News from the Wisconservation Blog

Wisconservation Blog

The WisConservation blog is a collection of posts from individuals at the Foundation and around the state about conservation news—and heroes—in Wisconsin. Follow along for stories of inspiration and hope.

“Be safe”

  I’ve been hearing this phrase quite a bit this week as friends and family give me best wishes for a great trip. Usually it’s said in a way of showing care for my well-being, and sometimes there is a tinge of “be careful.” I appreciate both messages. There are three main ways I stay safe: using my experience and knowledge, planning when I am where so my support team knows what to expect, and...

Pre-trip shakedowns

Ahead of my trip, I’ve been out on a few kayaking adventures to test my equipment, make sure all of my supplies will fit in the boat and strengthen my rowing muscles. While out on some of these pre-trip shakedowns, I was greeted by bald eagles, heard the call of the sandhill crane and witnessed the beautiful bluffs of the Upper Dells. I’m looking forward to capturing more of these sounds and sights during the real trip, but...

Which boat?

When I decided to do this river trip, one of the first decisions was about which boat to use. Like a lot of paddlers, there are several boats in our garage. This past spring I bought a used kayak off Craigslist because at 13 feet, it is better for navigating southern Wisconsin streams. And, ever since reading Larry Rice’s books and watching his presentations about trips he has taken with a “boat in bag,” I have...

Tom Uttech: Mother Nature’s artist

By Christine Seeley, Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin One may wonder what role a landscape painter can play when modern cameras can capture the beauty of our surroundings with a level of detail that many artists can’t or don’t. What is it, then, that these artists are hoping to achieve with their work? As an artist myself, I know all too well the struggle between trying to create artwork true to my own ideals and...

Drumlin and Prairie: Celebrating two of Wisconsin’s Natural Treasures

  By Josh Mayer, Foundation member and guest blogger Smith Drumlin Prairie is owned by The Prairie Enthusiasts, a grassroots conservation organization with chapters in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois. TPE has worked to manage and restore Smith Drumlin for nearly 20 years, including regular burning, tree removal, mowing, and invasive species control. In the last couple of years, TPE began to seed the former agricultural field between the two drumlins back to prairie. The site...

Chiwaukee Prairie: A rolling meadow of diversity and change

By Brooke Hemze, Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin Looking out across a patchwork of grasses and flowers dotted along the rolling meadows of glaciated topography of ridge and swale, I take in the landscape of Chiwaukee Prairie State Natural Area, the most intact coastal wetland complex in southeastern Wisconsin. A botanist’s dream, Chiwaukee boasts a diversity of more than 400 native species of plants. Foundation Communications Director Lindsay Renick Mayer and I spent the day...

Restoring wild rice for waterfowl in the Mead Wildlife Area

By Patrice Eyers, guest blogger from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources As far back as one can imagine, the area that sits between Wausau and Stevens Point along the Little Eau Pleine River, has been cherished for its abundance of natural resources. In pre-settlement times, the Chippewa inhabited Smokey Hill, a forested island in the former Rice Lake. The river and the lowland marshes provided a bounty of white-tail deer, bear, fish, beaver, muskrat,...

The best of the best in Wisconsin recreation

By Brooke Hemze, Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin With the abundance of natural resources in the state of Wisconsin, it’s no wonder this land has long attracted outdoor recreationists. To find the best in Wisconsin recreation we consulted the experts–Wisconsin outdoor lovers like you! We encouraged avid runners, river paddlers, passionate hikers, curious cyclists and all explorers of Wisconsin to let us know what they thought the best places for biking, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, swimming,...

Portrait of the nature photography enthusiast

By Vince Aiello, Foundation volunteer photographer To view more of Vince’s photography, visit his website at http://vincentaiellophotographer.com. I have always had a strong interest in nature. I can’t pinpoint when it started. All I know is I’d rather spend as much time outdoor rather than inside. For me, I think it started by hearing the stories that my grandpa would tell at the dinner table. He had all of these amazing stories about things in nature....

A home for purple martins on Memory Lake

By Glenn Rolloff, Village of Grantsburg The Grantsburg, Wisconsin, area is surrounded by 1000s of acres of wildlife reserves including the 17,000-acre Crex Wildlife Area and the 14,000-acre Fish Lake Wildlife area. These large sanctuaries attract trumpeter swans, Canadian geese, sandhill cranes and even a lone garganey duck from far off Asia shores! The “big birds” certainly have a home. But nestled in the four square miles of Grantsburg Village is tiny Memory Lake. On its shores,...

