DNR/Wisconsin Conservation Congress Spring Hearings Begin April 11

Posted 4/6/22

Last week I featured an article that discussed the upcoming virtual DNR Spring Hearings/ Conservation Congress Annual County Meetings which begins Monday, April 11 at 7 p.m. The Spring Hearing …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

DNR/Wisconsin Conservation Congress Spring Hearings Begin April 11

Posted

Last week I featured an article that discussed the upcoming virtual DNR Spring Hearings/ Conservation Congress Annual County Meetings which begins Monday, April 11 at 7 p.m. The Spring Hearing questionnaire consists of two segments. The first segment consists of DNR questions with a second segment of advisory questions from the Wisconsin Conservation Congress. The Wisconsin Conservation Congress is offering 45 advisory questions to be voted upon. These questions were written resolutions presented by Wisconsin citizens at a number of statewide County Spring Hearing meetings held last year. After voted upon and approved, results were forwarded from each individual county to the Congress Rules and Resolutions Committee for approval. If approved by the committee, resolutions were forwarded to individual congress study committees to be reviewed and approved or not-approved. If approved by the study committee, resolutions were forwarded to the Congresses District Council for further review and approval to be placed as questions at the annual statewide County Conservation portion of the Spring Hearings the following year.

Again I reiterate, questions the congress asks are basically advisory questions. If passed at the spring hearings, it doesn't mean that automatically they become law. They are not DNR questions, but are questions written and forwarded by the public to vote upon for an opinion. The results are forwarded to the Natural Resources Board to discuss and act upon at their discretion. A number of questions require action from the Wisconsin Legislature in order to become law.

Confusion takes place when false information is released from the media. For example, such took place last week as WQOW News Source 18 out of Eau Claire announced that the DNR is asking people to vote and share opinions on a number of resolutions at the annual DNR spring hearings. Resolutions announced were establishing re-issuance of back tags for deer hunting, re-establishment of in person deer registration stations, and the return to deer carcass tagging procedures upon point of kill as was once common in the past. Another question reported on concerned the creation of a registration system and fees for canoes and kayak use on Wisconsin waters. The information announced by WQOW 18 was completely false. The questions are not being asked by the Department of Natural Resources. The questions they spoke of are being asked as advisory questions by the Wisconsin Conservation Congress in its portion of the Spring Hearing questionnaire process.

When called and made aware with an explanation of inaccurate reporting, News 18 told me they would remove the story from their web page. A set of three popular questions forwarded by the Conservation Congresses Deer and Elk Committee seems to be attracting a lot of insight from statewide media which asks the publics opinion about re-establishing in person deer registration stations, the wearing of back tags for deer hunting and tagging a deer in the field at point of kill. There is a perception by some that the current deer registration system increases the potential for improper, inaccurate or missing registrations. While there is not sufficient data to support this concern, there are questions by some as to whether all deer are actually being registered. E-registration allows for instantaneous access to data, better data and improved convenience for customers. Some businesses that formerly served as registration stations feel that eliminating mandatory in person registration has negatively affected them, however the precise impacts of this change are not known. Some also feel that the use of back tags allowed for easy identification of trespassers or others involved in illegal activities. Re-establishment of back tags and deer tagging would require legislation. Another advisory question from the Conservation Congress gaining much statewide attention asks people if they favor the DNR and Natural Resources Board working together with the legislature to create a registration system and fee for canoes and kayaks. The system would take into consideration individuals and businesses with multiple canoes and kayaks (camps, rentals, etc.)