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Urban Wildlife

Crew gets permission to hold controlled burn amidst burn ban

With a red flag warning across a majority of the state, the DNR banned burning in the counties where the wind and dry conditions could create the most danger for wildfires.

So smoke above the Holy Wisdom Monastery might have been a surprise for those who thought setting fire to anything was not allowed.


FREE Stricker Pond Ecologist-Guided Pond Tour

On Wednesday, August 13, the City of Middleton is allowing residents to join an ecologist and discover the prairies and wildlife of Stricker Pond Conservancy and Tiedeman Pond Conservancy for a free tour. The tour will start at 6 p.m. and end at 7:30 p.m.

The tour will meet at the northeast end of Stricker Pond Conservancy, near the intersection of Middleton St. and Voss Pkwy.

The tour will be guided by Mike Healy, restoration ecologist with Adaptive Restoration LLC, Dr. Mary Linton, wetland ecologist of Snapping Linton Ecology, and Aaron Steber, senior project scientist with Cardno JFNew.

The tour will highlight the City's efforts to restore the ponds' shoreline and improve water quality.

Participants are advised to wear clothing and footwear suitable for walking on trails. The tour will involve a 1- to 2-mile walk around the ponds.

Hayrides and butterflies at annual prairie tour

Prairie Enthusiasts announced it will he holding the 2013 Prairie Tour Saturday form 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Prairie lovers can visit three restored prairie and oak savanna sites along county road F in Dane County.  There will be stops at Rettenmund Prairie and Pleasant Valley Conservancy where experts will be availiable to ask questions.

There will also be a stop at Mounds View Grassland featuring a hayride touring 570 acres. Riders will also be able to see exhibits on invasive species, burns, seed collection and scientific research.

A workshops for monarch butterfly tagging and nature photography.

Enthusiasts can start the tours bby pickign up a free tour guide package at the culvers in either Cross Plains or Mt. Horeb.

Finished section of Pheasant Branch Creek trail links to golf course

A key missing link in Middleton’s South Fork Trail was completed on Friday, according to the city.

The finished section makes it possible for bicyclists and pedestrians to travel between Greenway Center and the golf course property without having to use Pleasant View Road, according to a release from Middleton Wednesday.

Prior to last week, trail users could only travel along the South Fork of Pheasant Branch Creek to Greenway Boulevard next to Raven Software. 

Starting in early August, the city said it will initiate a project to complete the one-block gap in the South Fork Trail between Terrace Avenue (near Esser Pond) and University Avenue. 

The city said it plans to complete the block in October, and bicyclists and pedestrians will then be able to travel entirely via trails between northeast Middleton (near Orchid Heights Park) and Pleasant View Golf Course, a distance of more than five miles.

Dane Co. to preserve 466 acres along Sugar River

Dane Co. to preserve 466 acres along Sugar River

Middleton-based co. to manage property transition, keep 600 acres    

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced Monday that the county has reached an agreement with the Middleton-based Bruce Company to acquire and permanently protect hundreds of acres south of Verona along the Sugar River.

Details of the proposal to purchase and preserve 466 acres and over 2.5 miles of riverfront on the Sugar River were announced at a news conference on the Bruce Company property Monday.

While the goal of the purchase is to protect the land, county officials said it has excellent recreational potential.

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.

Mayor proclaims Saturday ‘Bird Day’ in the city

Mayor proclaims Saturday ‘Bird Day’ in the city

Local, national protection groups bringing awareness to pet birds    

The City of Madison joins a national non-profit in celebrating the feathered kind on National Bird Day Saturday.

On Dec. 19, Mayor Paul Soglin signed a proclamation making Jan. 5 Bird Day in the city. Soglin wrote he “encourage[s] our citizens to conserve and protect the world’s birds from cruelty and extinction.”

The city’s Bird Day coincides with the same day it is celebrated nationwide through Born Free and the Avian Welfare Coalition.

Monica Engebretson, wildlife biologist with Born Free, said National Bird Day is about to protecting and appreciating birds.

“Birds are actually not domesticated animals like cats and dogs,” Engebretson said. “They belong in the wild and it is very challenging to meet their needs in a home environment.”