie Grant. When I started my job here at Wisconsin DNR, one of the first fun facts I learned was that you could get married in a state park.I had no idea that was even a possibility, let alone something that people actually did. I let the fact leave my brain until this last summer when I interviewed Jane Simkins and Missy Vanlanduyt for Episode 42 - How Do You OutWiGo? On that episode, Jane said, "people use parks as a platform to sort of bring people together." A short conversation about the opportunities to use state parks for your wedding ensued, and that got us thinking, what sort of a role have state parks played in your love stories? We put that question on a shelf until now. In honor of Valentine's Day next week, we asked for your state park love stories, whether you went on a first date at a state park, got engaged or married at one or anything else in between, and we got you guys to tell us them in your own words.Now I'm a bit of a nerd about Valentine's Day. It's been my favorite holiday for as long as I can remember, and I've definitely driven my friends crazy with how much I like to celebrate it. So, to say I've had fun reading and listening to your stories is a bit of an understatement. Sit back and listen in as we hear from our listeners about how state parks have played a role in their lives.Zach: [00:01:43] Hi, this is Zach. Erika: [00:01:44] And this is Erica. Zach: [00:01:46] And, uh, our story begins like many others on the dating app, Bumble. I, uh, didn't have very good dates before, so I wanted to find a, uh, a line that would, um, align people with more my interests of the outdoors and, uh, geology. So I added, 'you don't know High Cliff State Park unless you've seen the stromatolites.' And once I put this line on, I was going through people's profiles and I come across Erika. And Erika, we went to high school together and we went to middle school together and I had a big crush on her. So I, you know, swipe on her and we matched. 'OK! Yes. Great.' And we, I wait about a day, and on Bumble you have 24 hours to, uh, Erika needs to talk to me.So I'm like, 'well, come on, is she gonna do this?' And at the last minute she messages, so where are these stromatolites? And, of course I'm gonna hold off on this or that. Uh, nah, I'm not going to tell her these locations so I can show her on a date. I invite her two days later to go get drinks. And, uh, she says, no.Well, OK. She doesn't really say no, but she doesn't...  she ignores me for two more days and I'm like, 'OK, if she answered the line on the first place, and like, stromatolites, uh, this has got to work.' So I invite her to go on a hike to High Cliff State Park, and she says, yes. So, it's a Friday night. It looks like there's rain in the forecast, but I think it's going to be clear and we start on our hike.Erika: [00:03:25] All right, so we're hiking along, and I'm promised that I'm going to see these stromatolites and it starts to rain a little harder. And I'm wondering where these things are. Wondering if maybe he's made these up just to get me on a date. Zach: [00:03:39] Oh yeah, I definitely did. Erika: [00:03:41] But eventually, he brings me to the site of the elusive stromatolites, and he gets down on the ground and he points to a mound of rock, and I look at his face and his eyes are so lit up, and I just am like 'what? That's it? This mound of rock on the ground, all this hype for this pile of rock.' Zach: [00:04:04] She definitely had that look in her eyes. I'm like, no, these are really cool. Erika: [00:04:08] But he was super excited about it, so I got super excited about it too. And then we finished our hike and we went to the top of the tower and at this point we were both soaking wet and it was getting cold. And then it got dark and we talked for a long time.Zach: [00:04:25] And we've been going to state parks ever since. Woo! State parks.Ellen: [00:04:35] Hi, I'm Ellen. Cole: [00:04:36] And I'm Cole. Ellen: [00:04:37] And we're from Madison, Wisconsin. And our state park love story started when I was a really little girl. I would go camping at Governor Dodge State Park every summer with my family. We would go there multiple times each summer and just swim and camp, and it became really part of who I was as a person.So growing up when I started dating Cole, um, it was definitely one of our most common date spots is that I would take him there and we would eat lunch and swim, and go