Six-County Lakes Meeting: UPDATE with Agenda

“Protecting Our Waters: We’re All Connected” is the theme for the annual Northwoods Six-County Lakes Meeting, set for Friday, July 12, 2024 at Nicolet College. Lake association leaders and members along with the general public will convene to learn about and discuss our interconnected water resources and our human connections to each other and to our lakes, streams, wetlands and groundwater.

A committee with representatives from Oneida, Vilas, Forest, Langlade, Lincoln, and Iron counties is at work developing plans for the meeting. The program includes a five-member panel discussion on the connections among water resources and the people who use them, along with presentations on the impacts of climate change and drought on our water resources and fisheries, and the problem of PFAS in the environment.

There will also be exhibits from educational and nonprofit organizations and excellent opportunities for networking. The meeting will run from 8:30 a.m. to noon. All are welcome; there is no charge and no need to register. More details and agenda revisions will be announced as the meeting date approaches, or contact Tom Ewing at president@vclra.org.

The event is jointly sponsored by Vilas County Lakes and Rivers Association (vclra.org) and Oneida County Lakes and Rivers Association (www.oclra.org).

North Lakeland Woods & Waters Conference Held May 3rd

The North Lakeland Woods & Waters Conference will be held at the North Lakeland Discovery Center in Manitowish Waters, WI on  Friday May 3rd, 2024.

Join us for a gathering centered on partnerships and collaboration. Let’s celebrate water, explore solutions, and stay informed about the science and research related to our Northwoods and treasured lakes. Some of the areas examined include:

  • Watershed Partnerships
  • Wake Boats
  • Shoreline Restoration
  • Aquatic Invasive Species
  • Citizen Science

Registration opens at 7:30 AM followed by an optional morning bog hike on Statehouse Lake led by Licia Johnson, Naturalist and Education Director. Coffee and light breakfast included, followed by opening comments and sessions beginning at 9:00 AM. Lunch and refreshments also provided.

Last lecture session ends at 3:30 PM. Following the last session, optional workshops such as underwater remote operated vehicles or a naturalist-led botany hike will be offered.

A Woods and Water Social will be held in the Lodge from 4:30 – 6:00 PM with beer and wine by donation.

Northwoods Six-County Lakes Meeting Set for July 12, 2024

“Protecting Our Waters: We’re All Connected” is the theme for the annual Northwoods Six-County Lakes Meeting, set for Friday, July 12, 2024 at Nicolet College. Lake association leaders and members along with the general public will convene to learn about and discuss our interconnected water resources and our human connections to each other and to our lakes, streams, wetlands and groundwater.

A committee with representatives from Oneida, Vilas, Forest, Langlade, Lincoln, and Iron counties is at work developing plans for the meeting. The program will include a five-member panel discussion on the connections among water resources and the people who use them, along with presentations on the impacts of climate change and drought on our water resources and fisheries, and the problem of PFAS in the environment.

There will also be exhibits from educational and nonprofit organizations and excellent opportunities for networking. The meeting will run from 8:30 a.m. to noon. All are welcome; there is no charge and no need to register. More details and a full agenda will be announced as the meeting date approaches, or contact Tom Ewing at president@vclra.org.

The event is jointly sponsored by Vilas County Lakes and Rivers Association (vclra.org) and Oneida County Lakes and Rivers Association (www.oclra.org).

VCLRA’s 2024 winter newsletter available

VCLRA celebrates 30 years of protecting Vilas waters; wakesurfing legislation update; Vilas short-term rental ordinance; Lakes Toolbox workshops; Trees — how they benefit our lakes; Blue Heron Award and more!

Wisconsin Green Fire social event announced

A social event will be held October 18th at the North Lakeland Discovery Center in Manitowish Waters from 5 to 7 pm. Dr. Mike Meyer, along with lake leaders from the area, will share highlights from the WGF Northern Lakes Toolbox workshops held in Vilas, Oneida and Iron counties.  Lake association members and leaders are all welcome.

This is one of WGF’s fall Conservation Socials events engaging and casual gatherings to be held this fall across Wisconsin, bringing members and conservation enthusiasts together from all across the state.

See WGF’s full news release for further details.

2023 Six-County Lakes and Rivers Meeting Video

View the video of the 2023 Northwoods Six-County Lakes and Rivers Meeting, which featured a balance of learning and discussion of key issues affecting our natural waters.

