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NEWS STORIES

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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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 03/06/2015

- One Northwoods football field needs major repairs. Football officials say the field at Jay Stadium in Merrill is almost unplayable. The Merrill Area Public School administration wants to fix the field, but it doesn't know what to do yet. Newswatch 12's Karolina Buczek went to Merrill to find out more.

- Plus, the Phelps basketball team takes being a family to the next level. Four out of their five starters are related

We'll have the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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MADISON - A representative of Wisconsin's Native American tribes told state lawmakers about the challenges facing tribal communities.

Chris McGeshick, chairman of the Sokaogon Chippewa Community delivered the annual State of the Tribes address Thursday.

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BARABOO - Circus World, with its roots in the Ringling Bros., says it's committed to keeping elephants in its shows in Baraboo.

The parent company of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus plans to eliminate elephants from its circus performances by 2018. Feld Entertainment says some cities and counties have passed ``anti-circus'' and ``anti-elephant'' ordinances, making touring difficult with changing regulations.

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MERRILL - More private schools in Northcentral Wisconsin could take part in the statewide voucher program.

Three schools in Lincoln and Marathon counties that aren't already a part of the program are applying this year.

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EAGLE RIVER - The former Lac du Flambeau man who owned and ran an ATM business that appeared in some U.S. and Canadian casinos will serve three years in prison.

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MINOCQUA - Leaders at Minocqua Winter Park often hear from locals that they don't get the chance to visit the park. Staff members want to change that, so the park will host Lakeland Community Appreciation Day this Sunday.

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VILAS COUNTY - Visitors to one Northwoods courthouse may notice some changes in security.

The Vilas County Courthouse will put in place new security measures starting March 16.

The biggest change the public will notice is that only one entrance will now be open to the public.

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