For the Antigo Times
Wisconsin residents will be able to nominate and elect local representatives to the Wisconsin Conservation Congress and express support or non-support for a range of advisory questions on conservation and natural resources management issues at the Congress’ spring meetings in every county of the state on Monday, April 10 at 7 PM.
The county meeting is held jointly with the Department of Natural Resources Spring Hearings. For those unfamiliar with the Wisconsin Conservation Congress, it is a statutorily established advisory group to the state Natural Resources Board (NRB) on all natural resource issues.
“In Langlade County, the joint DNR and Conservation Congress annual county meeting will be held at the Antigo High School, in Antigo,” said Ronn Krueger, Sr., chair of the Langlade County delegation.
At the meetings, citizens will have the opportunity to comment and register their support or non-support for congress proposals that could someday become the rules that regulate fishing, hunting, trapping, and other outdoor recreation activities in Wisconsin. They may also submit resolutions addressing conservation needs and concerns they observe.
“Citizens have the opportunity to weigh in on natural resources issues that may affect them. The Congress asks these questions to gauge the public’s support, or lack thereof, on any given issue,” said Ronn.
Results of the public’s input on these proposals will be presented to the Natural Resource Board in May of 2017. If there is support for a proposal, the advisory question could become a DNR rule change proposal in the following years.
This year the Conservation Congress will seek public input on 49 advisory questions on a range of topics, some of which include:
- a proposal to establish the wild turkey as Wisconsin’s state game bird;
- a proposal to provide training on lead reclamation for shooting ranges;
- a proposal to add a surcharge on otter applications to fund aquatic furbearer research
- a proposal to increase inland trout stamp fees;
- a proposal to establish a new bear hunting zone south of Hwy 10;
- Use of lights to scan after dark for predatory calling;
- On-line voter accessibility.
“Conservation Congress advisory questions generally originate from citizens’ ideas,” said Larry Bonde, Chairman of the Wisconsin Conservation Congress. “If resolutions presented at the county level meetings are supported, the resolution is advanced to one of the Congress’ advisory committees and the District Leadership Council for consideration.
“Each year, there are over 200 resolutions submitted locally. Not all pass, but the ones that do have the potential to become a rule, policy or legislative change in the subsequent years,” Bonde said. “It is a true grassroots process that empowers the citizens of this state to shape natural resources policy.”
Anyone submitting resolutions must submit two copies of their resolution typed or neatly printed on 8-1/2 by 11 inch white paper. Resolution writing instructions and a template for writing a resolution are available online at http://dnr.wi.gov/About/WCC/springhearing.html
In addition to the Congress advisory questions, the county meeting is also reserved for the election of delegates to the Wisconsin Conservation Congress. To vote for Congress delegates, one must be 18 years old and provide identification along with proof of residency in the county.
“There will be two seats up for election in Langlade County in 2017,” stated Ronn. “Any citizen of the county, who is a Wisconsin resident and is at least 18 years of age, may be nominated to the Congress for a two or three year term. Nominees must be willing to volunteer their time and represent their local citizens on natural resource issues.”
For more information, contact Ronn Krueger, Sr. at (715) 623-4824.