A field trip of prehistoric proportions

By Susan Hoffert, Foundation member Chequamegon Bay (pronounce it like you’re saying “she warm again” without the “R”) is one of my favorite spots in Wisconsin. As an obsessed birder, I have visited often in pursuit of piping plovers, golden eagles and blackburnian warblers. On a cool day in late May, however, my objective was not feathered, but finned. Well, maybe a more accurate description is “armored.” I pulled up to a small park in...

Interning with whooping cranes

By Michael Hockey, International Crane Foundation intern Recently graduated and looking for a job in conservation, I remembered an internship I’d seen posted the previous year—working in the field ecology department at the International Crane Foundation. The work seemed right up my alley: building on my prior field experience with birds; so I went ahead and applied. The move from the UK required a lot of planning (not to mention paperwork) but by late February...

Traveling through time with the UWM weather station

By Lindsay Renick Mayer, Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin Cedarburg Bog State Natural Area is special for many reasons. It was the second place in Wisconsin to receive the state natural area designation. It is the most intact large bog in the southeastern part of the state. It contains what is likely North America’s southernmost string bog—a bog with stunted cedars and tamaracks that alternate in a unique pattern with wetter areas and sedges. And,...

Getting students outside: Peter Ostlind and the Teachers Outdoor Environmental Education Fund

By Brooke Hemze and Lindsay Renick Mayer, Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin When Peter Ostlind was invited to take a 45-minute hike with a full class of kindergarteners up the ridge adjacent to their school, he wasn’t sure what to expect. What he did know was that getting kids outdoors would benefit them in ways big and small, even helping to foster the next generation of conservationists. In the end the kids came together hiking...

Hunters of the sky and the human connection

By Jillaine Burton, Raptor Trainer and Educator, Open Door Bird Sanctuary Hunters of the Sky. What does that make you think of? Fighter planes? Pterodactyls? Drones? How about raptors or birds of prey? At the Open Door Sanctuary, we currently care for 11 raptors, all non-releasable for one reason or another, but still quite majestic in their own right. About 20 years ago when I first began to realize I had an affinity for nature,...

Limited edition badger license plate helps fund conservation throughout Wisconsin

By Brooke Hemze, Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin The American badger will soon be making way for the bald eagle…on Wisconsin license plates that is! Wisconsin residents have only until the end of July to purchase the badger plate, which was released in April 2010. This now limited-edition plate features an endangered Wisconsin oak savanna and the plants and animals dependent on the land, including the American badger, eastern meadowlark, tiger swallowtail butterfly and the...

Better than Batman: Superheroic efforts to survey Wisconsin’s bats

By Lindsay Renick Mayer When the quiet of the night is interrupted by low, mechanical ticks, at first I almost miss it. “Big brown bat,” says Andrew Badje, a conservation biologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, pointing to the squiggly lines moving across the screen of the noisy device he had hitched to the front of my kayak just moments before. I peer out over the lake to try to see the bat...

A Ponderosa of her own

By Lisa Gaumnitz, NRF volunteer and local freelancer Erin Crain’s parents planted the seed for her career in natural resources and her passion for restoring her own property on a city lot in Milwaukee in the 1970s. There, her father, an engineer at Delco and her mother, a stay-at-home mom, put into practice the principals of organic and native gardening, long-before such concepts became mainstream.  With sometimes grudging, sometimes  enthusiastic, help from their five kids,...

Community conservation: 25 years of the C.D. Besadny Conservation Grant Program

By Caitlin Williamson, Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin The Natural Resources Foundation has been a model for community conservation for more than 25 years by providing hundreds of small, matching grants to local conservation groups in Wisconsin through the C.D. Besadny Conservation Grant Program. Created in 1990, the program fosters responsible stewardship of Wisconsin’s lands, waters, and wildlife by supporting grassroots, community-based projects. To date, the Natural Resources Foundation has awarded $420,000 to more than...

The biggest, baddest Big Day

By Lindsay Renick Mayer, Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin It is 4 a.m. and I’m standing in the middle of an empty Wisconsin road waxing philosophical through chattering teeth with two of Wisconsin’s best birders. We’re listening for different species of birds and talking about Aldo Leopold, specifically his fondness for sitting outside this time of night, communing with the birds during their beautiful dawn chorus as they welcome the morning light of the new...