for hikes at Governor Dodge State Park. Cole: [00:05:13] Yeah, and there was this, on one of the trails, there's one of these, um, cliffs off to the side of it that we would go to.And when we went to the cliff, then I was like, yup, this is, this is going to be the spot one day. Years later, you know, on the day that that I ended up proposing, we, we drove to ... to Governor Dodge. It was a Sunday and the weather was terrible. It was pouring rain. Ellen: [00:05:40] And he really wanted to go hiking up to the cliff and I was getting a little grumpy. I was like, 'why are we going to this cliff?'Cole: [00:05:47] Yep, it didn't make any sense probably, but I was on a mission and the rain held off long enough. And, um, we ended up going up to the cliff with, uh, her sister and brother in law. And, um, you know, I asked her to marry me there and then when we did it, you know ... she is, she was going crazy.And, uh, and then we...Ellen: [00:06:12] It was perfect. It was right at our spot at Governor Dodge. And then, yeah. And then we walked down and he had surprised me with the rest of our family waiting in the shelter, also in the rain. Cole: [00:06:22] Yep, they're all waiting, and she was super surprised. Ellen: [00:06:25] It was a great day and a perfect location.Emily: [00:06:32] So I'm Emily Stetzer. Nick: [00:06:38] And I am Nick Stetzer. Emily: [00:06:40] And uh, we have a state park love story for sure. Um, where our relationship started where we really weren't supposed to be together. When you look back at, uh, at our own personal plans. So it was only a few months really that we were together and we both kinda knew we needed to be together. Nick: [00:06:58] We would go up skiing at Granite Peak all the time. We would go up to the top or a mountain, state park, and just look out over the city of Wausau an...
Sled Town -- Snowmobiling in Wisconsin - Off The Record Podcast
Jan 22 2020
Sled Town -- Snowmobiling in Wisconsin - Off The Record Podcast
Wisconsin is the birthplace of snowmobiling and continues to offer some of the best snowmobiling opportunities you are likely to find, especially in the northern part of the state. Eagle River is the Snowmobile Capital of the World and host of the Amsoil World Championship Snowmobile Derby. On this episode, Kim Emerson, Executive Director of the Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center, sheds light on the mecca of snowmobiling. With more than 200,000 registered snowmobiles hitting Wisconsin's 25,000 miles of groomed trails each winter across the state, safety is an important part of the ride. DNR Warden April Dombrowski has tips on how to ride smart from the start. Listen in and discover why Wisconsin is where it’s at when it comes to snowmobiling. --------------------------------------TRANSCRIPTAnnouncer: [00:00:00] Welcome to Wisconsin DNR's Wild Wisconsin - Off The Record podcast. Information straight from the source.Katie Grant: [00:00:13] Welcome back to another episode of Wild Wisconsin - Off The Record. I'm your host DNR's digital media coordinator, Katie Grant. When it gets cold outside and the snow starts to fall, you might start to hear a familiar noise.Snowmobiles .At Wisconsin DNR we just finished  celebrating International Snowmobile Safety and Awareness Week. With over 18,000 miles of funded snowmobile trails in Wisconsin, we think it's an important topic to talk about. Northern Wisconsin is a haven for snowmobiles. I mean, what we think of as a snowmobile today was actually invented by Carl Elliason in Sayner, Wisconsin back in the 1920s. So it was kind of meant to be. But beyond that legacy, Northern Wisconsin gets a lot of snow. According to the Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce, thye average 65 inches of snow per year. Less than 30 miles away is the "Snowmobile Capital of the World" -- Eagle River. I called Kim Emerson from the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce to learn more about snowmobiling in the area. Kim Emerson: [00:01:26] I am the Executive Director of the Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center.Katie Grant: [00:01:31] Fantastic. So Eagle River is known as kind of being the "Snowmobile Capital of the World." Why is that? Kim Emerson: [00:01:39] Well, we are the "Snowmobile Capital of the World." We've got spectacular snowmobile trails here. And with all of that and how well they're groomed, and the many people who are aware