Contact(s): Dan Schuller (608)266-2185; Peter Biermeier (608)264-6136
MADISON - People planning on attending any of the upcoming five public listening sessions on hunting and trapping in Wisconsin state parks can now review the proposed hunting and trapping maps for each park property online.
State Natural Resources Board members will conduct the sessions around the state in late October and early November to gather input on the Department of Natural Resources proposed plan to implement a new law opening state parks to hunting and trapping. The board will then take up the plan at their December meeting in Madison.
One part of a new law the legislature approved earlier this year -- Act 168, known as the Sporting Heritage Bill -expands hunting and trapping in Wisconsin State Parks.
Act 168, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2013, allows the DNR to prohibit hunting and trapping within 100 yards of a state park designated use area such as a campground, picnic area, or beach. A determination to prohibit hunting and trapping in any other areas of a state park, a portion of a state park, or during certain time periods must be approved by a majority of the Natural Resources Board, and can only be approved to protect public safety or unique natural resources such as fragile plant or animal habitat.
While Act 168 allows hunting when any season is open, the department is proposing that the board allow hunting in parks from Oct. 15 through the Thursday prior to the Memorial Day weekend.
Maps of the proposed open and closed areas can now be reviewed on the parks pages of the DNR website. The maps will also be available for review at the listening sessions and people attending the sessions will be able to comment to board members on the department's proposal to implement the law.
The department will be seeking to keep some properties closed to hunting, such as Heritage Hill State Park in Green Bay and Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee. Both are within city limits.
Two or three Natural Resources Board members will attend every listening session. The board will then discuss the comments they received at the listening sessions at their Dec. 11 or 12 meeting in Madison. Written comments can be sent by U.S. mail to Wisconsin State Parks - Act 168, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921 or by email to DNRWisconsinParks@wisconsin.gov by Nov. 23. In addition, the board welcomes testimony and written comments at its December meeting on this issue. December meeting information will be located at: http://dnr.wi.gov/about/nrb/.
The listening sessions will all begin at 6:30 p.m. and attendees that would like to speak or submit written comments should sign up at the door on arriving at the session. Locations are:
Oct. 29, Fitchburg - Quality Inn and Suites, 2969 Cahill Main, with board members Preston Cole and Jane Wiley present.
Oct. 30, Eau Claire - Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC), 620 W. Clairemont Ave., with board members Dave Clausen and Jane Wiley present.
Nov. 5, Merrill - Merrill High School, 1201 N. Sales St., with board members Christine Thomas and Jane Wiley present.
Nov. 8, Appleton - The Bordini Center, Fox Valley Technical College Campus, 5 Systems Drive, with board members William Bruins, Terry Hilgenberg and Jane Wiley present.
Nov. 13, West Allis - Tommy Thompson Youth Center (State Fair Park), 640 S. 84th St., with board members Gregory Kazmierski and Jane Wiley present.