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Lots of Good News for the Barrens

Governor Evers vetoed Assembly Bill 512

Governor Evers upheld restrictions on pursing wildlife with dogs in the spring on public lands in Northern Wisconsin. On March 29, he vetoed Assembly Bill 512. Here’s his reasoning for keeping protections in place:

“I am vetoing this bill in its entirety because I object to increasing the risk of harassment against ground-nesting birds, deer fawns, elk calves, bear cubs and other wildlife in ecologically sensitive areas. Ample opportunities exist for individuals to hunt and train using dogs within this region outside of the May 1 to June 30 timeframe. The administrative code provisions protect wildlife during the important spring breeding and migration season.”

Thanks to all of the Friends of the Namekagon Barrens that took the time to express opinions on this measure when it was debated in the Assembly and Senate and then sent to the Governor.

Sharp-tailed Grouse are Dancing

Wisconsin DNR Wildlife Biologist Nancy Christel reports that the Sharp-tailed Grouse are ready for spring:

“The birds are dancing, and the blinds are ready! As of Friday, March 29, there was about 6 inches of snow and snowbanks that prevent driving off the town roads. By Monday I expect all the blinds should be accessible as normal. Keep in mind that travel should be good on the hard frozen ground in the early morning, but conditions soften and get sloppy mid-day, so be cautious. Have a fun time and dress warm!”

It’s also a good idea to re-read the protocol for using the blinds before heading for the Barrens:

Dave Peters and Sand and Fire will be featured on the Wisconsin Historical Society’s “Book Club” broadcast on April 17

Tune in to hear Dave share stories from his book Sand and Fire about the history and beauty of the Namekagon Barrens. The Historical Society is offering an evening event on Wednesday, April 17 from 6:00 to 7:30 via Zoom.

Book club is free and open to all amateur book enthusiasts, but registration is required. To register or if you have questions, please contact Liz Arbuckle, Northern Outreach Coordinator, at liz.arbuckle@wisconsinhistory.org. Prior to each meeting, Liz will send the Zoom link and some discussion questions to help you prepare for the meeting. For more information about Book Club offerings, see this site: https://www.wisconsinhistory.org/Records/Article/CS16636

Many Thanks to Anderson, Hager, and Moe Accounting in Spooner

The staff of Anderson, Hager and Moe presented our Friends group with a generous donation of $570.70 in March. As part of the company’s “Jeans for Charity” program staff pay a small amount for the privilege of wearing jeans on Friday. The money contributed is given to organizations at the end of the year. We were the lucky recipients of one of their donations – much appreciated!

2024 Spring and Summer Field Trips in the Barrens

Here’s our summer schedule!

Cabin opening/clean-up & road litter pick-up day-

Saturday, May 11, 9am at the cabin; no sign-up needed.

Hunt Hill Field Trip to the Barrens– Tuesday, May 14

Registration/Information through Hunt Hill Audubon Sanctuary at hunthill.org

Rare Birds of the Barrens field trip- Saturday, May 18

Registration/information through Natural Resources Foundation of WI at wisconservation.org

Butterflies & Wildflowers field trip- Saturday, June 1

Registration/information through: Natural Resources Foundation of WI- wisconservation.org

Scouting for Blueberries– Saturday, July 13

9am at the Cabin; no sign-up needed.

Blueberries on the Barrens annual picnic!

Saturday, July 20; no sign-up needed.

Blueberry picking begins at 8:30am

Free food & beverages at noon

Resource conservation speakers

Bird Dogs & Sharp-tails field trip-

Saturday, August 17, 8:30am at the Cabin
No sign-up needed – just come!

Events & field trip begin at the NBWA cabin at 33174 Gomulak Fire Lane (just south of the intersection with St. Croix Trail)

Watch for FNBWA member email updates and more information/updates on the FNBWA website & Facebook page.


Hope to see you on the Barrens!

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