Tracking Water Use and Withdrawal in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) tracks and reports water use from around the state. The Water Use Program gathers data about how much water is being pulled from the ground and from surface sources such as wells, ponds, streams, rivers and lakes. All property owners in Wisconsin capable of withdrawing 100,000 gallons of water per day are required to register and report these withdrawals to the DNR.

The Wisconsin Digital Archives makes available the annual water use reports that the DNR publishes. The reports provide statistics about how much water is withdrawn by industry, maps of where the water is being pulled from and information about water being withdrawn from Lake Michigan.

The DNR also makes available a searchable database of people and companies that have registered with the DNR because they withdraw over 100,000 gallons of water per day. The information provided is much more granular and details water withdrawal and use specific to the person or company from 2010 to current.

 

Posted by: Abby Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

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Reintroduction of elk to Wisconsin

In 1989, the Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) was directed by the state legislature to explore the feasibility of successfully reintroducing elk, moose and caribou. It was determined that an elk reintroduction could succeed in Wisconsin, while reintroductions of moose or caribou likely would not. The reintroduction of elk began in 1995 with 25 elk from Michigan to the Clam Lake area of southern Ashland County. The herd has grown since 1995 to about 200 animals in 2018.  After extensive monitoring that helped guide elk herd management decisions, it was determined by the DNR that there could be a limited harvest. The first elk hunting season will be introduced fall 2018.

If you’re interest in learning more about the reintroduction of elk and elk management in Wisconsin, visit the Wisconsin Digital Archives. There you will find state documents specifically about the elk herds in Wisconsin and updates about the herds’ growth

For more information about the elk season dates, how to obtain a harvest tag and regulations about the elk hunting season can be found on the DNR website.

Post written by: Abby Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning

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

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

Documents in the news: Rare Moose Sightings in Wisconsin

WISC-TV Madison reports that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has received reports of moose sightings in the Chippewa Valley — a rare occurrence in that part of the state. Find out more about the moose population in Wisconsin from the DNR’s Moose Observations report.

Thank you to Abby Swanton at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for calling our attention to this great example of a government document helping us learn more about a current news story.