Protecting the state’s wood turtles, one garden at a time

By David Zeug, Foundation guest blogger Any day on the Brule River is a good day. What I didn’t realize when I heard the commotion behind me was that this November day was going to become even more special and lead to a fascination with the wood turtle. Like a buck chasing a doe, the turtles ducked and weaved through the woods along the banks of the river. Surprised by the behavior, I tried to...

The birding bond: Father and son together take on the Great Wisconsin Birdathon

By Matt Reetz, executive director of the Madison Audubon Society, Foundation guest blogger I’m pulled from a deep slumber by a gentle tapping on my elbow. I can hear a faint whisper. My fog lifts slowly and my squinted eyes adjust enough to find the clock. It’s 5:58am on a Sunday. There is a small, adorable person at my bedside. “Daddy…” he whispers again softly. I am able to muster a garbled “Yeah, buddy?” in...

Bad River Youth Outdoors: Good waters, good life

By Caitlin E. Williamson, Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin Bad River Youth Outdoors is gearing up for its third summer of watershed education with tribal youth from the Bad River Ojibwe Indian Reservation, a four-week program designed to get kids outside and to learn more about the waterways of Lake Superior and the Bad River watershed. In its first year, BRYO received funding to purchase equipment from the Natural Resources Foundation’s C.D. Besadny Conservation Grant...

Video’s role in conserving Wisconsin’s wildlife

By Sarah Weber, Foundation guest blogger We’ve all seen the typical nature documentary. Beautiful acoustic music rises up as the screen fades from black into a sunset. We hear the voice of an English narrator telling us about the undisturbed habitat featured as the topic of the film. Close-up shots of wildlife fill the screen, and we learn that we will be following the stories of a few of these wild animals; named something like...

Banding Kirtland’s warblers with USFWS and Wisconsin DNR

We spent a beautiful day in Adams County with USFWS and the Wisconsin DNR banding five adult male Kirtlands warblers. These warblers are a federally listed endangered species and quite beloved in #Wisconsin. We captured the action live on Twitter with #KirtlandsWI: [<a href=”//storify.com/WisConservation/kirtlandswi” target=”_blank”>View the story “#KirtlandsWI” on Storify</a>]...

Of birds and snakes on the Osa Peninsula

By Connie and Peter Roop, Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin members While hiking the Osa peninsula of Costa Rica with the Natural Resources Foundation, the deadly fer de lance, one of the most venomous snakes on Earth, slithered right between us. We looked at each other and agreed—it was time to make our will. We are both deeply committed to the natural world. So “naturally” we turned to the Natural Resources Foundation. We learned of...

Bat Stewards in the Chippewa Valley: Citizen science to conserve Wisconsin’s bats

By Emily Lind, citizen science technician at the Citizen Science Center, Beaver Creek Reserve Wisconsin has seven species of bat, four of which are threatened, while three are listed as Species of Greatest Conservation Need. Bats are both biologically and economically important because they pollinate, disperse seeds and consume millions of insects every summer night, keeping pests off crops and out of our campsites. Sadly, though, Wisconsin bats are facing serious threats with the discovery...

Tracking endangered turtles with dogs

For the third year, the Wisconsin DNR has worked with dog trainer John Rucker and his Boykin spaniels, who are trained to find the endangered ornate box #turtle. We joined them on a survey of a state natural area in southern #Wisconsin that will help DNR #conserve this #species. Follow along in this Storify: [<a href=”//storify.com/WisConservation/turtledogswi” target=”_blank”>View the story “#TurtleDogsWI” on Storify</a>]...

Birding trash talk: 24-hour Big Day Birdathon

Two hot-shot birding teams in Wisconsin went head-to-head to see who could find more bird species in 24 hours, while raising funds for bird conservation. A communications professional joined each team to live tweet the event…and exchange some friendly birding trash talk. Follow along on the Storify: [<a href=”//storify.com/WisConservation/big-day-teams-competition” target=”_blank”>View the story “Wisconsin Big Day competition 2015” on Storify</a>]...

