Contact(s): Kurt Thiede, DNR Lands Division administrator, 608-266-5833; Bill Cosh, DNR spokesperson, 608-267-2773
Today Gov. Walker announced initiatives funded in the state budget to provide the Department of Natural Resources with tools necessary to implement the 2012 Deer Trustee Report.
The initiatives include establishing a Deer Management Assistance Program (D-MAP); investing in new technology to better assess land cover; creating a fee system to fund surveillance and increase public access to CWD testing; and developing emergency rules enabling a portion of implementation to begin for the 2013 deer season.
In response to the announcement, DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp issued the following statement:
Gov. Walker's announcement highlights the value of deer to Wisconsin. Deer hunting feeds traditions, feeds families, and feeds the economy.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of hunters, representing all states in the nation and even foreign countries, take to Wisconsin's woods and farmlands to harvest deer. We have seen an increasing number of hunters, including new youth and female hunters. We continue to rank in the top five deer hunting states in the country for total harvest, and this year the buck archery harvest broke the state's all-time record.
We have a strong base to build on, but we can always do better. One area for improvement is how we work with hunters, landowners, tribes and other partners. It is a priority of mine to improve these relationships and the initiatives in the Governor's budget are integral to doing this.
Implementation of the Deer Trustee Report will enhance how deer are managed in Wisconsin. We look forward to continuing to work with partners, tribes and stakeholders to implement the Deer Trustee Report to the fullest extent possible.
Together we can solidify Wisconsin as the state for great deer, great hunting, and great experiences.