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Dateline DNR


A diver swims near the wreck of the two-masted schooner Walter B. Allen, which sunk off the Wisconsin coast near Sheboygan in April 1880.

A diver swims near the wreck of the two-masted schooner Walter B. Allen, which sunk off the Wisconsin coast near Sheboygan in April 1880.

Tamara Thomsen / Wisconsin Historical Society


A 962-square-mile area of the state’s Lake Michigan coast — from Ozaukee County north of Milwaukee to Kewaunee County at the base of the Door Peninsula — is nearing official designation as the Wisconsin Shipwreck Coast National Marine Sanctuary.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on June 23 published the final rule for the designation, which takes place following a review period by Gov. Tony Evers and U.S. Congress over a 45-day period of continuous session. Based on the tentative congressional calendar, the designation could become official by mid- December.

The state and NOAA will co-manage the sanctuary protecting 36 known shipwrecks, including 21 on the National Register of Historic Places. Research suggests dozens more shipwrecks would be discovered in the sanctuary.

Preserved by the cold waters of Lake Michigan, several of the shipwrecks are essentially intact, appearing much like they did when they sank. Wisconsin’s oldest known shipwreck — the Gallinipper, dating to 1833 — is within sanctuary boundaries.

“The shipwrecks that scatter Lake Michigan help tell the story of Wisconsin,” said DNR Secretary Preston D. Cole. “Preserving the artifacts of our maritime heritage is an important way to remember and learn from those who came before us.”

Sanctuary designation will not change control of Wisconsin’s lands or waters. Nor will it affect riparian rights of property owners, shipping, fishing or public access. Sanctuary regulations are narrowly focused on underwater cultural resources, enhancing the state’s past stewardship efforts.

Wisconsin submitted the sanctuary nomination in December 2014, and it has garnered widespread support. The area would become the 15th NOAA marine sanctuary. For details, visit sanctuaries.noaa.gov/wisconsin.

Joseph Warren


If all goes as planned, popular candlelight hikes will be back at state properties this fall. Kohler-Andrae State Park in Sheboygan has one set for this mid-October date, and the MacKenzie Center in Poynette plans a night hike with campfire on Nov. 6. Other places likely will be adding to the schedule. As always, check for updates before you go — dnr.wi.gov/events.

Linda Freshwaters Arndt


As Wisconsin deer hunters know, the Saturday before Thanksgiving is circled on the calendar as the start of the nine-day gun deer season.

Other 2021 deer hunting dates include:

Sept. 18-Jan. 9 — archery and crossbow;

Oct. 2-10 — gun hunt for those with disabilities;

Oct. 9-10 — youth deer hunt;

and Dec. 9-12 — statewide antlerless hunt.

Buy a license at gowild.wi.gov, and check dnr.wi.gov/topic/hunt/deer for everything you need to get ready for the hunt.

Christopher Tall


With autumn just around the corner, start checking the Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s Fall Color Report for updates on where and when to see the state’s best colors. There may be lots of green now, but that will change in a hurry as days become shorter and cooler and trees get prepped for a long winter’s nap. The online report offers a county-by-county color update and features fall trip ideas and more to help you maximize your autumn enjoyment — travelwisconsin.com/fall-color-report.