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MADISON (Press Release)
– The opening date for hunting and trapping would be moved back in certain
parks with a high volume of late fall visitors and horseback riders, and areas
around high winter use trail systems in some parks would be included in closed
areas, under revisions the Department of Natural Resources State Parks Program
is proposing to its original plan to accommodate broader hunting opportunities
and open trapping on state park properties.
changes are being made after review of more than 2,000 written and oral
comments the parks program received on their initial proposal to implement the
part of a new law the legislature approved earlier this year -- Act 168, known
as the Sporting Heritage Bill – that expands hunting and trapping in state
168, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2013, allows the DNR to prohibit hunting
and trapping within 100 yards of a 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.
parks program will present the revised implementation plan to the State Natural
Resources Board at its meeting Dec. 11 in Madison. Board members held five
listening sessions around the state in late October and early November to
gather feedback on the department's preliminary plan to implement the law. In
addition, the DNR accepted written and electronic comments on the draft plan
through Nov. 23.
total, the department received 2,033 comments including written and oral
comments provided at the listening sessions and those sent directly via email
and letters. There were 157 oral comments presented at the five listening
of the comments were directed at reducing hunting and trapping in specific
state parks, and we reviewed each of those circumstances and made appropriate
adjustments to the implementation plan where warranted," said Dan Schuller,
Director of Wisconsin State Parks.
made to the department proposal in the revised implementation plan for Act 168
total of 20 state park maps were changed after the listening sessions.
These maps were amended to reflect changes in the allowable
total of 14 State Ice Age Trail Area maps were updated. Most were minor
updates closing very small areas cut off by the Ice Age Trail buffer from
the rest of the property.
highly used trail systems at Blue Mound, Council Grounds, Hartman Creek
and Newport state parks are now being recommended for closure due to
density of other park users during general hunting seasons.
and trapping opening dates were recommended to be moved back to Nov. 15 on
portions of Hartman Creek and Lake Wissota state parks due to heavy late
season use by equestrians. The other properties with partial Nov. 15
openings would be Council Grounds, High Cliff, Peninsula, and Wildcat
Mountain state parks, and the Elroy-Sparta State Trail.
Natural Resources Board will also be taking testimony and written comments on
this issue the Dec. 11. The board has extended the deadline to register
to testify to 4 p.m. Monday Dec. 10. The meeting will be in Room G09 of the
State Natural Resources Building (GEF 2), 101 S. Webster St., Madison. The
meeting begins at 1 p.m. and the Act 168 implementation plan is the third item
on the Tuesday agenda.
of the proposed hunting and trapping maps for state parks properties are
available by searching the DNR website for "parks" and then clicking on the link
for hunting in state
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