- Contact information
- For general information on proposed DNR rules or the rulemaking process, contact:
- Linda Haddix
Proposed administrative rules and public input opportunities
The Wisconsin DNR creates and revises administrative rules to implement statutes enacted by the Wisconsin State Legislature. Administrative rules have the full force and effect of law.
Opportunities for participation
Public participation is a critical component of agency rulemaking. We value your involvement in the Wisconsin DNR's rulemaking activities. There are numerous opportunities for you to participate in the DNR rulemaking process. You can:
- attend public meetings;
- attend DNR or legislative public hearings;
- attend Natural Resources Board meetings;
- provide information on the potential economic impact of proposed rules, when you are affected by a proposed rule;
- comment on proposed rules and economic impact analyses through the Administrative Rules System website, verbally at hearings, via email or via hard copy/paper; and
- contact DNR staff assigned to proposed rules to find out other ways to participate in the rulemaking process.
If you choose to use the Administrative Rules System website, you must first register with the state and get a Wisconsin User ID. You can get a Wisconsin User ID through the Web Access Management System (WAMS).
State of Wisconsin Administrative Rules System website
As documents associated with each step in the rule-making process are finalized, they are made available on the Administrative Rules System website on a rulemaking orders page specific to each rule. The website is a searchable database and contains documents and links to all current, proposed and expired emergency administrative rules in Wisconsin. You will be able to:
- search for natural resources rules by using terms such as "NR," "hunting" or "waters;"
- view the status of current rulemaking;
- view documents associated with rulemaking;
- submit and view comments on proposed rules; and
- subscribe to receive notification of rulemaking activity.
There are many internal steps that DNR and the Natural Resources Board must go through during the rule promulgation process. For permanent rules, the entire process generally takes about 31 months from initiation to promulgation.
The DNR rulemaking process can be broken down into ten main steps. Steps 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9 all contain opportunities for public input.
- Statement of Scope* approved by DNR Secretary and Governor
- NRB meeting for approval of Statement of Scope
- Preparation of proposed rule
- Solicitation of information for economic impact analysis (this step only applies to permanent rules)
- NRB meeting for hearing authorization
- Public hearings on proposed rule (and economic impact analysis, if a permanent rule)
- NRB meeting for adoption
- Rule approved by Governor
- Legislative review/hearings
- Rule signed by DNR Secretary and published
* The Statement of Scope is the DNR's public notice that it intends to begin the development of a rule.
Economic impact analysis
2011 Wisconsin Act 21 made significant changes to how Wisconsin administrated rules are promulgated. The requirement to prepare an economic impact analysis (EIA) and solicit information for its preparation was part of that act. An EIA must be prepared for every permanent proposed rule before the Natural Resources Board can authorize public hearings on the rules, per s. 227.137, Wis. Stats.
The analysis must include "information on the economic effect of the proposed rule on specific businesses, business sectors, public utility ratepayers, local governmental units, and the state’s economy as a whole. When preparing the analysis, the agency shall solicit information and advice from businesses, associations representing businesses, local governmental units, and individuals that may be affected by the proposed rule. The agency shall prepare the economic impact analysis in coordination with local governmental units that may be affected by the proposed rule. The agency may request information that is reasonably necessary for the preparation of an economic impact analysis from other businesses, associations, local governmental units, and individuals and from other agencies."