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Public comments sought on process to streamline fish habitat projects in public waters

Published by Central Office July 18, 2017

Contact(s): Josie Lathrop, DNR waterway and wetland program, 608-267-7662, johanna.lathrop@wisconsin.gov

MADISON -- A new general permit that streamlines approvals for stream fish habitat projects has been drafted and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is seeking public comment on the language. The public comment period on the general permit runs until the close of business August 11, 2017.

The proposed general permit, once in place, is valid for five years. It will allow the DNR, Land Conservation Department, Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and their partners to apply for coverage under the permit. The permit allows parties to place in-stream fish habitat structures and work on stream banks that may impact wetlands for the purpose of restoring stream habitats if the project meets all eligibility criteria and conditions.

Before the creation of this new general permit, many of these beneficial stream habitat projects that had multiple facets, ranging from stream bank sloping to riffle and pool habitat creation, were authorized under an Individual Permit adding time and cost to these projects.

The DNR does not anticipate this general permit to result in significant effects on the environment. Issuance of statewide waterway and wetland general permits is an integrated analysis action under Chapter NR 150, Wis. Admin. Code, and is in compliance with Chapter NR 150, Section 1.11, Stats., and the Wisconsin Environmental Policy Act. In addition, previous waterway and wetland general permits have included environmental analysis of impacts from actions similar to those proposed under this new general permit. The previous permits included placement of fish habitat in lakes and wetland impacts for recreational structures.

To view a copy of the draft permit, search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for fish habitat improvement.

For more information or to submit written comments on the draft waterway general permit via email, send to dnrwywrzguidance@wisconsin.gov, or via U. S. mail, send to Waterway and Wetland Policy Coordinator, DNR-WT/3, P.O. Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921.

Last Revised: Tuesday, July 18, 2017

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