Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Additions to the list of regulated invasive species topic of public meetings

Weekly News Article Published: February 12, 2013 by the Central Office

MADISON - Recommendations from the Wisconsin Invasive Species Council to add to the list of regulated invasive species are the topic of public listening sessions later this month and next month.

The council, an independent group appointed by the governor and advisory to the Department of Natural Resources, has recommended adding select invasive species to the list of species regulated by the state and clarifying rule language.

"The invasive species rule is helping us make strides against invasive species across the state and creates a level playing field for businesses that sell plants," says council member Greg Long, who represents the nursery industry on the council. 'Now we have recommendations to make the rule even more effective."

DNR staff is reviewing the council's recommendations and the public listening sessions offer DNR the chance to hear from the public and consider that feedback in deciding which council recommendations to accept, says Kelly Kearns, a DNR conservation biologist.

"We want to get input on the specific recommendations and hear about any economic impacts of regulating or not regulating the species proposed for listing," Kearns says.

Such information will help DNR shape the draft administrative rule it takes to its policymaking board and will also help fulfill a statutory requirement that state agencies conduct an economic impact analysis of all proposed rules, Kearns says. Official public hearings will be held later this year once a formal revision proposal is drafted, offering another opportunity for public input.

Wisconsin's Invasive Species Rule, found in Natural Resources Chapter 40 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code, has provided consistent regulations for invasive species across the state since 2009.

DNR worked with dozens of stakeholder groups and the Wisconsin Council on Invasive Species to develop the rule, which classifies invasive species into two categories, "Prohibited Species" and "Restricted Species," and establishes regulations people must follow for those listed species.

Species recommended for the "prohibited" status are not yet widely established in the state and pose great economic or environmental threat. People may not transport, buy or sell, possess or introduce prohibited species without a permit. Control of existing populations will be required. More than 50 species are proposed by the council for listing as prohibited, including the plants water lettuce and water hyacinth and animals including the nutria and the Malaysian trumpet snail.

Species recommended for the restricted status pose great economic or environmental threat but are already widely established in Wisconsin. People may possess restricted species but may not transport, buy or sell or introduce them without a permit. Control isn't required but is encouraged. Forty species are proposed by the council for listing as restricted, including the plants Japanese barberry, yellow iris, burning bush and crown vetch.

For more information on the recommended species additions and the general timeline for revisions, please visit the Council's website invasivespecies.wi.gov (exit DNR).

The public listening sessions will feature a short presentation, staff on hand to discuss invasive species issues, and opportunities to provide comments. People who are unable to attend the listening sessions can provide comments by email at invasive.species@wi.gov. Any comments provided by March 29 will be considered while drafting the rule revision proposal.

The public can receive email updates about this rule revision process. Join the " Invasive Species Rules and Regulations" list by typing your email address.

All sessions will run from 4 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. at the following locations:

  • Feb. 25 - Madison, 101 S. Webster Street (GEF II Building) Room G09
  • Feb. 26 - Milwaukee, DNR Service Center, 2300 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive Room 414
  • Feb. 27 - Green Bay, DNR Service Center, 2984 Shawano Avenue, "Lake Michigan Room"
  • March 11 - Spooner, DNR Service Center, 810 W. Maple St. Community Room 112
  • March 12 - Rhinelander, DNR Service Center 107 Sutliff Ave. Conference Room 1
  • March 15- La Crosse, State Administration Building, 3550 Mormon Coulee Road, Rooms B19&20

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Mindy Wilkinson (608) 266-6437