July 17, 2020 – Free Webinar on Wisconsin Frogs

Wisconsin Wetlands Association is hosting “Wetland Coffee Breaks” this summer. These brief webinars can be watched live and are recorded and posted for later viewing as well. On July 17, Rori Paloski (DNR) will discuss the mid-summer habits and habitats of Wisconsin frogs, as well as how to identify them if you see or hear one. Register here for “Wisconsin frogs: Where are they and what are they doing mid-summer?”. Earlier this year, Emily Stone from the Cable Natural History Museum presented “Treasures of the Secret Fen.” Emily’s recorded presentation is available here.

Douglas County Hires AIS Coordinator

Douglas County has hired Jill Jacoby as its Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator, and citizens are invited to contact Jill with AIS-related questions. Jill can be reached at Jill.Jacoby@douglascountywi.org or 715-395-1571. Jill will serve in this position through August, and at that time another individual will take over the position.  FOECLA is proud to provide financial support for the grant which funds Jill’s work. Our area served extends into Douglas County.

Jill provided the following information about herself:

I am excited to join Douglas County and the AIS efforts.  I have a varied background that weaves threads of education, water resources, and environmental leadership together.  I have been an adjunct professor at Fairleigh Dickenson University (NJ) teaching about climate change, environmental issues, and nature oriented courses in an online platform.  I founded a nonprofit organization to educate the public about wetlands and the role they play in storm water management.

I have a strong interest in horticulture and know many of the aquatic species in the Douglas County region.  I grow shiitake mushrooms and I created a two pond water garden, planted with natives, at my home. I have a small flock of chickens and an energetic black lab mix dog who keeps me laughing.

I have degrees in Agriculture Education, Water Resources, Environmental Law and Policy, and Environmental Leadership.  I enjoy learning as well as teaching and I am looking forward to educating and working with community on aquatic invasive species.

Fireworks? Don’t Forget the Permit!

With the cancellations of “Good Neighbor Days” in Gordon and the Fourth of July parade and fireworks in Barnes this year, residents and guests who wish to display fireworks on their property (owned or rented) are reminded to contact their town clerk for a fireworks permit.  There are public displays scheduled in the Hayward area – scroll down to the bottom for information on those.

TOWN OF BARNES – Please see the public notice below.

TOWN OF GORDON –  Contact the Town Clerk for information on fireworks permits: 715-718-1714 or clerk@gordonwi.us.com

TOWN OF HIGHLAND – Contact the Town Clerk for information on fireworks permits: 715-374-2046 or clerk@townofhighland.net

FOECLA Awards 2nd Annual Student Scholarship

Bode Rasmussen, a graduating senior at Drummond High School, has been selected to receive this year’s Friends of the Eau Claire Lakes Area $1,000 Scholarship. Bode will enroll in UW-Stevens Point’s College of Natural Resources in the fall. Bode’s chosen course of study strongly aligns with our mission to help protect, preserve and improve the quality of area lakes, rivers, shorelands and wildlife. (We are pleased to remember that Bode and his fellow seventh grade students participated in our LEEP Program a few years back!)  Congratulations to Bode!

Water Quality Monitoring Impacted by COVID-19

The WDNR continues to protect the public as the state deals with a rise in Covid-19 cases. Volunteers with the WDNR’s Citizen Lake Monitoring Network (CLMN) have been advised that water chemistry sampling has been suspended, at least for this spring. Water samples are normally taken to post offices and mailed to the state lab by volunteers, but water sampling is not “essential” and it will be safer for these volunteers to remain at home. For now, they may continue taking water quality readings with the equipment they have at hand (Secchi disks, water temperature sensors and oximeters, for example) and entering that data into the statewide database from their home computers.

Lakes affected in our area include Upper, Middle and Lower Eau Claire Lakes, and Robinson Lake. For more information on CLMN and how to volunteer, please contact Kris Larsen (WDNR) at kris.larsen@wisconsin.gov or 715-635-4072.

Happy Earth Day!

Today we celebrate this big blue marble we call home.

By Michael Engleson, Executive Director, Wisconsin Lakes

Today, April 22, 2020, is the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, a worldwide day of celebration and call to action to protect and preserve our planet that has its roots right here in the Badger state. In this extraordinary time, as humanity struggles with a pandemic, celebrating what we’ve accomplished and acknowledging all that remains to be done is all the more important.

To all of you working tirelessly to keep Wisconsin’s waters clean and safe for all life on earth – thank you.

I share with you my special place, Fallison Lake in the Northern Highlands State Forest outside of Sayner. A place I’ve hiked since I was a kid and that I shared with my kid, where I’ve watched loons and beavers, been surrounded by swarms of dragonflies and butterflies and chased by swarms of bees.

Fallison Lake, in the Northern Highlands State Forest

We all have our special places. That’s why we do what we do. As we sit at home today with all our worries, take a moment and go to your special place. It’s still there, waiting for when you can return, and thankful for all you do to keep it special.

Boat Landing Inspections Suspended Due to COVID-19

Upon the enactment of Governor Evers’s “Stay at Home” order in late March, state agencies took steps to protect staff and the public from the coronavirus in Wisconsin.  Their efforts included suspending boat inspections conducted by the WDNR’s Clean Boats, Clean Waters (CBCW) program at public boat landings.  The WDNR hopes to begin inspections again in June.  Until then, if you take your boat to a lake with public access, please exercise care in removing aquatic “hitchhikers” from your boat, trailer and other equipment before entering the water.