MADISON – Earlier today a press release was issued by a state conservation organization, the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, stating that the Department of Natural Resources joined numerous other state conservation organizations in opposing Senate Bill 99 and Assembly Bill 75, commonly referred to as the “deer regulation bills.” In fact, that is not the case.
The Senate committee asked DNR to testify for information only,” said DNR Deputy Secretary, Matt Moroney. “The department does not take positions either for or against bills working their way through the legislative process.”
In testimony given on May 5 to the Senate Natural Resources and Environmental Committee, DNR Division of Lands Administrator, Kurt Thiede, said that the department has suspended use of earn-a-buck and October antlerless hunts outside of chronic wasting disease management areas for 2011. He noted, however, that the time may come when the department would like to have those options available again.
“We understand that laws could be written to bring these options back if they are absolutely needed,” said Thiede. “After all, that is how earn-a-buck came to be. However, a key to managing wildlife populations is the ability to assess current needs, make recommendations, and quickly have them in place through action of the Natural Resources Board and the legislative review process. We are concerned that if these herd control strategies are taken away and we need them back we will have to wait for a bill and we don’t foresee this being a popular bill to sponsor or pass in the future.”
“We respect the fact that the Wildlife Federation speaks for numerous conservation organizations, but the DNR is not among them,” said Moroney. “It is a mischaracterization to say we have joined these groups in opposing SB75 and AB 99. DNR’s role is to implement measures the legislature passes.”
News Release Published: May 10, 2011 by the Central Office
Contact(s): Kurt Thiede (608) 266-5833
Source: Wisconsin DNR (http://dnr.wi.gov/news/BreakingNews_Lookup.asp?id=2090)