The Wisconsin Waterfowl Association consistently works to stay up-to-date and involved in those legislative & regulatory issues most important to our membership and our mission.
Here are some of the issues we are currently participating in:
Waterfowl Stamp Fee Increase – May 2019
BACKGROUND: You should know that WWA has been working for over two years with DU and other sportsman’s groups to get the WI Waterfowl Stamp fee increased to $12, up from $7. This fee has not been updated for inflation since 1997, losing almost half its purchasing power in the intervening 21 years.
President Bruce Urben and Executive Director Bruce Ross went to the capitol in January 2019 to meet with legislators to discuss the need to update the stamp fee so critical wetland projects can be funded. They were generally well received, but that’s not enough in today’s budget climate. We needed a legislative “champion”… and he has appeared.
This week the Joint Finance Committee (JFC – mostly Republicans) will meet to determine the DNR’s budget proposal for the coming bi-annual budget. Representative Ken Skowronski (R-Franklin) has offered an amendment supporting the Waterfowl Stamp increase. We need the JFC to include this amendment in their budget proposal and then work its way through the budget process.
We are asking you to reach out to your state legislators on TUESDAY and seek their support for this amendment. Calling is better than emailing, even though you will only likely talk to one of the staffers. Let us know how your conversation goes–specifically, ask whether whether the legislator supports the initiative. Please let me know what they say, so I can feed that back to our partners.
Need contact info for your legislators? https://legis.wisconsin.gov
Need the right words to say?: Here’s some to try on:
“I’m calling to ask your support for Representative Ken Skowronski’s amendment to the JFC budget proposal to include an increase in the state duck stamp (“WI Waterfowl Stamp”). This an initiative started by waterfowlers, supported by waterfowlers (greater than 90% in recent WWA polling), to be borne by waterfowlers.
We think this is a critical piece of the waterfowling heritage / conservation puzzle: keeping restoration funds consistent with restoration needs.
At the most recent duck stamp advisory committee meeting attended by WWA only last week, where we prioritized wetland restoration projects against available funding, we had to stop well short of halfway through these worthy projects as we simply ran out of available stamp funding.
Normally not a big deal – we should have more projects than available funding. But, it’s been 21 years since the stamp cost was adjusted for inflation – as you can imagine, we’ve lost about half the purchasing power the stamp provided in 1997. We simply are not able to do the critical wetland projects important for the long-term success of our state’s waterfowl.
These funds have historically been well used in a timely way to restore wetlands critical to waterfowl (and by the way, to our communities). Unlike some of the DNR’s funding streams, they have not been allowed to accumulate beyond the length of time necessary to execute the project. There may be some scuttlebutt out there saying otherwise, but it’s not accurate.
I’m hoping you support this initiative, and if so, I ask that you’d support Representative Skowronski’s proposal to the JFC, asking that their DNR budget plan incorporate this waterfowl stamp increase – and should it get that far, through the rest of the budgeting process. WWA can certainly provide more information should you desire it.”