Hunting in Wisconsin

With the first weeks of school behind us, many in Wisconsin are looking forward to the fall hunting season. Hunting is part of the fabric of Wisconsin culture, going back generations. Since 2003, the right to hunt has even been enshrined in the Wisconsin Constitution (Article I, Section 26).

For a timeline on hunting in Wisconsin, see “A chronology of Wisconsin deer hunting from closed seasons to record harvests” on the Wisconsin DNR web page. The DNR has a great deal of information about hunting, from regulations to hunter safety training, to statistics on harvests of various animals.

Deertagmuseum.com provides a unique perspective on the history of hunting in Wisconsin. While this web site wouldn’t pass muster as an authoritative source (there is almost no information about the person running the site), the images of old deer and other hunting tags and the anecdotes that go with some of them are interesting and fun to look at. I never knew that deer tags were collectible!

On top of all that, the Wisconsin Historical Society Press has published a number of books and articles about hunting, most recently Hunting Camp 52: Tales from a Northwoods Deer Camp. You can find them for purchase on the WHS web site, or in your local library!

Summertime in the outdoors

Mosquitos

Earlier this week, I went into my backyard about 90 minutes before sunset. Thanks to the mosquitos (and other flying insects), I lasted about a minute! This was the worst I’d seen the mosquitos all summer. So, I tried to figure out WHY there were so many of them. My theory: a whole bunch of mosquito eggs were laid in the aftermath of storms that dumped 2.79 inches of rain on Madison on July 21 and caused flooding around the city. Maybe those mosquitos were now mature and looking for blood. As I related this theory to a colleague, I realized I could look up information on a mosquito’s life cycle. Lo and behold, one of my first results was from the federal government, the Environmental Protection Agency to be exact. Its website on Mosquito Control includes a page on the Mosquito Life Cycle. Given the life cycle of the mosquito, it’s possible my theory is correct, though I’m not sure I’ve had enough standing water in my backyard to hatch many mosquitos.

When discussing government publications about mosquitos, I feel it’s my duty to mention Dr. Seuss’s contribution to the “genre,” a pamphlet entitled This Is Ann: She’s Dying to Meet You. You can learn more about this publication from an April 12, 2012 post by Erin Rushing on the Smithsonian Libraries blog Unbound.

Wisconsin Outdoor Report

On a more pleasant note, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources issues an Outdoor Report each Thursday. There’s a general report, followed by five regional reports, for Northern, Northeast, Southeast, South Central, and West Central Wisconsin. The reports tend to be heavy on fishing news, at least in the spring and summer, but do include some information on bug populations, plant life, and general water conditions. In the fall, these reports have information on the state of fall foliage.

National Park Service Centennial

August 25, 2016, marks the centennial of the U.S. National Park Service. In Wisconsin, there’s a John Muir Centennial Event on August 6, at the Ice Age National Scenic Trail at John Muir County Park in Marquette County (about seven miles south of Montello. Registration is required to attend the festival, which will feature a children’s art exhibit, workshops, hikes and poetry recitation by Wisconsin State Poet Laureate. The Ice Age National Scenic Trail passes through this park.

Beth Harper, Government information/reference librarian, Memorial Library, UW-Madison

New draft document on industrial sand mining in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is seeking feedback on a new strategic analysis of the industrial sand mining (ISM) industry in Wisconsin. Comments may be submitted via email, or by US Mail to: ISM SA Coordinator, WDNR OB/7, P.O. Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921. Comments must be submitted by August 22, 2016.

The DNR held a public informational hearing on the draft strategic analysis on July 26, 2016, in Eau Claire. You can listen to the audio transcript at the hearing at this

Flags at half-staff

There have been too many occasions recently that the U.S. has been flying its flags at half-staff.  According to USA.gov’s page on the American flag, the U.S. flag flies at half-staff when the nation is in mourning. These periods of mourning occur by Presidential proclamation.

The Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs has a page on Flag-Lowering Orders in Wisconsin. Not only does it give the current flag status and explain under what situations the flag is lowered, it also lists US and state flag lowering proclamations going back to 2009.

In the news…

Brexit

Jim Church, International Documents Librarian at University of California-Berkeley, has a page on European Union: Brexit. It links to some non-government publications, and resources specific to UC-Berkely.  It also has nice sections with links to

  • EU Selected Statements & Links
  • Official Publications: Great Britain, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, & Northern Ireland

Civilian/police shootings

President Obama’s statements on

In his statement on the fatal shootings of Sterling and Castile, President Obama referred to the recommendations in the final report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

Investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server

The FBI’s July 5  blog post includes a link to Director James Comey’s full remarks made on the matter on that day.