Seeking spruce grouse

By Sunil Gopalan, guest blogger and Foundation member I had been eyeing the NRF field trip to seek out the elusive spruce grouse since I first heard of it being offered last year. The spruce grouse is one of those secretive species that makes you work for it and even then, it is mostly sighted along roadways picking at grit. The field trip offered a chance to find the bird displaying in its breeding regal...

Celebrating a season of spring ephemerals on state natural areas

By Josh Mayer, guest blogger Some may think that the summers in Wisconsin are far too short, but even more fleeting is the spring ephemeral season. In the forest, before the green canopy drapes the forest floor in shade, a bevy of wildflowers emerge and bloom in a wondrous display. On the prairie, the flowering display is much different in the spring than it is later in the summer and fall. There really is never...

Travel Tales: From Wisconsin’s wolves to Gabon’s elephants

In just a few days, I will be swapping Wisconsin’s northwoods and southern savannahs for the humid tropics of Central Africa. I will be working with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Gabon, studying elephants. But what brings me to Africa is an interest that was rooted with my research on wolves here in Wisconsin. My background is in conservation biology, with a focus on human-wildlife conflict—specifically on wolves. My research has included wolf monitoring...

Travel Tales: The Mountains are Calling

By Brooke Hemze, Natural Resources Foundation With the dawning of UW-Madison’s spring break, five Midwestern girls piled into an SUV for a 19-hour road trip west. No Panama City Beach for us, instead we traveled through Iowa, Nebraska and Colorado, packed in with our packs, an eight-person tent and all the cooking supplies we needed for our meals over the fire. The mountains were calling, and we were heading west. After stopping in small-town Sterling,...

Volunteers help care for Wisconsin’s woods, waters and wildlife

By Olga Bednarik, Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin Volunteers play a vital role in Wisconsin’s conservation efforts by helping respond to conservation needs around the state. In return, volunteers have the opportunity to learn first-hand about the importance of conservation and to be a part of a welcoming community. Wisconsin state natural areas, in particular, benefit from a new corps of volunteers committed to helping remove invasive species, assisting with controlled burns and planting native...

Ducks get sick, too! — A trip to the USGS National Wildlife Health Center

By Caitlin Williamson, Natural Resources Foundation Natural Resources Foundation staff and volunteers had the opportunity to visit the United States Geological Survey National Wildlife Health Center this week, located right here in Madison. Founded in 1975 to help conserve wildlife species by addressing wildlife disease problems driven by pathogens, pollutants, genetics, and environmental conditions, the NWHC is an important resource for us in Wisconsin, and across the country. Wildlife health is an important field, for...

Happy Earth Day from the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin!

  By Ruth Oppedahl, Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin When I moved to Madison to take this job, I wasn’t sure that I would be able to continue in the city many of my family’s practices from rural Bayfield County to reduce our carbon footprint: heating with a renewable resource, hanging clothes on the line and commuting only a short distance to work. One conundrum we faced in the city was having to drive our dog to a dog...

Congratulations to heron haiku contest winners and entrants

Thanks to everyone who entered or voted in our heron haiku contest! We had a great time reading through your terrific entries, making the task of picking just four finalists very challenging. The haiku by Max Witynski of Madison received the most Facebook “likes,” making him the winner. Max will receive a birding prize pack from the Foundation and our partner Eagle Optics. We’ve posted Max’s haiku, the finalists and all of the other great entrants...

Get involved in one of Wisconsin’s many great citizen science opportunities

By Lisa Gaumnitz, NRF volunteer and local freelancer My husband and I settled onto a camping pad on a hill overlooking a pond and waited in the dark. Armed with binoculars, hot coffee and a clipboard, we were ready for the start of our second stint as participants in the Annual Midwest Crane Count. Our task was to count and record the sandhill cranes we saw or heard in the early morning hours at a...

Inspiration from astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson during Earth Week

Foundation staff Caitlin Williamson and Camille Zanoni and members had an opportunity this week to meet astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson this week as part of UW-Madison’s Nelson Institute’s Earth Day celebrations. Tyson is an American astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, and science communicator and Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space in New York. Tyson ended his talk with this of earth taken from a spacecraft orbiting Saturn: Then...

Raising caterpillars with kids

By Lysbeth Lesak, Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin It’s almost 10 o’clock in the morning when my children and I head back home after a tricycle ride in our neighborhood. It’s an uneventful, though still potentially productive day filled with routines: a morning snack, a midday nap, and a playdate just before dinner. We’re enjoying the late summer weather even though the array of green hues and brightly colored flowers have disappeared. The stellar blue...

