Contact(s): Tim Campbell, AIS Outreach Specialist, 608-265-3727, Tim.Campbell@wisc.edu or Bob Wakeman, Water Resources Management Specialist, 262-574-2149
MADISON --The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is seeking comments on a draft version of an updated statewide aquatic invasive species management plan, which is used to set management priorities within the state. The plan, originally written and approved in 2003, guides aspects of the surface water grants program and makes Wisconsin eligible for federal funding.
"Since the original version of the plan was approved, we have new species that we are concerned with, new pathways of invasion in Wisconsin, and new tools to help us manage the undesirable impacts of aquatic invasive species," says Tim Campbell, an outreach specialist for the University of Wisconsin-Extension and Wisconsin Sea Grant and lead author of the plan. "We want to make sure we have incorporated the new approaches and concerns into our management plan so that we use the most effective methods possible."
Those wishing to read and provide comments on the draft Wisconsin Aquatic Invasive Species Management Plan [PDF] can do that by visiting Proposed DNR program guidance page of the DNR website. The comment period is open now through August 31. Comments will be reviewed and addressed by DNR staff and those responses will be released with the final version of the management plan.
"The AIS Management Plan is a valuable planning and implementation tool in Wisconsin's efforts to prevent, contain, and control the spread and impacts of AIS," says Bob Wakeman, aquatic invasive species program coordinator for the Wisconsin DNR. "Having the comments and buy in from all stakeholders can increase the efficacy of this plan and can help us all take effective actions to manage the impacts of aquatic invasive species in Wisconsin.
The revised plan was drafted by a core team of Wisconsin stakeholders that are impacted by aquatic invasive species, including the University of Wisconsin-Extension, county aquatic invasive species staff, non-for-profit groups such as Wisconsin Lakes and the River Alliance of Wisconsin, and multiple sections of DNR staff including lakes and rivers, fisheries, and law enforcement. The next step in the process is to incorporate the changes and submit a final plan for federal approval.