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Report: 16 percent of Wisconsin land is for conservation, recreation

Madison (AP) — A new report says about 16 percent of the total land area in Wisconsin is publicly owned for conservation or recreational uses.

According to the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance report, in 2006 about 5.7 million acres was being used for conservation or recreation.

The land is owned by federal, state and county governments.

According to the report, all of Wisconsin’s 72 counties except for Menominee had some public land. The amount ranged from more than 464,000 acres in Bayfield to about 3,100 in Kewaunee County.

The report says most public land is in northern Wisconsin.

Wind turbine research heads into Lake Michigan

Allendale, MI (AP) — Grand Valley State University’s wind turbine testing project is heading into Lake Michigan.

The university’s Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center is planning to put a floating platform on the lake with instruments to examine how a turbine would work on one of the Great Lakes, according to the Muskegon Chronicle.

Organizers said this project won’t put a turbine in Lake Michigan.

The university in Allendale has received $1.4 million in federal money for research into wind turbines.

Researchers hope to have the platform installed by fall 2010.

DNR tries to clean Lake Tomah by eradicating carp

Tomah (AP) — Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources officials want to restore a lake in western Wisconsin by eradicating its carp population

According to the DNR, the fish are a big reason why Lake Tomah’s water quality gets worse every year. The carp eat much of the lake’s plants and crowd out other fish species.

So DNR officials have drawn out water from the 250-acre lake and begun spraying a fish-killing pesticide.

The next step involves refilling the lake with water next summer, and then restocking the game-fish population.

DNR fisheries supervisor Dave Vetrano said the pesticide kills some game fish, but the vast majority of dead fish are carp.

He said officials only mount a spraying effort of this magnitude every two or three years.

Wisconsin groundwater group to meet again this week

Madison (AP) — Legislators studying Wisconsin’s groundwater protection laws will meet again this week.

The group is gathering information to draft proposals to better protect the state’s drinking water as well as lakes, streams and wetlands fed by groundwater. State Sen. Mark Miller, a Monona Democrat, and Rep. Spencer Black, a Madison Democrat, lead the group.

It will meet for the fourth time on Wednesday morning at the state Capitol. The meeting is open to the public.

Kuwait to revive $14 billion oil refinery project

Kuwait City (AP) — Kuwait’s development minister said the government will revive the $14 billion project to build its fourth oil refinery, which was scrapped in March because of corruption allegations.

Sheik Ahmed Fahd Al Ahmed Al Sabah said the Cabinet’s plan of action, which will be submitted to parliament, includes building the refinery south of Kuwait City. His remarks were carried by the Kuwait News Agency.

Lawmakers originally accused officials of profiteering from the project because the contracts to build it did not go through a central bidding committee. The government denied the charges.

Japanese and South Korean companies were going to build the 615,000-barrels-a-day refinery.

Madoff’s Long Island beach home sells for $9.41 million

New York (AP) — Federal marshals say Bernard Madoff’s Long Island beach house has sold for $9.41 million.

The U.S. Marshals Service put the 3,000-square-foot house in Montauk, N.Y., on the market Sept. 1 to help repay victims of Madoff’s fraud.

The home sold on Sept. 18. The Corcoran Group — the broker that sold the home — said at the time that the property sold for above the $8.75 million asking price.

Madoff, 71, was sentenced in June to 150 years in prison for orchestrating a Ponzi scheme.

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