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Dick Ellis Blog:
4/5/2022
Please connect with this link to read all of On Wisconsin Outdoors reporting on the wolf issue over 2021/22.  We will continue our work and our commitment to bring you nothing but the truth to the best of our ability. To have a PDF of our work e-mailed directly to you, please e-mail us at ellis@onwisconsinoutdoors.com. You are welcome to share this link or our PDF with anyone concerned with wolf management in Wisconsin or the future of ...
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Outdoor Report: Wisconsin State Park System Updates

Plus, Poster Contest Winners, Weigh In On Wildlife Management
And Warden Recruitment

With 49 state parks, more than 500 boat launches, 15 state forests, 44 state trails, over 5,000 campsites and much more – your springtime adventure awaits.

As we usher in a new season, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has several operations updates on State Parks and other DNR-managed lands outlined below.

Starting April 30, the following changes will be implemented:

  • Observation towers and playgrounds will be open
  • Volunteer group sizes will be increased to 50 people
  • Capacity for open-air shelters, amphitheaters and outdoor group campgrounds will be increased to 100 people
  • Non-department led special event capacity will increase from 50 to 100. Special event permit applicants may work with property staff to phase larger events with capacities over 100
  • Stand-alone concession facilities will open to the public at 50% capacity including staff

In addition to the operations updates, the following amenities continue to be available to state park visitors:

  • Family camping (100% reservable with auto check-in)
  • Outdoor group camping, maximum capacity of 100 people (100% reservable with auto check-in)
  • Bathroom and dump station facilities
  • Accessible cabins
  • Drive-up window service
  • Concessions, including firewood sales

Rock Island will remain closed to all visitors through Thursday, May 27 to allow for repairs to the dock including dredging of the dock area. Camping reservation holders will be contacted directly and those scheduled to arrive on Wednesday, May 26 or Thursday, May 27, will be given the opportunity to shorten their stay to arrive on Friday, May 28.

Indoor group campgrounds and indoor shelters, including the Flambeau River State Forest yurt, will also remain closed through June 1. Wisconsin state park and property visitor capacity closures will remain in place to help manage overcrowding and promote social distancing.

The following State Natural Areas are now open:

  • Pewits Nest
  • Parfrey's Glen

Spring Reminders

Rain coupled with an increase in use can sometimes be damaging to public spaces and natural resources. While DNR staff try to provide signage and condition updates whenever possible, please be sure to stay on trails and seek dry trail alternatives if you find muddy conditions.

Visitors are encouraged to practice social distancing and to wear a face covering when a distance of 6 feet or greater cannot be achieved.

State park visitors can purchase annual admission passes online, over the phone by calling local properties directly or in-person at self-registration stations at individual properties.


Keep Wildlife Wild Poster Contest Winners

We're pleased to announce the winners of the third-annual Keep Wildlife Wild poster contest. Submitted by fourth through sixth graders around the state, each poster helps spread the word about our shared role in keeping all wildlife healthy, and most importantly, wild.

During the warmer months of spring and summer, the frequency of human-wildlife encounters increases, especially those involving young wild animals. While most of these encounters are harmless, there are times when well-intentioned people interfere in wildlife situations because they incorrectly assume a young animal is orphaned.

The Keep Wildlife Wild initiative began in 2014 to provide information about wildlife species’ natural behaviors, tips on how to determine if a wild animal is truly orphaned and what to do if someone finds an animal that needs help. The poster contest is a fun way for kids to spread that message.

“We received about 130 poster designs from fourth, fifth and sixth graders across Wisconsin,” said Amanda Kamps, DNR Wildlife Health Conservation Specialist. “It was a fun and challenging task to narrow down the winners for each grade. The level of artistic ability and creativity of the students is incredible, and we look forward to highlighting these talented young artists.”

To view all the winning posters, click here.  


Warden Hiring Now Open

The hiring process for DNR conservation wardens is now open! Full- and part-time positions are available and you can apply for both at the same time. The application period will run through April 25, 2021. 

Learn more and apply here.

PLEASE NOTE: The conservation warden application process will not be assessing candidates’ resumes. While candidates are required submit a resume, they should focus their time and effort on completing the yes/no questions and writing responses to the short answer questions found in the job application. Only the yes/no and short answer questions will be used during the applicant screening process.

Learn More About The Warden Career

Our recruitment webpage is a great place to start in learning about the career – find requirements for the position, suggestions for how to prepare for the career, what to expect in your first year and more. 

We also recommend checking out these recent webinars with current warden staff:


Weigh In: Wolf Management And County Deer Advisory Councils 

Each year, there are numerous opportunities to weigh in on wildlife management and share your feedback on issues that impact your community. Here are a couple current opportunities.

Wolf Management

The Wisconsin DNR is seeking public input on the next 10 years of wolf management in Wisconsin. The DNR simultaneously requests public comment on the fall 2021 wolf harvest season through the same online input tool. Read more on the process here

The public comment period will be open April 15 to May 15 during which the online input tool is available on the DNR Wolf management plan webpage.

County Deer Advisory Councils 

County Deer Advisory Councils (CDACs) meet each spring to develop recommendations for antlerless harvest goals, antlerless tag availability and season options for their county that the DNR will consider in its final recommendation to the Natural Resources Board. 

The public input period is open until April 25. To learn more and share your feedback, click here