Current Legislative Issues
The Wisconsin Waterfowl Association consistently works to stay up-to-date and involved in those legislative issues most important to our membership and our mission. Here are some of the issues we are currently participating in:
April 3rd, 2012 - DNR Roundtable Discussion: Pre-planning 2013-15 Bi-ennium Budget Planning
Executive Director Don Kirby attended this session, along with about 2 dozen representatives from conservation and outdoors-related groups from around the state. This brain-storming session, hosted by WDNR Secretary Stepp, and her Deputy Matt Maroney & Executive Assistant Scott Gunderson, also featured several members of the Governor's budget planning team. Topics discussed were wide-ranging, and covered numerous topics of potential opportunities for the next budget, as well as general outreach activities by the DNR. WWA, along with representatives from DU & WWF, re-introduced the concept of increasing the price of the state waterfowl stamp, to help with major shortcomings in funding of wetland projects & maintenance, at public properties around the state.
February 2012 - Sandhill Crane Season
As some of you know, Kent Van Horn, DNR Migratory Game Bird Biologist lead the committee that studied the Eastern population of Sandhill Cranes and helped develop the federal guidelines on how states could implement a hunt. Kentucky was the first state "out of the gate" to pursue this opportunity, and they concluded their first hunt, just last month. Read Kent's article on Sandhill Cranes in the October DNR magazine by clicking here.
One of the steps necessary to be able to hunt Sandhill Cranes in Wisconsin is for the Legislature to direct the DNR to establish a hunt. In January 2012 Representative Joel Kleefisch has begun that process, and is seeking co-sponsors for his proposed bill, LRB3173/3. To see a draft of the bill, please click here. To see the request for co-sponsors, which also offers a brief summary of the bill's outline, please click here.
Many waterfowlers have long wanted to have the opportunity to harvest our now-bountiful Sandhill Cranes here in Wisconsin. Western states, including the Dakotas, which host a different population of Sandhills, have had those hunts for quite some time now - and hunters returning here from traveling hunts out west would like the opportunity to grab some of that "ribeye in the sky" for themselves here as well. If you are interested in seeing this bill move forward, you might consider contacting your Representative, to let him or her know, that you'd appreciate them signing on as a co-sponsor to this bill.
January 12, 2012 -Meeting of the Senate Natural Resources & Environment Committee:
October 26, 2011 - Meeting of the Joint Natural Resources Committee of the Assembly & Senate:
March 31, 2011 - Wisconsin Waterfowl Stamp Proposed Price Increase:
Th e Wisconsin Waterfowl Stamp has generated $13,236,927 for habitat work since the stamp was authorized in
1978. Projects include wetland restoration and protection, wetland development, and management, including
increased and improved public access for hunting, fishing and wildlife watching.
First issued in 1978 at a price of $3.25. Th e stamp price was increased in 1991 to $5.25 and again in 1997
to $7.00. However, the price of the Wisconsin Waterfowl Stamp has not been raised for 14 years. Inflation,
increasing user demand, increasing public land base, and the cost of maintenance for significant wetland
infrastructure means many habitat activities are going unfunded. Read more...