Wednesday, October 18th

Local

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin wildlife officials are looking to relax minimum elk population requirements in hopes of starting a hunt sooner.

Elk in Wisconsin are concentrated in two herds — one in Clam Lake and another in Jackson County.

Current state Department of Natural Resources rules call for at least 200 Clam Lake elk and 150 Jackson County elk before the agency can establish a hunting season. Permits would be limited to 5 percent of the total population.

As of July the Clam Lake herd stood at about 165 animals and the Jackson County herd stood at about 60 elk.

DNR officials want to eliminate the population minimums and permit limitations. The agency's board is set to vote Oct.

A protracted and contentious state budget debate could cast a long shadow over what is expected to be a short fall and winter legislative session.

Before lawmakers adjourn for the 2018 campaign season early next year, there are plenty of hot-button issues left to address.

They include proposals from business and conservative groups to change the workers’ compensation system, loosen mining restrictions and wetland protections and scrap state family and medical leave protections that overlap with federal ones.

Lawmakers will grapple with other contentious bills targeting so-called sanctuary cities, restricting use of fetal tissue in research and allowing concealed firearms to be carried without permits and in school zones.

But Capitol observers say the tension between Assembly and Senate Republicans left over from the budget debate could grind the legislative session to a standstill.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has approved federal disaster assistance for areas of Wisconsin affected by severe storms, straight-line winds, flooding, landslides, and mudslides in late July.

Trump signed the declaration on Saturday, allowing emergency funding to repair damage in Buffalo, Crawford, Grant, Iowa, Jackson, La Crosse, Lafayette, Monroe, Richland, Trempealeau, and Vernon counties.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker declared a state of emergency at the time for 17 counties. Torrential rains led to widespread damage to homes and infrastructure. The state estimated that flood damage to public roads, bridges, dams and other structures in southern Wisconsin was more than $15 million.

 

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It’s no secret that a big draw for Jackson County is tourism, specifically to the forests and parks. People come from all over to see the diversity in species the forests offer, but some of that is in danger.

Invasive species are a problem for just about every county forest and parks department and Jackson County is no exception.

Donald Houser, the Jackson County Forestry and Parks forest technician, said they are battling mainly buckthorn and phragmites.

The problem with invasive species, he said, is that they tend to take over an area and choke out other diversity.

“These plants create monocultures which is a stand of a single plant and these plants are non-native and out-compete native plants,” Houser said.

As this year’s late crop season comes to an end, we take a moment to look at what this fall may bring for prices. The end of the summer demonstrated that both corn and bean worldwide stocks and U.S. yields are higher than projected. Some of this is due to the warm and dry conditions that we have received the past couple weeks that have pushed the U.S. crop towards maturity. While this would generally cause us to lose hope of a fall uptick in prices, there are some factors in today’s market that support stability and possibly a slight upward trend.

A growing demand for U.S. corn and soybeans seems to be gaining momentum in today’s market. The U.S. dollar value has lowered, making it easier to export, and the Baltic Dry Index (BDI) is rising, demonstrating that there is a renewed sense of global demand.