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Northwoods Native Confirmed to Natural Resources BoardSubmitted: 05/07/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com


LAONA - What should the rules be for wolf hunting in Wisconsin?

How can we deal with phosphorous runoff in state rivers?

Should we should be able to hunt in state parks?

Those are some of the big questions Wisconsin's Natural Resources Board deals with.

Now, a longtime scientist from a small Northwoods community will join the decision-makers.

Laona isn't typically a hotbed of state leaders.

But on Tuesday, Laona native Gary Zimmer joined a group with real power to shape how we interact with nature in our state.

All 33 state senators voted to confirm Zimmer to his new post on the seven-member Natural Resources Board.

His perspective should be a valuable addition to the group.

"Our Natural Resources Board is made up of a number of different individuals. I'm one of the few that has a scientific background on the board. There's folks with real estate or farming backgrounds, just a wide range of backgrounds, and that's really important to making good decisions out there," he says.

Zimmer has worked in Laona for the Ruffed Grouse Society for the last 13 years.

Before that, he spent 18 years with the U.S. Forest Service in the Northwoods.

He plans to make the interaction between forestry and wildlife management a focus of his as a new member of the board.

"The state forests, the county forests, and the state wildlife management areas are all forests that are certified. That shows the well-managed sustained-yield forests that we do have. Those forests are very, very important for wildlife management," he says.

Zimmer will sit down for his first meeting as an official board member two weeks from Tuesday.

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CRANDON - The first annual Legionnaire Mud Challenge made its way to Crandon Saturday.

The International Off-Road Raceway welcomed nearly 200 participants ready to get down and dirty.

Men and women of all ages were brought together by the desire to work up a sweat.

"There's not a lot of opportunities like this in the northwoods, so it's always great to see one pop up," said Justin Lund.

He's an experienced obstacle course athlete and came in first in the men's 10k.

And for the women, Sheila Reynolds also took first place.
 
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Athletes participating in the mud challenge had the option of running as an individual or on a team. When registering, they chose between the 5k or 10k.

Not only are these athletes getting all muddy as they're going through the race, they also have to climb over obstacles like these barrels of hay.

Some of the obstacles included a tire wall, slip n' slide, and muddy wet puddles to get through.

"I talked to a lot of the runners before we went and they said that the obstacles were tough and they really liked the course," said Beaver, one of four runners on a team.

Beaver and The Boys completed the course with only a few setbacks along the way.

"I lost my shoe in the middle of it and had to go back and find it," he said.

Athletes had to get up and over more than 15 obstacles throughout the race.

All the money raised will go to the Northwoods United Way and American Cancer Society.

The second annual Legionnaire Mud Challenge will take place next year.

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