The well-attended event for Northwoods counties was held on July 14, 2023 at Nicolet College in Rhinelander and is jointly sponsored by the Oneida County Lakes and Rivers Association (www.oclra.org) and the Vilas County Lakes and Rivers Association (www.vclra.org). In addition to expert briefings on timely topics and exhibits from educational, nonprofit, and government organizations, the event featured a moderated panel to discuss the law enforcement challenges stemming from enhanced wake boats and other watercrafts, short-term vacation rentals issues, zoning violations and other areas that impact the health and enjoyment of our Northwoods lakes and rivers.

Enjoy the video! Hope to see you next year.

2023 VCLRA Summer Newsletter

Our latest newsletter is available online (print edition out soon). Read about:

  • Six-county workshop/annual meeting on July 14th featuring an expert panel on law-enforcement challenges affecting the health and enjoyment of our increasingly-crowded lakes and rivers;
  • Update on wake boat resolutions;
  • Free workshops on new toolbox to help protect and improve your lake
  • VCLRA scholarships awarded to two area high school seniors;
  • Spiny water fleas;
  • Permanent Shoreland Protection & Workshop on June 26th
  • Northwoods LIGHTS OUT! campaign;
  • and more!

2023 6-county lakes & rivers workshop

This year’s 6-county lakes & rivers workshop will take place on July 14, 2023, 8:30 am-12:30 pm, at Nicolet College in Rhinelander. The annual event is co-sponsored by the Oneida and Vilas County Lakes and Rivers Associations. In addition to expert briefings on timely subject areas by distinguished presenters, we will have a moderated panel to discuss the law enforcement challenges stemming from enhanced wake boats and other watercrafts, short-term vacation rentals issues, zoning violations and other areas that impact the health and enjoyment of our Northwoods lakes and rivers.

Eric Olson, director of UW-Extension Lakes, will be opening and moderating our workshop and panel. It should be a great event involving a prominent group of speakers to kick off meaningful dialogue about issues our lake communities deeply care about in the Northwoods .

As in the past, VCLRA will hold its annual meeting following the conference. The event is free and no registration is required. See draft agenda for more details. Updates may follow as the agenda is finalized.

For more information, contact Tom Ewing (VCLRA) at president@vclra.org or Ted Rulseh (OCLRA) at trulseh@tjrcommunications.com, or use the contact form at vclra.org/contact/.

Shoreland Owner Workshop

June 26 @ 10:00 am – 12:30 pm

If you own lake or river shoreland property and would like to learn about best practices and programs to protect water quality and habitat, as well as permanent conservation options through our partner, Northwoods Land Trust, please join us on Monday, June 26 at 10 am at the Northwoods Center in Eagle River. A light lunch and beverages will be served.

Read more about Permanent Shoreland Protection here.

Topics / presentation / discussion include:

  • Maintaining water quality through shoreland best practices and restoration options (vegetation management and erosion control). Mariquita Sheehan, Conservation Specialist, Vilas County Land & Water Conservation Department.
  • Programs and resources for new shoreland property owners and lake associations. Tom Ewing, President, Vilas County Lakes & Rivers Association.
  • Permanent shoreland and upland conservation options for private landowners including the basics of conservation easements. Kari Kirschbaum, Land Protection Director, Northwoods Land Trust

Pre-registration is requested. This event is free.

Register Here

Questions?  Email carrie@northwoodslandtrust.org or call the NWLT office at 715-479-2490.

Northwoods LIGHTS OUT!

by Quita Sheehan, mashee@vilascountywi.gov 

Looking for another way to enjoy the wonders of the Northwoods? Exploring the night skies, watching fireflies and stargazing are but a few ways to appreciate the darkness. Oneida and Vilas County Land & Water Conservation Departments are promoting two summer weekends to enjoy the night. We encourage you to turn off your lights for a few hours, go outside, and look up and around you! Listening in the darkness can also lead to exciting discoveries! Make this an event for your lake group or educational organization; help us spread the word through your organization communications and newsletters!

Two summer weekends to enjoy the night!

June 17-18          Firefly Watch!
August 12-13      Milky Way & Perseid Meteor Watch!

We hope that by setting dates, residents, and visitors alike, will coordinate for a broader appreciation of nighttime wonders.  Please check out the Oneida Land & Water Conservation website (https://www.oclw.org/special-projects.html) or call 715-369-7835 for more information.  And if you or your group plan a Lights Out Event – let us know!!

Unnecessary lighting with improper placement and design interferes with visibility and robs us all of quality night skies.  Other impacts from light pollution include human health affects/sleep disruption, confusion for migratory birds and other wildlife, and wasting energy. You can help by only using lighting you really need, choosing energy-efficient bulbs, and directing lights downward. By working together, we can protect the night for everyone to enjoy!