Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Wisconsin State Parks To Adjust OperationsSubmitted: 05/22/2020
Wisconsin State Parks To Adjust Operations
Story By Morgan Johnson

MADISON, WIS. - In accordance with public health guidelines and safety recommendations, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is modifying current operations to maintain the safest environment for visitors and staff.

Beginning Saturday, May 23, all Wisconsin state park system properties will return to regular operating hours of 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week. Properties will no longer be closed Wednesdays.

In addition, a limited number of day-use area restrooms at park properties will reopen for public use beginning Wednesday, June 3.




Visitors are reminded to plan ahead as well as bring hand sanitizer in the event it is not available at facilities.

All group, family and indoor group campsites will remain closed through June 7. All events and shelter reservations will also be canceled through June 7.

Permit and reservation holders will be contacted and provided a full refund.

The status of events, reservations and camping after June 7 is currently under review.

Rock Island State Park is closed to all use, including camping, until July 1.

According to the ferry operator, ferry service to and from the island is on hold until further notice due to high lake levels and pending guidelines for both State Park and vessel operations during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The following properties will remain closed for the health and safety of the public, staff, and property integrity:

- Dells of The Wisconsin River State Natural Area
- Gibraltar Rock State Natural Area
- Parfrey's Glen state Natural area
- Pewits Nest state Natural area

The priority continues to be the safety and health of our visitors and staff and we still ask the public to continue recreating responsibly close to home, practicing social distancing, frequently washing their hands, and only traveling for necessity.

The DNR will continue to turn the dial on additional outdoor recreation opportunities, amenities and services at our state park system properties.

Visitors are also encouraged to wear face coverings in situations where social distancing may be difficult.

This may apply to outdoor spaces as well.

As we move into the holiday weekend be mindful of the following:

An annual park sticker or trail pass is required to visit state parks and trails which can be purchased online or by calling 1-888-305-0398 daily 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

All restrooms are closed through June 2.

Temporary capacity restrictions will be put into place as needed to manage admissions and overcrowding at properties.

View current property information before visiting here: Wisconsin State Park Capacity Updates.

Attractions at which social distancing cannot be achieved are closed at various properties; visit the park notices webpage for information about ongoing closures.

All other facilities currently closed such as towers, shelters, playgrounds, nature centers, headquarters, entrance stations and concession buildings remain closed to the public.

Fight the Bite! Ticks are out, and visitors should take precautions to prevent Lyme Disease.

The DNR urges visitors to do their part when visiting state parks. Most Wisconsin state parks, forests and other day-use areas do not have garbage or recycling bins.

When you visit, you will need to take your garbage and recyclables home with you. We all play a vital role in taking care of our natural resources.

Following the Leave No Trace principles helps protect the land for generations to come. 


Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

TOMAHAWK - The Tomahawk Fall ride concluded Sunday. The three day motorcycle festival had less attendance than in previous years due to COVI-19, but it did not stop local businesses from enjoying the visitors from all over the country.

Local and small businesses were out in full force trying to make profits for the season with Fall ride concluding the festival season. The town of Tomahawk had less attendees than last year but the hotels had no problem filling their rooms. The owner of the Four Seasons Motel, Andy Wadia, said September is their busiest time of year.

"So many people came from Chicago, Minnesota, Iowa, some from California so it's good," said Wadia. "Good for the business good for the town, you know local business is good for local business you know." 

Not only were there visitors from all over the country but business vendors like Eli Villarreal, Owner of Marie's Famous Headbands drove all the way from Corpus Christi, Texas to keep his business alive through the pandemic.

"We didn't hit our numbers like we did last year," said Villarreal. "This year we're probably like 40 percent down, but like I said with everything being cancelled across the US we'll take it right now. I mean we need it, that's our bread and butter." 

Tomahawk businesses love when fall ride comes for the three day weekend as it is the last push for businesses to make their final profits before the off season takes over and the influx of tourism grinds to a halt.

+ Read More

Play Video

FLORENCE - We have updates from Florence, Onconto, and Shawano Counties on the identification of the invasive Emerald Ash Borer species which attacks and kills all true ash species. They have been found in 57 of the 72 counties in Wisconsin.

Public Lands Forester, of Florence County, Tyler Wood explained how the Emerald Ash Borer likes to travel on firewood, to reduce the spread to other places, burn the wood in the same place you bought or gathered it.

"The Emerald Ash Borer can fly easily about a half a mile, and up to maybe 5 miles away from a host tree to find another tree in order to infect that tree," said Wood.

Though there won't be a significant impact on the environment in Florence county, not knowing if your tree is infected could lead to safety concerns around your property or for people with streets lined with the trees, dangerous roadways could occur during storms.

Forest Health Specialist, Linda Williams, spoke about how the future extinction would affect more than just the forest. The MLB uses ash trees to make their baseball bats, as well as the local Native American tribes whos culture traditions create baskets from ash.

"The Emerald Ash Borer will kill the Ash Trees. And we've seen that happening in southern Wisconsin as well as other states that have had it for much longer than us. Other species of trees tend to come into those sites sometimes they are desirable species and some are not," said Williams..

If you are a concerned ash tree owner some signs that your tree has been infested is the outer bark removed by woodpeckers, and D-shaped holes where the insects have emerged.

For people with 10 plus acres you can file a request with the DNR to have a walk through to understand how to manage the Emerald Ash Borer at mywisconsinwoods.org.


+ Read More

MADISON, WIS. (WMTV) -  New confirmed coronavirus cases remain near record levels in Wisconsin with the Department of Health Services recording 2,283 new cases Saturday.

More than 2,000 new cases were reported in Wisconsin for the first time ever Thursday. Shortly after, a state-wide record of 2,533 new positive COVID-19 cases were recorded on Friday.

The DHS recorded 18.3 percent of tests were returned positive Saturday, while the percent positive 7-day average was recorded at 16.4 percent.

With the newest cases included, the total number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Wisconsin has reached 99,562. The agency reports 13,671 of those cases are still active.

+ Read More

MADISON - The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction violated state law when it withheld voucher students' standardized test scores for a day last fall, a judge ruled Friday.

School Choice Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, a conservative law firm, sued the department in Jefferson County court in November. The lawsuit revolved around the 2018-19 standardized test scores that the department released that September.

+ Read More

MOSINEE - President Donald Trump stepped up his rhetoric on cultural issues, aiming to boost enthusiasm among rural Wisconsin voters as he tries to repeat his path to victory four years ago.

Making his fifth visit to the pivotal battleground state this year, Trump views success in the state's less-populated counties as critical to another term. He held a rally Thursday evening in Mosinee, in central Wisconsin, an area of the state that shifted dramatically toward Republicans in 2016, enabling Trump to overcome even greater deficits in urban and suburban parts of the state.

+ Read More

MADISON -
Wisconsin health officials reported 2,533 confirmed COVID-19 cases statewide Friday, a new daily record. The old record was 2,034, set on Thursday.

The state has now seen 97,279 confirmed cases since the pandemic began in March.

+ Read More

MADISON - The state Department of Workforce Development's top leader resigned Friday after failing to find a way to address a massive backlog of unprocessed unemployment benefit claims sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers' office said Caleb Frostman stepped down after the governor called for his resignation. Republicans have peppered Evers with criticism for months over the department's inability to process tens of thousands of benefit claims that have been flowing in since the coronavirus took hold in the U.S. in March.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: