Wisconsin DNR’s online live chats interesting and informative
The Department of Natural Resources has been, for the last several years, conducting live online chats focusing on numerous outdoors-related topics. Interested parties bring up the DNR web site, feed in their questions, and wait for an answer to come up on the screen below their question.
Questions asked by others who are online, and the answers from the DNR, can also be viewed.
After the hour-long session ends, the chat is archived for many months and can be read at any time.
A recent chat dealt with chronic wasting disease. It was an open discussion with no questions off limits but some of those questions could not be answered by the DNR because the items in question were the jurisdiction of another agency, such as legislators, Natural Resources Board and Department of Agriculture, to name a few.
Those answers (non-answers) were frustrating, but we need to understand the way things are that some aspects of CWD are handled by other agencies.
Some of the answers revealed more than what was printed on the screen. Here, too, we need to cut the DNR employees some slack because they cannot express their opinions. It could be their jobs would disappear if they don’t follow their supervisors’ guidelines.
Ask any retired DNR employee if you do not understand how this system works, that is who can say what.
In the past Wisconsin’s wildlife biologists did not have much to say during the review of Wisconsin’s deer management. It was mostly out-of-state people speaking. Some gatherings were by invitation-only.
The law enforcement did not have input on some of the recent hunting changes, including casing of guns, for example. They could not testify.
That’s just the way the system works at the moment. The chats are still informative. Sometimes remaining silent on an answer tells more than a vague response.