In brief

posted Aug. 28, 2017 7:57 a.m. (CDT)
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Program to focus on grouse

Hunt Hill Audubon Sanctuary will host its fifth Birds and Beer program of the year Thursday, Sept. 14, at Pinebrook Farm in Spooner. Registration will be at 5:30 p.m., followed by the program at 6 p.m.

Birds and Beer encourages nature enthusiasts to socialize with each other over snacks and beverages. The program is offered on the second Thursday of select months. September’s topic will be “The Sharp-Tailed Grouse of the Namekagon Barrens.” Retired Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Technician Gary Dunsmoor will be the presenter.

The ticket cost is $10 if purchased in advance or $15 at the door and includes one drink ticket and complimentary snacks. Proceeds will support ongoing environmental education at Hunt Hill. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit, call 715-635-6543 or email

RGS to host Sept. 23 event

The Wilderness Wings Chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society will host its ninth annual Hunt, Shoot and Conservation and Sportsmen's Banquet Saturday, Sept. 23, at Summit Lake Game Farm, 3730 N. Marsh Lake Road, Stone Lake. The hunt and shoot will take place during the day, with a social hour at 5 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m.

Proceeds from the event will be used to enhance habitat for ruffed grouse, American woodcock and other forest wildlife. The evening will feature a live and silent auction, games, drawings and door prizes, highlighted by a selection of quality firearms, artwork and collectibles.

Individual membership and dinner tickets are $60. There is also a membership, shoot and dinner package for $85, and a junior membership and dinner ticket is $35 (ages 17 and under). Banquet, Conservation, Sustaining and Gold sponsorship packages are available for $295, $550, $1,000 and $2,500, respectively.

For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Jordan Felski at 715-558-5862 or

Tooke chief at Forest Service

Tony Tooke will serve as the new chief of the U.S. Forest Service beginning Aug. 23. He grew up on his family’s farm in Detroit, Ala., and has worked for the forest service since age 18.

Tooke has held USFS forest management and ranger positions in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky and Florida and was deputy forest supervisor for the National Forests in Florida.

Beginning in 2006, he held assignments in Washington, D.C., including director for ecosystem management coordination, deputy director for economic recovery, assistant director for forest management and associate deputy chief for the National Forest System.

Tooke’s most recent assignment was as regional forester for the Southern Region of the Forest Service, which encompasses more than 13.3 million acres in 13 states and Puerto Rico.

Tooke replaces Tom Tidwell, who retired after more than 40 years with the U.S. Forest Service and as its chief since 2009. The USFS is a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Environmental ed conference set

The Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education will hold its fall conference from Thursday, Oct. 19 to Saturday, Oct. 21, at Concordia University’s Center for Environmental Stewardship in Mequon.

The fall conference is an annual gathering of educators, natural resources professionals and stakeholders dedicated to sharing and celebrating significant innovations and advancements in the field of environmental education. The theme of the conference is “Water Rising,” with conference strands on community engagement; best practices in environmental education; diversity, equity and inclusion; and early childhood education.

The event’s keynote speaker, James Edward Mills, author of “The Adventure Gap,” documents the first-ever African American summit attempt on Alaska's Mount Denali. The conference includes workshops and field trips beginning on Thursday (preregistration required), an evening gala at the Mequon Nature Preserve, featuring live music from the band “Terri Lynn and the Darling Daughters,” and concurrent sessions.

For more information and registration, call 715-570-2587.

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