A Q&A on winter bat surveys with DNR Mammal Ecologist John Paul White

By Brooke Hemze and Lindsay Renick Mayer, Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin Bats are an essential part of Wisconsin ecosystems, controlling pests and pollinating plants. While the Wisconsin bat population has been healthy, the deadly white-nose syndrome, which was found for the first time in Wisconsin in 2014, is affecting hibernating bats across the United States. If white-nose syndrome continues to spread through Wisconsin, it could cause a dramatic decline in bat populations. The Natural Resources...

Protecting Wisconsin’s Rare Plants for the Future

By Cait Williamson, Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin Dr. James P. Bennett, a retired research botanist with the United States Geological Survey and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Botany, has spent his life studying and protecting rare plants. His research has focused on the impact of air pollution on plants, specifically on lichens and State Natural Areas in Wisconsin. “Wisconsin is losing plant species as part of the global biodiversity crisis,” said Bennett, who...

You have field trip questions. Our field trip coordinator extraordinaire has answers.

Christine Tanzer has been coordinating the Foundation’s field trip program for 17 years. Under her leadership, the program has expanded from 30 trips to 151 this year. Christine pored through her e-mails from field trip participants like you to develop this list of great questions—and helpful answers. Dear Christine: My favorite trips seem to sell out so quickly. Can’t you just offer more sessions? We know that several great trips can fill within minutes; it’s...

Natural Resources Foundation funds internship opportunities at International Crane Foundation

By Brooke Hemze, Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin The Natural Resources Foundation’s grant in 2014 to the International Crane Foundation (ICF) funded internships important for crane conservation. These unique opportunities provided field experience for future conservationists, and helped ICF with fieldwork projects. “We place a heavy emphasis on building [interns’] capacity to be conservation professionals,” says Anne Lacy, research coordinator at ICF. “This experience ranges from the obvious field component, to conducting their own independent...

Serenity in the Northwoods

By Lindsay Renick Mayer, Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin There is a moment early in my hike with Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources North-Central Field Ecologist Carly Lapin through Squirrel River Pines State Natural Area that we transcend into the sublime. We have paused so that Carly can show me—a total flora neophyte—how to tell a white pine from a red pine, when the wind picks up and catches in the trees’ needles. For that...

A journey through Wisconsin’s rabbit hole

By Lindsay Renick Mayer I’m not quite prepared for the eccentricity of Kettle Moraine Oak Opening State Natural Area, where oak trees grow out, instead of up, straining to reach for the sun. Trees and invasive plants alike sprout new stems from their roots, multiplying, when other plants would instead succumb to fire. The terrain rolls up the moraine and down into kettles, up and down and up and down, disorienting even the most stalwart...

Goats in the forest: A different kind of land management

By Caitlin Williamson, Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin The Riveredge Nature Center in Ozaukee County wanted to try a different approach to land management. A goat approach. Using a local company, Riveredge hired 32 hungry goats (and their herder) to remove dense undergrowth vegetation and eat invasive plants, such as autumn olive and buckthorn, on the nearly 400 acres of forest and prairies in southeastern Wisconsin. The project was supported by a $1,000 grant from...

In search of snowy owls

By Lindsay Renick Mayer, Natural Resources Foundation “You’ve got to be really observant looking for these owls,” Mark Martin says to me as he slows the car down to a stop. “You can’t be looking at me.” We’ve been driving around Madison Audubon Society’s Goose Pond Sanctuary for about 30 minutes now, trying to spot a female snowy owl, which Mark and his wife Sue Foote-Martin (who co-manage the sanctuary together) tell me are a...

The birds, the bees and the Badger state

By Brooke Hemze It’s February, the month of love. With springtime around the corner, love will soon be in the air for many species. In honor of Valentine’s Day, staff here at the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin consulted with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and other references to take a look at the quirky courting rituals of some of our favorite Wisconsin critters. American Woodcock   Hold me closer sky dancer. The American woodcock’s...