of our trail systems, that's how we can be the "Snowmobile Capital of the World."Katie Grant: [00:01:55] Fantastic. And what about the Eagle River area? What makes it such an attractive place for snowmobiling and even other vacations throughout the entire year? Kim Emerson: [00:02:06] Sure. Eagle River area as an as a family destination, it's a four season family destination. There are activities for everyone... for any type of activity that they like to do.Uh, for instance, during the winter, we have our snowmobile trails. We've got over 600 miles of groomed trails right here in the Vilas County area. And then of course, so we're, we're seated right here next to the Nicolet National Forest. We have lots of county acreage of, um, County Forest. And we also have the Wisconsin American Legion Forest as well.The other thing we're known for is our chain of 28 lakes. And so that offers all kinds of activities during the summer. So if you hike, bike, snowmobile, fish, uh, we have it here in Eagle River area. Katie Grant: [00:02:58] Absolutely. So by your estimates, how many people visit the area every year in the winter for snowmobiling or other outdoor winter activities?Kim Emerson: [00:03:09] Well, I would say, um, winter activities is our second busiest season of the year. I would say there are, oh, I, I would gather close to...During the whole winter months, probably over a hundred thousand people. Katie Grant: [00:03:26] Wow. Kim Emerson: [00:03:27] It's a great activity area. Snowmobiling alone brings in over $40 million, uh, to the Vilas County area from December through March.Katie Grant: [00:03:39] Wow. That's a lot. How....How are trail conditions so far this year? Kim Emerson: [00:03:44] Trail conditions are in good shape. This year we've had some really good snow. Other parts of our state, unfortunately have not had snow. So if you are interested in snowmobiling, Eagle River is the place to be. Uh, we do... If you go to EagleRiver.org, we update our trail conditions continually. Uh, by 8:30 every morning. So for the most up to date reports, EagleRiver.org. Katie Grant: [00:04:10] Fantastic. So what are some snowmobiling must do's in the area? Is there like a specific trail or a place to go eat while you're out or if you come up there, what do you have to make sure you do. Kim Emerson: [00:04:24] Well, right here in Eagle River, again, we've got over 600 miles of snowmobile trail that you can enjoy. Uh, they do connect many different businesses. And, uh, for instance, you can go to, uh, you can snowmobile for breakfast, you can snowmobile for lunch, dinner. It's a great opportunity. There are so many different wonderful restaurants. It's hard to name them all.Katie Grant: [00:04:49] Now, before we go any further, we need to give a huge shout out to all of the volunteers and snowmobile clubs throughout the state who work to make sure these trails are maintained. The DNR also offers grants to these clubs to help make their work possible. The grants are funded by things like snowmobile registrations, the state trail pass program, and a small portion of the state's gas tax.These grants are used to fix things like old trails and bridges, to build new bridges and even to add new miles to already existing trails. There's plenty of snowmobile fun to be had, but our goal is to make sure that you do it safely and responsibly. That's why I sat down with Warden April Dombrowski. So sit back and listen in.April Dombrowski: [00:05:34] So I'm the section chief, uh, with the Recreation, Safety and Outdoors Skill Section within the Bureau of Law Enforcement here at DNR. Katie Grant: [00:05:42] So what all does that cover? April Dombrowski: [00:05:43] That in encom...encompasses a lot. So I oversee, um, our safety programs as it relates to boats, snowmobile, ATV, um, hunter education, off-highway motorcycles...Um, but then it also incorporates other, R3 programs, so the "Learn to Hunt," um, "Fish for Food," the shooting ranges, those type of things. So, um, a lot that covers, um, wwithin the recreational side of, of our program.Katie Grant: [00:06:10] All the fun stuff.April Dombrowski: [00:06:11] All the fun stuff. But then there's, so there's the educational component of, of, uh, um, those disciplines, but then there's also the enforcement side of those disciplines.Katie Grant: [00:06:20] Absolutely. What? Well, first of all, how long have you been here with the DNR? April Dombro...