On Monday, April 11th, the 2016 Conservation Congress will be held in each county of the State of Wisconsin at 7PM. Wisconsin is one of the few, if perhaps the only, state to give its citizens a voice in conservation legislation through such hearings. Although most of the items covered by these hearings relate to hunting and fishing, all pertain to biodiversity and some indirectly to natural landscaping. Key elements in this year’s questionnaire include the following questions about which I have concerns:
11 establish consistent fall season end dates for hunting
13 support Natural Resources Board again choosing WDNR Secretary
15 re-establish a 12 month timeframe for adoption of wildlife management rules
20 repeal revised regulatory framework for iron mining
21 initiate a moratorium and research on frac sand mining and processing
22 ban lead from sporting ammunition and fishing tackle
30 make natural resources education prerequisite qualifications for senior DNR managers
35 support promoting public awareness, consciousness and stewardship
37 create a Wildlife Conservation Stamp for non-consumptive (non-hunters/fishers)
39 allow hunters to use unsuccessful turkey permits from periods 1-4 during periods 5-6
If you are not able to attend the session to cast your vote personally, but you wish to comment on the proposed rule changes or WDNR Wildlife advisory questions, you can submit comments or phone (608) 267-2452 by April 11th.
Established in 1937, the Wisconsin Conservation Congress was legislatively recognized in 1972 as Statute 15.348 to ensure citizens would have a liaison between the Natural Resources Board and the Department of Natural Resources.
“The conservation congress shall be an independent organization of citizens of the state and shall serve in an advisory capacity to the natural resources board on all matters under the jurisdiction of the board. Its records, budgets, studies and surveys shall be kept and established in conjunction with the department of natural resources. Its reports shall be an independent advisory opinion of such congress (s. 15.348, Wis. Stats.).”