2022 Vilas County Lakes Conservation Partners Meeting

Join other local lake organizations, professionals, and volunteers next week on Friday Oct 28 from 9:30-Noon at the Boulder Junction Community Center for the annual Vilas County Lake Conservation Partners Meeting. Each year Vilas County Land & Water facilitates this networking and planning meeting centered around lake conservation work. Hear what neighboring groups are working on, check progress with the Invasive Species Strategic Plan, and voice priorities your group might have for local lake conservation.

Agenda – 2022 Vilas County Lakes Conservation Partners Meeting

Vilas County Invasive Species Strategic Plan 2020-2024

Changing climate impacts our lakes

by Dea Larsen Converse, larsenconver@wisc.edu 

A recently released report on climate impacts to water resources in Wisconsin from the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICCI) shows that warming temperatures and changing precipitation patterns are impacting Wisconsin’s wealth of water resources. The last two decades have been the warmest on record in Wisconsin and the past decade has been the wettest.

“The warming climate is having an impact on water resources in Wisconsin. We need to increase the magnitude and urgency of actions to protect and restore habitat and enhance water quality to make Wisconsin’s waters more resilient to climate change.”

– Katie Hein, WICCI Water Resources Working Group Co-Chair

Yet, there is hope. The WICCI report suggests solutions to prepare for and minimize climate impacts to water resources, like increasing water storage across the landscape, installing green infrastructure, protecting wetlands, building outside of flood zones, and installing flood warning systems. Visit the Water Resources Working Group webpage to learn more. There is hope for the future, but it is up to us.

Read more here.

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Dea Larsen Converse is Communications Director for Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts, a nationally recognized collaboration of scientists and stakeholders working together to help foster solutions to climate change in Wisconsin. 

Photo credit: Deer Lake Morning by Kevin Sink

2022 Six-County Lakes & Rivers Conference Presentations

Presentations from the 2022 Six-County Lakes & Rivers Conference
Friday July 15, 8:30a – 12:30p, Lakeside Center, Nicolet College, Rhinelander
The original announcement for this annual event hosted jointly by VCLRA and OCLRA is here.

PRESENTATIONS:

Welcome/Updates: Patrick Goggin, Lakes Specialist – UW-EX Lakes

Policy Picture/Lake Carrying Capacity: Mike Engleson, Executive Director – Wisconsin Lakes

Wakeboats Impacts/Remedies 1: Chuck Becker, SafeWakes Minnesota Lakes

Wakeboats Impacts/Remedies 2: Jeff Meessmann, Last Wilderness Alliance

Tourist Rooming Houses/Access and Viewing Corridors: Bob Thome, Oneida County Supervisor

AIS: Shoreline Inspection: Joe Steinhage, Two Sisters Lakes

AIS: Full-Time CBCW: Keith Montgomery, Black Oak Lake

 

black and red typewriter on white table

Spring 2022 newsletter available

Check out our latest newsletter. Learn about our upcoming, 2022 Northwoods Six-County Lakes & Rivers Conference (which incorporates our VCLRA annual meeting) on July 15th at Nicolet College, which returns to an in-person format. Our theme is wakeboats, lake capacity and other key issues impacting lakes and rivers. This newsletter also has a wealth of information about useful tools, initiatives and resources to keep our lakes and rivers healthy. Finally, don’t forget to renew your membership, or join today!

Regulation of wake boats: an opportunity to provide input…

2022 Spring Hearing Citizen Resolution Additional Instructions

Once logged in you will be asked “Would you like to provide input to citizen resolutions submitted for your county of residence?”  ANSWER YES to this question

 The  hazardous wake resolution numbers for Vilas County are 640822, 640922, 641122 and 641222.  Please make sure to respond to those resolutions.

04/12/2022

As we reported recently in the VCLRA report on Wake Boats in our winter newsletter (pages 6-7), the growing popularity of wake boats presents challenges on state lakes. On the one hand, water sports and recreational boating generates tourist dollars. On the other hand, there is the potential for enhanced shoreline erosion due to their energetic waves. The enhanced wakes can also endanger other swimmers and boaters, as well as disturb water fowl nesting sites on the water’s edge. Because wake boats are weighted in the rear so that the propwash has a downward angle, they may stir up bottom sediments, uproot aquatic plants, disturb fish habitat and potentially releasing toxins that have settled to the bottom.

