Rusk County Hibernating Bears Versus Power Line Work

A hibernating bear and her cubs has thrown a wrench into construction of the Duluth to Wausau transmission line.

The Department of Natural Resources wants the line builder, American Transmission, to hold off on bulldozing for the line until mid-April.

The bear's den is about 115 feet from the right-of-way for the transmission line near Ladysmith. The company was agreed to wait until the end of next week.

DNR biologist Mark Schmidt says the mother bear is in a really deep sleep and if startled, may bolt and not come back for the cubs. Schmidt has determined there are at least two cubs.

American Transmission, the DNR and the Wisconsin Public Service Commission plan to meet about midweek to decide if the bear will continue to hibernate.