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May 3, 2011

MADISON -- The state permitting processes for wetland restoration projects done on private and public lands that are facilitated by federal agencies would be streamlined under a proposal up for public comment through May 16.

The Department of Natural Resources is proposing to issue a new standardized general permit for certain wetland restoration activities led by the Natural Resources Conservation Service or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Projects could proceed if they met the standards listed in the general permit, instead of going through the longer process of having an individually tailored permit drafted by a DNR staffer.

NRCS and the Fish and Wildlife Service have established wetland restoration programs, including the Wetland Reserve Program and the Wisconsin Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program (both links exit DNR), says Ken Johnson, DNR water administrator.

"Our proposal recognizes the work their professional staff has done to get a project ready, and we think it will allow these agencies to facilitate more wetland restoration projects," he says.

"That's important, because these agencies, working with public and private landowners restore an average of more than 2,000 acres of wetlands every year," Hagen says. "We're excited about the progress this will help Wisconsin in reversing the loss of wetlands.

Sixteen conservation organizations and governmental agencies with wetland responsibilities came together in 2008 to create a collective vision for Wisconsin wetlands that called for protecting existing wetlands and restoring wetlands where it makes sense. Wisconsin today has about half of the wetland acreage present before statehood.

The proposed permit is currently available for public review on the wetlands restoration page of the DNR website and comment. Written comments on the proposed general permit or a public hearing request must be mailed to Cherie Hagen at 810 West Maple St., Spooner, WI 54801 and be received no later than May 16, 2011.

Please contact Cherie Hagen at 715-635-4034 or by email at with your request or for any questions.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Cherie Hagen (715) 635-4034

Last Revised: Tuesday, May 03, 2011

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