The public has an opportunity to influence state regulations through the 2022 Spring Hearing online input sponsored by The Wisconsin Conservation Congress (WCC), which is a liaison between the citizens of Wisconsin, the Natural Resources Board (NRB) and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).  Its purpose is to provide an avenue for public input and exchange concerning conservation issues in Wisconsin.  Pending approval by the Wisconsin Legislature, what started as a Citizen Resolution can become a Wisconsin rule/law.  To that end, WCC has submitted several proposed Citizen Resolution questions for Vilas County and Dane county. If these resolution questions pass the first step, they will follow the process toward a hazardous wake resolution at the state level.  If successful, current State boating regulations and statutes could be changed to regulate wake boats.

How can I find the online input option?

The link will be placed on the DNR’s Spring Hearing webpage and can be found at https://dnr.wisconsin.gov. Type in “Spring Hearings” in the search box.

How do I provide input using the online option?

The online form is being run through “Survey Monkey”.  Once you sign in, simply read and follow the directions.

When can I provide my online input?

The link will go live on Monday, April 11, 2022 at 7:00 PM CDT and will remain open for three days (until 7:00 PM CDT on Thursday, April 14).  Each person can provide input once for each of the survey questions.

Do I have to provide input on all the questions?

No, just answer “NO OPINION” on questions you do not want to answer.

For additional information:

The 2022 Spring Hearing Online Input FAQ is here: https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/sites/default/files/topic/About/WCC/2022/SpringHearing/2022_Spring_Hearing_Online_Input_FAQ_V4.pdf

The VCLRA report on Wake Boats in the 2021-22 winter newsletter (posted on https://vclra.org/newsletter-archive/) also provides useful references on experiences with wake boats in several states, as well as research on lake impacts due to enhanced wakes.

2022 Six-County Lakes & Rivers Conference

Lake group leaders and members from six northern Wisconsin counties will convene for a discussion of the environmental impacts of wakeboats, the proliferation of short-term rentals, and other issues related lake recreational capacity on Friday, July 15th. The annual lakes event will return to an in-person event and is sponsored jointly by Oneida and Vilas County Lakes and Rivers Associations.

2022 Northwoods Six-County Lakes & Rivers Conference on July 15th to highlight wakeboats and lake capacity issues

The effects of enhanced wakes from wakeboarding and wakesurfing have been the subject of great concern and extensive scientific research in recent years. Meanwhile, concern is rising about the short-term rentals of lakefront homes and cabins and how they affect lake water quality, lake crowding, and the integrity of lakefront neighborhoods.

Other topics at the annual Six-County Lakes Meeting, from 8:30 am to noon at Nicolet College in Rhinelander, will include aquatic invasive species prevention, lake access and viewing corridors on lakefront properties, and an update on state legislation and policy related to water resources. Attendees are expected from Oneida, Vilas, Forest, Langlade, Lincoln, and Iron counties. VCLRA and OCLRA will separately also host their annual meetings immediately following the event.

See draft agenda for more details. Updates may follow as the agenda is finalized.

For more information, contact Steve Budnik (VCLRA) at 715-686-7852 or skbudnik@centurytel.net, Bob Martini (OCLRA) at 715-282-5896 or bobmartini@charter.net, or, use the contact form here: vclra.org/contact/.

Youth Conservation Poster Contest

Daryn Smolinksi, Mollie Waltz, and Clark Higley are the winners of the 2022 Vilas County Land & Water Youth Conservation Poster Contest.

The Vilas County Youth Conservation Poster Contest is held annually to promote youth awareness of local land and water conservation issues.  Vilas County Land & Water staff partner with teachers, home schoolers, and other educators to offer lessons that meet academics standards.   This year Land & Water staff were able to go into classrooms with soil samples and vegetables to teach the theme of “Healthy Soil: Healthy Life”.

Read more “Youth Conservation Poster Contest”

Science on Tap: Using Science to Wrangle AIS

Wednesday,  January 5, 2022 6:30 pm —
Live Event – Oakfire Pizza, Minocqua

UPDATE — due to Covid this is now a remote event.
Visit  http://www.scienceontapminocqua.org/ to connect.

Michelle Nault is the statewide lakes and reservoir ecologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Bureau of Water Quality and is responsible for providing technical guidance to a wide variety of lake management and restoration efforts.  Michelle will discuss how the DNR and its partners use science to deal with these troubling aquatic invasive species.

Read more “Science on Tap: Using Science to Wrangle AIS”