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GLIN==> WI GOVERNOR SIGNS BILL PROTECTING WETLANDS



For Immediate Release - May 7, 2001
Contact: Lisa Hull (608) 266-8110
	  Debbie Monterrey-Millett (608) 266-9806

GOVERNOR SIGNS BILL PROTECTING WETLANDS
Wisconsin first state in nation to respond to Supreme Court ruling

	MADISON - Gov. Scott McCallum today signed Special Session Senate
Bill 1, a measure that he had sought for the protection of isolated wetlands
throughout Wisconsin that were potentially left unprotected as a result of a
ruling earlier this year by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Wisconsin is the first state in the nation to respond to the January 2001
U.S. Supreme Court decision, which narrowed the water and wetland areas
subject to federal regulation. 

Gov. McCallum worked closely with state lawmakers to develop consensus
legislation on wetlands protection. Once the bill was finalized, Gov.
McCallum called the Legislature into special session last week to address
the measure. Both the Senate and Assembly passed the bill unanimously.

"I am pleased that lawmakers were able to put their differences aside to
pass this very important bill," Gov. McCallum said. "This is proof that all
sides can work together to do something great for Wisconsin."

Gov. McCallum said that the wetlands protection measure has widespread
support from the Department of Natural Resources, environmental groups and
the business community.

"Protecting our precious wetlands became a priority from the moment the U.S
Supreme Court ruling came down and I said early on that it would be a
priority for my administration," Gov. McCallum said. "Wisconsin's wetlands
are vital for flood control and for keeping our lakes and rivers clean, as
well as for protecting fish and wildlife."

Gov. McCallum said that the bill he signed today gives the Department of
Natural Resources comprehensive regulatory authority over isolated,
intrastate wetlands that are free from federal regulation as a result of the
High Court's ruling. 

The measure will allow the DNR to regulate certain types of wetlands that
are off limits to the Army Corps of Engineers. It also sets time lines for
processing, approving or denying water quality certifications for
non-federal wetlands. 

The U.S Supreme Court decision also narrowed the areas and activities the
Wisconsin DNR protects through its water quality certification, potentially
leaving vast portions of Wisconsin's wetlands unprotected from being dredged
or filled, including wet meadows, forested wetlands, ephemeral ponds and
bogs.

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