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Wisconsin Waterfowl Association Newsletter
Special Edition: Legislative Call to Action
December 18, 2017

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If you've been reading our e-newsletters this fall, you've heard me talk about a wetland bill that we've been working on "behind Capitol Dome the scenes", which would remove all protections from Wisconsin's "non-federal" isolated wetlands. We also introduced some information about it, on our Facebook page.  This proposal, now two bills in the legislature,  SB 600 and AB 547 , will put over one million acres of Wisconsin's wetlands at risk.  As a waterfowler, you've probably heard of these type of wetlands referred to as the "prairie potholes" in the Dakotas.  Here in Wisconsin, they're the places where we breed ducks & hunt deer, they're the places that make Wisconsin's great outdoors special, one wetland at a time.  Back in October, I said we might call for your help, at a later date.  That date is here.
 
We, along with a number of conservation partners, have worked diligently to help the authors of these bills to address a variety of concerns brought to the table by property owners, home builders, Realtors, and developers.  You can see the draft of our proposal, here
 
Unfortunately, as a part of their process to finish out this legislative session, these bills have been scheduled for a joint public hearing this week, and we need to "flex our muscles" as outdoors men & women.

Please read on for the details and how we need your help!

See you on the water,
Don Kirby, Executive Director
Wisconsin Waterfowl Association 
SB600 & AB547
Thursday, December 21st, 2017
11:00 am
Room 411 South, at the Capitol 
 
How can you help?  
  1. Call your state Senator and Representative and tell them you are concerned about these bills.  Ask them to NOT co-sponsor, or support, SB 600 and AB 547. Don't know who your elected officials are - that's ok: Find your legislator and their contact details.
  2. Attend the public hearing on Thursday, December 21st, 2017 in Madison and register to testify in opposition to SB 600 and AB 547. I've been at the sessions where our group of conservation partners were able to demonstrate where common-sense corrections could be made (see our draft proposal) to make major improvements for the stakeholders seeking this legislation, WITHOUT removing all these protections and our permitting process.  These bills are a gross overreach, and remove protection from more than one million acres of wetlands to address problems that involve a fraction of that acreage.  See more information about isolated wetlands, from our partners at the Wisconsin Wetland Association, here.  Wear your camo or blaze, make sure you stand out.
  3. Don't let this be a secret!  It is doubly unfortunate that this bill will have its first opportunity for public input on the Thursday before Christmas.  I realize this makes it tough for many to find the time to participate.  Don't let down your guard!  PLEASE, forward this e-news to your hunting buddies, your fishing friends, co-workers, other people you know who care about conservation, land trusts, farmers, business colleagues, neighbors, and other people in your community who care about Wisconsin's incredible outdoor landscapes, which are defined by our wetlands and waters. Take your action, NOW! 
We're hoping to fill the room with citizens who are concerned about our wetland habitats, want to continue to protect them, and are willing to show their opposition to these bills.  Whether you testify by speaking, or show your opposition by registering against the bills, appearing in person, and being part of a large turnout at the hearing will show legislators that sportsmen & women will not let this sort of legislation slip through, undetected. This hearing is critical. Please take action to make an impression on our elected representatives, to oppose these bills!
The Wisconsin Waterfowl Association is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission focuses on wetland and upland habitat restoration, youth and adult environemental education and environemental- and hunter-based legislation.  

 

To contact us call (800) 524-8460 or (262) 968-1722, email wwainfo@centurytel.net or visit our website at www.wisducks.org