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A message from Preston D. Cole


The buzzing of bees. A tractor firing up. The casting of a fishing line. Warm breezes. Longer days. These are the signs of summer.

Not only does Wisconsin have a host of great summer getaway spots for locals or those visiting us from afar — Wisconsin is also home to a wealth of bountiful natural resources.

As a forester who grew up in a farming community, I have a true love for the great outdoors. I hunt, fish and enjoy hiking the state park system with my wife, Laura.

Wisconsin is a beautiful place. And at the Department of Natural Resources, it is our job to protect those resources, not only for today, but for generations to come.

This issue highlights the magic of summer in Wisconsin. And there's nothing more magical than the return of the trumpeter swan. Once wiped out in the state, they are back from beyond the brink after 30 years of hard work by the DNR conservationists, volunteers and many others like you, dear reader. The story of their journey is a fascinating tale shared on the coming pages in engaging detail.

In addition, we take a look at the invaluable educational programming across the state that's inspiring kids to get in touch with the outdoors. If you care about the state's natural resources as much as I do, you understand just how critical it is to engage our youth and help encourage them to take care of the land.

Another inspiring story in this issue is "Life's Better on the Brule," which chronicles four friends who are seasoned trout anglers that fish together on the Brule River in Douglas County. Those who fish trout know the sacredness of the Brule, and those who don't will get an insider look at an angler's dream spot. (Just don't tell too many people.)

The summer issue also features a special section putting a spotlight on the state park system celebrating 30 years of support from dedicated Friends Groups. Just like it took a village to bring back the trumpeter swan, it also takes a village to help care for Wisconsin's state parks, forests, trails and recreation areas. Here you'll learn about all the great work they do, and perhaps you'll even be inspired to join our Friends.

But it doesn't stop there. This issue touches on a little bit of everything and has something for everyone.

Getting people talking about the wonders of Wisconsin's wildlife and natural resources is what this magazine is all about. We try to create a mix of stories that inform and entertain, and even a little bit of both at times.

With that, give the pages a flip. From all of us at Wisconsin Natural Resources, thanks for reading.