2016 Statewide Conservation Spring Hearing

On Monday, April 11th, at 7:00 pm, the annual statewide Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Wisconsin Conservation Congress will hold their annual meeting.

The Brown County location will be in the Lecture Hall, room SC132 at NWTC 2740 West Mason St / STH 54. Use the northwest parking lot and enter through the main student commons entrance.

These meetings offer public opportunity to provide input on how our resources are managed and what changes in the laws maybe proposed. The meetings consist of three major parts. (Go to the WI DNR Web Site for more information and see all the questions listed.)

First, you have an opportunity to nominate two Conservation Congress delegates; one for a two year term and one for a three year term.

The Conservation Congress Members work very closely with the WI DNR and the WI Natural Resources Board on setting the tone on how we manage our resources. This is where public input get put to work.

The nominees must be 18 years of age and be residents of the hosting county. This voting will take place first. Then it’s on to the main business of the meeting, the advisory questions and rule change proposals.

The first section lists proposal questions from the WI DNR Wildlife and Fisheries Management. And believe me, there’s a question or two that probably directly relates to your outdoor activates.

One of the important questions this year could have a great impact on how the Department of Natural Resources is managed. Conservation Congress Question 13 asks “Do you support the return of the Natural Resources Board choosing the DNR Secretary over the Governor’s appointment”. Let’s get politics out of the appointment and return the selection the Secretary to the Natural Resources Board.

Under the Wildlife Management rules change is a proposal to change “hunting” hours separate from “shooting” hours to reflect the actual practice of one or the other, making the act of shooting the violation. There should be much thought and conversation on whether to make this change.

Out of the Congress’s Environmental Committee comes a question seeking your support of repealing ACT 1, the iron mining law from 2013. This act could allow iron mining to occur at the headwaters of the Bad River and damage the surrounding wetlands and waters.

A similar question follows concerning “fracing” for silica sand. Question 21 asks are you in favor of a moratorium on new state permits for frac sand mining…” This activity also affects our ground waters and streams. Here’s your chance to have input.

The Migratory Waterfowl Committee asks if you are in favor of repealing the law that allows permanent blinds on public waters and lands to blinds that would be removed at the close of each day.

These and many more await your input. You vote electronically so you can come and stay for the full reading of all the questions and participate in comments or just simply cast your votes, submit your ballot and leave.

Take your responsibility to your sport seriously and participate. It’s up to you!

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