From the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
-- The questionnaire package for the 2011 Department of Natural Resources Spring Fish and Wildlife Rules Hearing and Annual Conservation Congress County meeting and the list of meeting locations is now available for review on the Department of Natural Resources website.
On April 11, there will be 72 public hearings, one in each Wisconsin county starting at 7 p.m. where individuals interested in natural resources management will have an opportunity to provide input by non-binding vote and testimony to the Department of Natural Resources, Natural Resources Board and the Conservation Congress on proposed hunting and fishing rule changes and advisory questions.
Printed copies of the questionnaire will be available after March 1.
The annual hearings are combined with the county meetings during which residents can vote on and introduce their solutions to natural resources related issues.
The spring hearings cover elections for county Conservation Congress delegates, proposed wildlife and fisheries rule changes, and Conservation Congress proposals for future rule development.
Among the wildlife rule proposals considered:
-- Eliminating the archery deer hunting season closure during the traditional November firearm season;
-- Allowing normal hunting hours for pheasants on weekends at stocked properties that otherwise close at 2 p.m.;
-- Establishing a September firearm and archery hunting season for elk that would run concurrently with the first 30 days of the archery deer hunting season that would be held after the elk population reaches 200 animals;
-- Extending each of the spring turkey hunting periods by two days; and
-- Allowing landowners, lessees or occupants of private land, or other people with their permission, to shoot a cougar that is in the act of killing, wounding or biting a domestic animal and require that the carcass of the cougar be turned over to the DNR.
There will be a wide variety of advisory questions the Congress will be asking citizens to gauge public support on various natural resource issues. Information about the process is also available online.