WNR magazine NEWS & REVIEWS August 2018

August masthead

News & Reviews

August 2018

tree swallow


Celebrate birds and help them, too

It’s a big year for birds — the Year of the Bird, in fact, so designated by a partnership including National Geographic, the National Audubon Society, BirdLife International and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Year of the Bird celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, passed by Congress in 1918 to protect birds from wanton killing. National Geographic has planned special “Take Action” activities for each month this year to celebrate the centennial.

Also for bird lovers, get ready for the annual meeting of the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative, a partnership of more than 175 groups statewide dedicated to protecting and promoting all types of bird species. The annual WBCI meeting is Sept. 6-8 in Pewaukee and will include presentations by experts including from the Department of Natural Resources, a meeting sponsor. Registration deadline is Aug. 21; sign up by Aug. 6 for special discounts at the host hotel, the Ingleside (formerly Country Springs). This year’s WBCI annual event will focus on “SOS for Our Flying Bug Eaters,” including tree swallows (pictured above), purple martins, common nighthawks and other bird and bat species.

The DNR website has a wealth of information on birding and bird conservation including good places for bird-watching and ways to get involved in aid efforts. For details, go to dnr.wi.gov, keyword “birding.”


OutWiGo and on the move

August is the perfect time to get outside — and consider signing the OutWiGo pledge. Wisconsin State Parks is promoting this new wellness initiative. People are encouraged to sign the OutWiGo pledge to “feel good in the great outdoors” and can look for #OutWiGo wellness tips and tricks on DNR social media sites including Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. For details, see dnr.wi.gov, keyword “OutWiGo.”

park activities

State parks are packed
with August activities

There are so many activities and events planned this month at Wisconsin’s beautiful state parks, it’s impossible to know where to begin. DNR’s Get Outdoors! calendar is chock-full for August and features everything from outdoor survival skills to Shakespeare; bats, bugs, birds and butterflies to bonfires on the beach; hikes, bike rides and paddling events; wellness walks and yoga; fishing and bowhunting instruction; music, astronomy activities, scavenger hunts, storytimes and so much more. For details on all the state park happenings, check dnr.wi.gov, keywords “Get Outdoors.” You can then search the events calendar by specific park, activity and date range to find something fun for you!

FWSP logo

Photo contest
ends soon

It’s last call for the 2018 Friends of Wisconsin State Parks photo contest — entry deadline is Aug. 31. Check the Friends website at fwsp.org for how to enter your action shots and scenic photos from state parks, recreation areas, trails and forests. Winning entries will be printed in the 2019 Friends of Wisconsin State Parks calendar, which is included in the Winter issue of Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine.


Mussel monitoring on state waters

Paddlers, anglers and other Wisconsin water users are encouraged to keep an eye out to help protect the state’s native freshwater mussels. These important members of the aquatic ecosystem go by such colorful names as fatmucket, flutedshell, Wabash pigtoe and heelsplitter. Water users can help in conservation efforts by collecting and photographing live mussels and returning them to the water, then reporting that information to the DNR’s Wisconsin Mussel Monitoring Program. A new video available on the program’s website and also on the DNR homepage shows how to search shallow water and shorelines for freshwater mussels. Of the 52 native species in the state (different from the invasive and harmful zebra mussel), 24 are listed as endangered, threatened or of special concern because of declining numbers.


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Bat Festival coming later this month

Mark your calendar for the annual Wisconsin Bat Festival, Aug. 25 at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center in Ashland. Check the Wisconsin Bat Program website for festival details as they become available and to learn how you can step up for the state’s bats.