On a somewhat (?) lighter note

On June 24, 2016, President Obama designated Christopher Park in New York City the  Stonewall National Monument.

–Submitted by Beth Harper, UW-Madison’s Memorial Library

What an actuary has to do with baby names

Have you ever used, or pointed users to, the Baby Name section of the Social Security web site?  Do you know the section’s history?  I learned about it this weekend from the What’s in a Name episode of the radio show To the Best of Our Knowledge.  The segment “What Not to Name Your Baby” features an interview with Michael Shackleford, an actuary working at the SSA’s Office of the Chief Actuary, talking about what motivated him to write the program tabulating which were most popular at a given time.  Shackleford’s efforts were first publicly documented in the government publication  Actuarial Note #139, Name Distributions in the Social Security Area, August 1997.  This publication was distributed to Federal Depository Libraries under item number 0516-F (online), with the SuDoc number SSA 1.25:139 .

On the current Baby Name site, you can look up

Not sure what an actuary does?  According to the entry in the Department of Labor’s 2016-2017 Occupational Outlook Handbook,

“Actuaries analyze the financial costs of risk and uncertainty. They use mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to assess the risk that an event will occur, and they help businesses and clients develop policies that minimize the cost of that risk.”

You may want to investigate this profession further, because, according to the OOH, “Employment of actuaries is projected to grow 18 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.”

(Both quotations from Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Actuaries,
on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/math/actuaries.htm (visited June 21, 2016).)
Beth Harper, Government information/reference librarian, Memorial Library, UW-Madison

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

We’ve still got a few more days of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.  Why was May chosen for this commemorative month?  According to http://www.asianpacificheritage.gov/, 

The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.

From About Asian/Pacific Heritage Month, http://www.asianpacificheritage.gov/about/ , accessed May 24, 2016.

The Asian/Pacific Heritage Month site , sponsored by a number of federal cultural agencies and hosted by the Library of Congress, has links to images, audio and video, exhibits and collections, and resources for teachers.  The About section links to a comprehensive inventory of the Public Laws, Presidential Proclamations and congressional resolutions related to Asian Pacific Heritage Month.

One of the partner agencies in the Asian/Pacific Heritage Month site is the National Park Service, which has its own Asian-Pacific American Heritage site.   One of the (physical) sites related to Asian-Americans the NPS maintains is the Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism During World War II, which is in Washington DC.  You can learn more about this memorial at the (non-governmental, non-profit) National Japanese American Memorial Foundation.

The Census Bureau has put together a fact sheet on Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month: May 2016, with demographic and business statistics.

One of the lesser-known Smithsonian museums, the National Postal Museum, has a page, Asian and Pacific Americans in the Postal Service and Philately, which links to exhibits on this topic.

What government resources would you recommend for this commemoration?

–Beth Harper, Government information/reference librarian, Memorial Library, UW-Madison

Who knew? US gov collects some stats on travel

Did you know that the U.S. government has a a National Travel and Tourism Office?  I didn’t till this spring, when I came across the office as I worked on a reference question.  NTTO is part of the Dept of Commerce’s International Trade Administration.

You can see what kinds of data the Travel and Tourism Statistical System for the United States collects and analyzes at http://travel.trade.gov/about/industry_analysis.asp .

The statistics that really intrigued me were

You can get a sense of international visitation to the U.S., and international visitor spending in the U.S. (both to a monthly level!), and a list of the top states, cities, and regions visited. (alas, Wisconsin and its fine cities do not make those lists).

You can also find annual Profiles of U.S. Resident Travelers Visiting Overseas Destinations back to 2008, and Monthly U.S. Outbound Air Travel to International Regions.

Have you come across information that you were surprised to know federal, state, or local governments published?  Let us know!

Beth Harper

Government information/reference librarian

Memorial Library, UW-Madison

Did you spot any snowy owls during the Christmas bird count?

The winters of 2013-14 and 2014-15 saw an unusually large number of snowy owls coming through Wisconsin.  What about this year?  Check out the Wisconsin Dept of Natural Resources’s page on snowy owls:

http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/WildlifeHabitat/SnowyOwls.html

(A co-worker of mine, who is an Audobon Field Trips coordinator and leader, strongly recommends paying special attention to the “Viewing Considerations” tab.)

In November the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service posted “8 Fascinating Facts About Snowy Owls:”

http://www.fws.gov/news/blog/index.cfm/2015/11/23/8-Fascinating-Facts-About-SnowyOwls

And the Christmas Bird Count?  It’s not a government thing; it’s an Audobon Society thing (though quite a few counts take place on government refuges.  You can read about the history here.

Beth Harper
Government information reference librarian
Memorial Library, UW-Madison