When Pat Caffrey retired from his job as director of public works for the city of La Crosse in 2005, he didn’t prop up in his feet in an easy chair and turn on the daily soap operas.
The Flyway Film Festival will present two new documentaries about the Driftless Region, the unique geographical area in which the festival itself is located. The films will be shown in a special program entitled “This Land” at 11 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 21, at the Flyway Minema in Pepin.
The Fund for Lake Michigan, a private Milwaukee-based foundation, has awarded a $100,000 grant to the Sand County Foundation to assist the village of Grafton with water quality improvement, supporting outreach to farmers to implement conservation practices in the Milwaukee River watershed th…
CHETEK — Limited oversight over the growing number of high-capacity wells in Wisconsin raises some concerns about future groundwater supplies, according to presenters at a Groundwater Sustainability Field Day held Sept. 13 at Busch Farms near Chetek.
EVANSVILLE — Mark Renz, an assistant professor at UW-Madison and a UW-Extension weed specialist, has been working on prairie establishment for a long time. He said in the past, the focus has been more on soil health and wildlife habitat, but in recent years, more and more focus is being put …
EVANSVILLE — When someone mentions something about bees, the first thing many think of are honeybees, which have received a lot of press in recent years due to their decline.
MADISON (AP) — Domestic oil exploration drilling is expected to cause “extreme” demand for frac sand in western Wisconsin in coming years, according to a new report.
MADISON (AP) — An appeals court has rejected efforts by a group of landowners to block a proposed frac sand operation in western Wisconsin, but the ruling could allow future legal challenges based on damages that haven’t yet occurred.
LA CROSSE (AP) — Wisconsin frac sand producers say their business is threatened by some railroads operating under outdated regulations.
Wisconsin farmers, ranchers or foresters who go above and beyond in the care and management of natural resources can now be nominated for the 2018 Wisconsin Leopold Conservation Award.
STEVENS POINT — Wild parsnip has been found across Wisconsin. The dangerous invasive species can cause serious skin burns if a person comes into contact with the sap of the plant. At a June 20 field day in Portage County, Wood County Conservationist Shane Wucherpfennig said in central Wiscon…
A new Water Quality Conservation General Permit will streamline the regulatory process for government agencies that address water quality concerns in agricultural settings.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will host a webinar at 2 p.m. on June 26 as part of the implementation of a new law that affects projects impacting some Wisconsin wetlands. The law, Act 183, will go into effect on July 1 and establishes permit exemptions on placing fill materia…
Wisconsin officials found elevated levels of toxic heavy metals near a frac sand mine spill that sent millions of gallons of sludge into a tributary, carrying it downstream into the Mississippi River.
CASCO — Kewaunee County students recently learned the importance of conservation and the different ways in which it can be implemented.
KNAPP — To create the conservationists of the future, it is important to make sure children understand how elements in nature are connected, according to Ka Ying Vang, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service soil conservationist in the Dunn County office.
The public comment period for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s proposed Groundwater Protection Rule is open through July 26. Public comments on the rule can be made on the Office of Administrative Hearings website at www.mda.state.mn.us/gwprhearingnotice.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is warning landowners to be cautious when buying and planting seed, especially for conservation plantings.
A team from Ladysmith High School was named overall high school winner in the Wisconsin Land and Water’s Envirothon, sponsored by the Outdoor Heritage Education Center and other state organizations, on April 13 at the Wisconsin Lions camp in Rosholt. The school will represent Wisconsin at th…
The fate of Meteor Timber’s new frac sand facility in Jackson and Monroe counties soon will be determined. The decision comes after a 2017 complaint filed against the company’s permit took issue with the permitting process and the company’s desire to fill 16 acres of unique wetlands.
BELMONT — Creating maps for invasive plant species is like a classic game of “Battleship,” according to Jeff Jackson, stewardship specialist for Southwest Badger Resource Conservation and Development Council.
BELMONT — Driving to Belmont from Madison, associate professor and UW-Extension specialist Mark Renz spotted several invasive plant species along the roadside. It isn’t uncommon to find invasive species rooted there; some of them were even planted by the Wisconsin Department of Transportatio…
The Pepin/Pierce County Farmers Union will host an educational forum on water quality from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 15, at the Plum City Senior Center, 501 Main St., Plum City.
A sign-up is underway in Wisconsin for financial assistance available through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative for designated watersheds. Eligible applications received by May 18 at U.S. Department of Agriculture Service Centers in Wisconsin will be evaluated for this funding.
LA CROSSE (AP) — New data from the U.S. Geological Survey shows the country’s production of industrial sand increased more than 36 percent in 2017 as Wisconsin again led the nation.