Dispatches from Belize

By Ruth Oppedahl, Natural Resources Foundation Foundation Executive Director Ruth Oppedahl and a group of WisConservationists are this week visiting Belize as part of the Foundation’s international field trip program. The field trip participants are exploring the country’s birding hotspots, learning about conservation efforts and delving into the country’s myriad habitats, including wetlands, Caribbean cayes, primary rainforest and pine savannah. Check back this week as Ruth reports from the field! February 11, 2015 Floating down the...

Foundation member visits 500 State Natural Areas…and counting

By Josh Mayer, Foundation member and guest blogger The last few years have been an eye-opening experience for me. Wisconsin-born and bred, I had learned from an early age that our great state’s landscape consisted of forests and fields with many lakes scattered here and there. But there is so much more! And so it remained as I went off to college and graduate school, the latter of which was rewarded with a digital camera (which...

Building an environmental ethic: A Q&A with new board member Michael Williamson

By Lindsay Renick Mayer The Foundation is thrilled to have Michael Williamson, executive director of the Wisconsin Investment Board, join our board this month. Williamson has served as deputy secretary for the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the director of the North Carolina Retirement System and deputy director of the District of Columbia Retirement Board. We recently sat down with the former University of Wisconsin-Madison administrator to talk to him about what he cherishes...

Paul Brandt’s Lower Wisconsin Riverway Fund continues to shape and restore the riverway

By Brooke Hemze This year marks 10 years since former Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Biologist Paul Brandt established the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway Fund with the Foundation, generating more than $30,000 annually in recent years. Since its creation, the fund has been used to manage and restore the beautiful Lower Wisconsin State Riverway, an area that Brandt was instrumental in creating. Brandt died in 2006. “Paul Brandt was one the most dedicated state employees...

The Ghosts of Quincy Bluff and Wetlands State Natural Area

By Lindsay Renick Mayer Quincy Bluff and Wetlands State Natural Area is haunted by ghosts. That was my impression even before I first visited the 6,600-acre state property earlier this month. The afternoon before my trip, I had spoken to Stan Temple, professor emeritus of environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and he told me about the gruesome scene that played out at Quincy Bluff in 1871: “That year a major portion of all...

The Breeding Bird Atlas II needs you!

By Diane Packett & Lisa Gaumnitz It may only be January, but over here at the Natural Resources Foundation, we’re already working with our wonderful partners to get ready for this year’s Great Wisconsin Birdathon. If you’re looking to get involved before the Birdathon kickoff in April, consider connecting with one of the Birdathon’s priority projects–the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas. The first Atlas, completed in 2005, was a massive five-year effort of more than 1,600 surveyors (mostly volunteers) that documented...

And the winners of the 2nd annual field trip photo contest are…

Thanks to all of our field trip participants who submitted their beautiful images to our second annual field trip photo contest! The submissions capture some of the best moments of the field trip season and show off Wisconsin’s diverse wildlife and wild lands. The winners and runners-up below submitted photos that were particularly captivating, either in their approach to framing the photo’s subject or in helping tell a story about the unique experiences our field...

Foundation crafts new strategy to support State Natural Areas

By Barb Barzen Following a decade of supporting restoration work at many of Wisconsin’s 673 State Natural Areas, the Natural Resources Foundation has worked with DNR staff to re-tool the Foundation’s strategy for nurturing these sites over the coming decade. We want to support the best of the best sites statewide and ensure that donors can invest in sites that are near and dear to them. State Natural Areas contain the highest-quality remnants of Wisconsin’s...

Your winter guide to Wisconsin’s State Natural Areas

By Lindsay Renick Mayer There are those of us who, with the advent of the winter solstice, dread the impending subzero temperatures and inevitable snowstorms, stockpiling hot chocolate and dragging the down comforters out of storage. And then there’s Wisconsin DNR State Natural Areas Program Conservation Biologist Thomas Meyer. “I have this clarity when I’m outside enjoying the winter landscape,” Thomas says. “When I’m out in the summer, there are 500 different shades of green,...

Q&A with Wisconsin from the Air Executive Producer Laurie Gorman

By Lindsay Renick Mayer If you’re anything like those of us at the Natural Resource Foundation of Wisconsin, you’ve been mesmerized over the last few weeks by Wisconsin Public Television’s wildly successful Wisconsin from the Air program. According to Executive Producer Laurie Gorman, Wisconsin Public Television had a record-breaking winter membership drive, with 35 percent of the contributions coming in as a response to Wisconsin from the Air. The hour-long program takes its viewers from...
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