VILAS COUNTY - The DNR wants to build something of a bridge out of forest in the Northwoods.
A new land purchase in Vilas County helps that mission.
The goal is to create a connected corridor between the Northern Highland American Legion State Forest in Wisconsin's Northwoods and the Ottawa National Forest in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Wednesday, the Natural Resources Board approved the purchase of about 600 acres to help with the connection.
The price tag?
"We're able to make those ecological connections to create an ecological corridor between our current ownership and expanses of public ownership in the U.P.," says Steve Petersen, the Northern Highland American Legion State Forest Superintendent
The new land will be open to hunting, fishing, and hiking, but will serve another purpose as well.
"We also will actively manage some of this land where it's appropriate. That contributes to our local economy. It provides jobs in the timber industry. By actively managing forests, we keep the forest healthy too," Petersen says.
The DNR still needs to buy several thousand acres in Vilas County to connect to the Michigan border.
MERRILL - When you think of movies you probably think of Hollywood, but one man from Northcentral Wisconsin is bringing his feature film to the local screen.
Wausau’s Jarrod Crooks not only makes movies, but he also stars in them.
His latest film, "Dispatched" is based off the Elvis Presley movie, “Girl Happy,” says filmmaker Jarrod Crooks. “My character Jake is sent to go watch my bosses daughter while she’s on vacation with a friend. Then an old enemy is kind of after him while he’s on vacation, so some things happen.”
Crooks made, "Dispatched" on a $5,000 budget and it’s full of romance, action, and comedy.
“My buddy would joke with me, ‘why don’t you just pick one genre man and then just go with it'," says Crooks. "I’m like because I want to make this movie how I want to make It'." "I actually like romantic comedies, I think they’re kind of fun, and I think they’re cute. I like action films because I’m a guy, and I like comedy because Jim Carey is great.”
Crooks is only 28 and has already made 4 feature films. His passion started when he was 12 years old.
“I went over to my friend’s house and he had a video camera. I was like oh we should make a movie, and at that time I was really into, “Wishbone,” says Crooks.
“We’d always remake our own literature pieces. Then I saw my first Jackie Chan movie and I’m like, alright it’s settled we’re doing action films from now on," says Crooks. “From then on it was just a love affair with the filmmaking.”
His latest film will be shown at the Cosmo Theatre in Merrill on Saturday at 5pm.
“The fact that I’m bringing it to central Wisconsin is great because this is where I grew up," says Crooks. "All my family and friends get to see it, so I’m very excited about that and you get to see yourself on the big screen what’s better than that.”
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