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E-M:/ April 10: Your chance to vote on WI wildland and wildlife issues!



------------------------------------------------------------------------- Enviro-Mich message from Billy Stern -------------------------------------------------------------------------
APRIL 10: CONSERVATION CONGRESS
YOUR CHANCE TO VOTE ON WISCONSIN WILDLAND AND WILDLIFE ISSUES!
(Apologies for any duplication.)


Dear Fellow Wisconsin Conservationist:

Now that the state primary, Wisconsin Supreme Court, and county elections are over, I would like to encourage all of you to put aside the evening of April 10 to participate in the vote to advise the DNR on wildlife and wildlands issues in the state's yearly Conservation Congress. It is important to note that the Conservation Congress will hold its elections at the beginning of the meeting rather than the end, as it has done in the past, so you don't have to sit through the whole meeting to have your vote counted.

Traditionally, many people think of the Conservation Congress as only dealing with hunting and fishing issues. Indeed, many of the issues on the ballot will be hunting and fishing issues, including the very controversial morning dove hunting issue. However, there will also be quite a number of more general environmental issues on the ballot. These include:

#18) establishing a migratory game bird refuge for Clark County - Winx Flowage;

#45) proposing legislation prohibiting the operation of personal watercraft, (wave runners, jet skis) on all Wisconsin lakes 400 acres and smaller;

#46) prohibiting the Mecan River Fisheries Area, purchased with public money for the specific purpose of their preservation and use by the public, from being opened to exploitation by withdrawal of its ground water for a commercial bottling facility;

#58) deciding whether the Secretary of the DNR be appointed by the Natural Resources Board or the Governor;

#59) deciding whether the Office of Public Intervenor should be reinstated;

#64) asking whether the government should prohibit all commercial activity on lands enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) including commercial game farms and shooting preserves;

#65) regarding the status of wild pheasant game farms; and

#66) recommending the type of forestry to take place on the Brule River State Forest.

Voters from each county will also get to elect five delegates who will represent their counties at the Conservation Congress, which will vote on wildlife policies during the course of the year.

Many of these issues have broad implications for wildlands and wildlife and we urged you to get out and make your voice heard. Due time constraints, the wide range and complexity of the issues and our broad constituency, GREEN is only taking a formal stance on only one of the ballot issues. On question #5, looking to broaden the areas where coyotes can be hunted, we urge you to vote NO.

Currently the coyote-hunting season is closed north of State Highway 29. This was done to protect the gray wolf, which is still currently listed as federally endangered and threatened in the state of Wisconsin. Due to some confusion between the two species, the DNR admits that increasing the areas open to coyote hunting would increase the risk of a hunter mistakenly shooting a wolf. The wolf is still in the process of recovering as a species, and each individual wolf is significant to the survival of the population. In any case, coyote hunting will still be open south of State Highway 29.

There is a separate meeting in each county, starting at 7:00pm on April 10. To find where and when the Conservation Congress will be held in your County, look to your local newspaper or go to: http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/nrboard/springhearings/notice/

For more general information about the meeting, go to:
http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/nrboard/springhearings/index.html

GREEN (GrassRoots Environmental Effectiveness Network) is a project of Defenders of Wildlife designed to serve grassroots wildlife and wildlands advocates. GREEN policy positions do not necessarily represent those of Defenders of Wildlife.

Thank you for your time, and I hope to see you there!

Billy Stern
GREEN
Midwest States Organizer
1121 University Ave.
Madison, WI 53715
PH (608) 294-6871
Fax (608) 294-9170
billysun@chorus.net
http://www.defenders.org/grnhome.html

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