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Environment

'Conservancy' excursions to discuss frogs, fireflies, fish

Community programs to guide residents through wildlife areas   

A local preservation group plans to share wonders of Middleton nature in upcoming free educational events.

The not-for-profit Friends of Pheasant Branch has sessions planned in May, June and July that teach attendees about creatures indigenous to the Pheasant Branch area.

Raptor experts ask observers not to disturb owl

Raptor experts ask observers not to disturb owl

Humane Society encourages watchers to keep distance  

Since a rare owl was spotted last week in Middleton, curious watchers and birders from near and far have stopped by to get a peek at it.

Clarence "Owl Man" Cameron, a Madison artist who's been sculpting owls for 46 years, said the normally rarely seen great grey is characterized by its deceptively large head, which is mostly plumage.

"Their heads are actually rather small, [what you see] is just about all feathers," Cameron said.

Dane County Humane Society’s Four Lakes Wildlife Center, a wildlife rehabilitation program, has been monitoring the great grey owl in Middleton. Wildlife Center representatives said keeping distance is for the better wellness of the bird.

Brooke Lewis, wildlife rehab supervisor with DCHS, said the great grey will eventually need to return back north, which will require peak health.

City: Recycle grocery bags in blue bins

City: Recycle grocery bags in blue bins

Separate plastic bag stations to be removed   

The plastic bag recycling stations located at various area businesses are scheduled to be removed on April 1, according to a news release from the City of Middleton sent Thursday.

The city said it is discontinuing the plastic bag recycling collection because the bags are now permissible in the city's blue recycling bins collected weekly.

The City of Middleton plastic bag recycling program accepts the following types of plastic bags: grocery bags, newspaper delivery bags and dry cleaning bags. Bags to be recycled should be bundled into one bag (around the size of a basketball) before they are placed in the blue bins, the city noted in the release.

The plastic bag stations to be retired are located at the Middleton Public Library, Middleton Springs Ace Hardware, Wolff Kubly Ace Hardware and Erewhon Outfitters at Greenway Station.

DNR announces first winter season free-fishing weekend

Residents, nonresidents invited to try winter-time fishing without a license    

The state Department of Natural Resources announced Wisconsin’s first winter free fishing weekend, which is scheduled to take place Jan. 19-20.

Bob Manwell, DNR spokesman in Fitchburg, said residents and nonresidents are invited to fish Wisconsin waters without first purchasing a license.

Wisconsin has had a similar free fishing weekend in June for many years but Manwell said the mid-January free fish event offers the chance to  try "hardwater" fishing.

Manwell also said loaner tackle is available at some sites.

DNR to conduct aerial survey of deer through February

DNR to conduct aerial survey of deer through February

Snow-covered ground helps biologists to tally in chronic wasting disease zones    

Helicopter teams will conduct aerial deer counts throughout Dane and Iowa counties and near Baraboo from Wednesday through mid-February, according to the state Department of Natural Resources.

DNR biologists are conducting aerial deer counts in portions of the chronic wasting disease management zone.

Regional spokesman Bob Manwell in Fitchburg said in a news release Wednesday that completion of the deer count operation is dependent on the presence of several inches of snow, which helps deer stand out on the landscape from the air.

Areas in western Dane and eastern Iowa counties and in the Baraboo area by Devil’s Lake State Park are scheduled for survey flights, officials said.

The DNR said about 260 square mile sections will be surveyed.

Documents shredded for cyber security month

 

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection will sponsor a community shredding event Saturday.

As part of Cyber Security Month, the event will take place in the Access Information Management building located at 3700 Commerce Dr.

Community members can shred up to 10 boxes or 200 pounds of documents at the event, which will take place from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Shredded materials will be recycled.

The event is free, but donations of food and money will be collected for the Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin, said a press release.

"Identity theft affects nearly 10 million Americans each year, often because their personal information is stolen from unsecured documents," said Sandy Chalmers, Division Administrator of Trade and Consumer Protection. "Shredding personal documents is the first step in protecting your identity or your consumers' identities from theft."