MADISON - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will begin to allow group camping for groups of 50 or less with reservations on Monday, July 13.
The DNR will also begin placing camp hosts at state park campgrounds, and firewood is now available at select state parks. Special park operation conditions remain in place to ensure the safety of staff and visitors.
Some changes campers and park visitors will experience beginning July 13 include:
Group camping allowed at outdoor sites with a capacity of 50 people or less, with reservations.
Limited special events permitted with up to 50 people.
Unreserved use of open-air shelters with capacity limits and provisions for social distancing.
Shelter, amphitheater and group camping reservations, as well as special events through July 12 will be canceled and refunded.
Reservations for a longer stay at outdoor group camp sites with a capacity of 50 people or less that begin before July 13 and extend beyond July 13 will automatically be adjusted to begin July 13.
Camping reservations are required before setting up camp and are accepted by phone (1-888-947-2757) and online only.
Same-day camping reservations are available by phone (1-888-947-2757) and the online reservation system.
Check-in is not necessary at the office or visitor station when coming to a property with an existing camping reservation. Please proceed directly to your campsite and begin setup.
Capacity limits remain in effect. Due to high demand, many properties will likely reach their pre-determined capacity limits. When this happens, properties will close until existing visitors leave.
Open facilities like bathrooms and open-air shelters will have posted capacity limits.
Properties will have provisions for social distancing such as picnic tables placed six feet apart in open air shelters.
Indoor group camps remain closed at this time.
Enclosed shelters and amphitheaters remain closed at this time.
The DNR urges state park and forest visitors to do their part when visiting DNR properties. Visitors are reminded to practice social distancing of 6 feet, refrain from congregating in large groups, travel only within your home communities and follow all existing state park rules and guidelines. Visitors are also encouraged to wear face coverings in situations where social distancing is difficult.
Most Wisconsin state parks, forests and other day-use areas do not have garbage or recycling bins. When visiting, take your garbage and recyclables home with you. Following Leave No Trace principles helps protect the land for generations to come.
Fight the Bite! Ticks are out, and visitors should take precautions to prevent Lyme Disease.
- The U.S. headed into the Fourth of July weekend with many parades and fireworks displays canceled, beaches and bars closed, and health authorities warning that this will be a crucial test of Americans' self-control that could determine the trajectory of the surging coronavirus outbreak.
With confirmed cases climbing in 40 states, governors and local officials have ordered the wearing of masks in public, and families were urged to celebrate their independence at home. Even then, they were told to keep their backyard cookouts small.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - President Donald Trump will begin his Independence Day weekend on Friday with a patriotic display of fireworks at Mount Rushmore, an event expected to draw thousands where masks and social distancing aren't required as coronavirus cases spike across the country.
Trump is expected to speak at the event, which has issued 7,500 tickets to watch fireworks that he says will be a "display like few people have seen."
MADISON, WI - Cigarette smoking rates have dropped since Wisconsin's Smoke-Free Indoor Air Law went into effect 10 years ago.
In 2008, before the law passed, 20% of Wisconsin adults smoked cigarettes. By 2018, the rate had dropped to 16%. High school youth cigarette smoking rates dropped from nearly 21% in 2008 to nearly 5% in 2018.
State cigarette taxes were also increased during this time period and contribute to this reduction.
"Wisconsin is breathing easier today thanks to this law, but we know there are many people in our state who still smoke," said DHS Secretary-Designee Andrea Palm. "We urge smokers to take advantage of the programs available to help them to quit, especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic, as people who smoke are believed to be more susceptible to the virus, and can become severely ill with it."
CRANDON - The Forest County Humane Society works around the clock to help animals find forever homes. But taking care of those animals during their stay doesn't just take a lot of time; it takes a lot of money, too.
The shelter got a helping hand, thanks to a $35,000 grant from the ASPCA. It's part of an initiative to help brick-and-mortar shelters improve their animals' quality of life.
Shelter director Angie Schaefer says that money paid for 20 new cat-condos, fencing for two new dog yards, and several other much-needed supplies.
"We're small, we're in a small community, so to raise that kind of money to get these items would have been quite a task. For them to step in and do that for us is amazing," said Schaefer.
Schaefer said the extra yards will allow dogs to spend more time outside and socialize with each other.
If you're interested in volunteering or donating to the humane society, visit its website for more information.
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