The Wisconsin Conservation Congress (WCC) and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced the annual Spring Hearings will once again being held online due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The public will have the opportunity to provide input on the proposed natural resources rule changes from the DNR, and advisory questions from the Natural Resources Board (NRB) and WCC through the online input opportunity.
The 2021 Spring Hearing online input webpage and will go live at 7 p.m. on April 12 and will remain open for three days (72 hours). Results will be posted as soon as they are available.
This year there are 23 proposed rule changes related to fisheries and five proposed rule changes related to wildlife management. There are also advisory questions from Fisheries, the Natural Resources Board, and the Wisconsin Conservation Congress. All questions are available to preview here.
Wisconsinites can also recommend changes to natural resource issues by submitting citizen resolutions online. Review the Frequently Asked Questions, click the submit a resolution button, and follow the directions to enter your resolution. All citizen resolutions must be received by 5 p.m. April 5. Those who complete the online input form (April 12-15) will be able to see the resolutions that were submitted by individuals indicating they reside in that county.
“This has been a challenging year for everyone around the state and the country. We want to continue to do our part to minimize the spread and impact of this virus on our communities while continuing to provide an opportunity for the public to weigh in on these important natural resources issues,” said Tony Blattler, chair of the Wisconsin Conservation Congress. “I hope that everyone interested in the issues being discussed will use the online option to provide their input. We understand the value of the in-person meeting for discussion and sharing of ideas, but our top priority is the health and safety of Wisconsinites.”
Typically, county residents would have the option to run for a seat on the Conservation Congress and to elect delegates from their county to represent their county views regarding natural resources on the Conservation Congress. However, due to the ongoing pandemic, 2021 elections are canceled.
“We will be extending the terms of each of the WCC delegates by another year,” said Blattler. “If a current delegate no longer wishes to serve, the seat will become vacant and the county chair can appoint someone to fill the remainder of the term.”
The Wisconsin Conservation Congress is the only statutory body in the state where the public elects delegates to advise the Natural Resources Board and the Department of Natural Resources on how to responsibly manage Wisconsin’s natural resources for present and future generations. The Congress accomplishes this through open, impartial, broad-ranged actions.