When county or city elected officials are approached about a wind energy farm, what are the first steps in creating an ordinance? What kinds of things need to be considered? “Wind Energy Ordinances,” an information guide by the Center for Rural Affairs, may help.
MADISON (AP) — A new study details the sources of unnatural green growths of vegetation and bacteria that stink up long stretches of the upper Wisconsin River.
Like the west-central Wisconsin residents he attended meetings with, Thomas Pearson became aware of frac sand mining as a citizen, concerned about a new industry that threatened to alter lives and landscapes.
MENOMONIE — As part of an Eau Claire community garden project beginning in 2015, Ka Ying Vang helped members of the area’s Hmong population better understand soil health and conservation practices that would allow the underserved population to sustainably grow their own food.
LUXEMBURG — Peninsula Pride Farms has driven awareness, collaboration and innovation in conservation efforts throughout Kewaunee and southern Door counties since its launch two years ago.
More than a dozen grassroots organizations came together to present “Industrial Ag in the Driftless,” an event that was organized after concerns began to mount surrounding two proposed concentrated animal feeding operations in Grant County, according to Forest Jahnke, Crawford County Steward…
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated Rusk and Sawyer counties as primary natural disaster areas due to losses and damages caused by excessive rainfall and flooding that occurred from April 15 through Oct. 28.
MADISON — Forty-five years ago, on Dec. 31, 1972, the U.S. Enviromental Protection Agency issued a press release. “The general use of the pesticide DDT will no longer be legal in the United States after today,” it said.
MADISON (AP) — A Dane County judge has tossed out eight high-capacity well permits Wisconsin had granted to businesses, citing the constitutional protection of the state’s waterways.
LA FARGE (AP) — Manure runoff from the Wild Rose Dairy in Vernon County has impacted a trout stream in west central Wisconsin.
The Land Stewardship Project has issued a new resource describing how Midwestern farmers can play a key role in helping fix environmental problems. The “Soil Health, Water and Climate Change: A Pocket Guide to What You Need to Know” provides an introduction to the latest innovations in scien…
Invasive species continue to be a persistent problem in ecosystems across the country, and Stephanie Showalter Otts, director of the National Sea Grant Law Center, recently discussed some of the implications of invasive species.
STEVENS POINT — Golden Sands Resource Conservation and Development Council celebrates its 45th anniversary this year, and according to Executive Director Amy Thorstenson, the environmental issues that prompted its beginning haven’t changed much from the issues of today.
To support fire-suppression efforts in Montana, Oregon, Nevada, California, South Dakota and Washington, 43 Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest personnel — some of whom are emergency fire hires — are helping to fight wildfires in western states.
While many homeowners are looking upward to watch for invading emerald ash borers in the treetops, people in Portage County are looking downward for a very strange invader.
DARLINGTON — When a few Lafayette County farmers sat down at a table to talk about forming an organization to promote conservation practices that can make a difference, they had a few simple goals in mind.
MADISON — Wisconsin’s Producer-Led Watershed Protection Grant Program has been bringing farmers together to work on conservation problems for two years, and the farmers involved in those programs join with their neighbors in these groups for a variety of reasons, some of those involved said …
In the past few weeks, as you drive around Jackson County, you may have seen cropland erosion occurring.
Landowners whose Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program contracts are expiring this year have until Aug. 31 to re-enroll in the program, an option that might look more and more attractive in light of this summer’s floods in Wisconsin. Enrolling for the first time is also an option that non…
A multi-organizational group of farmers, shoreline owners and other members of the public will showcase what has been done over five years of best management practices to protect the deepest natural lake in Wisconsin at a Conservation Field Day 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Aug. 26, at the Wilke Far…
MADISON — When Angela Biggs accepted the position as state conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service, she felt it was almost like going home, even though she had previously lived in Iowa and not Wisconsin.
TOMAHAWK — A 2016 Wisconsin groundwater survey found “detectable” levels of a pesticide or pesticide metabolite in more than 40 percent of rural wells sampled throughout the state, according to information presented July 20 to the state Board of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
REDGRANITE — Honeybees forage among a variety of plants as they collect nectar to take back to their hives. Some of them may be searching out special plants as a way to self-medicate, according to Melanie Kirby, a New Mexico beekeeper who presented information about an ongoing study during t…
WASHINGTON — Several states are seeking to join a legal challenge to a Trump administration decision to keep a widely used pesticide on the market despite studies showing it can harm children’s brains.
MONTANA — With the Clean Air Act tightening emission standards and requiring emissions-control projects at Dairyland Power’s coal-fired power plants, the utility has found itself with a byproduct that could be of interest to the agricultural community.
Decisions about pasture use and feed management affect greenhouse gas emissions associated with organic dairy herds, according to a new study from the UW-Madison printed in the July 2017 issue of the Journal of Dairy Science.