Wisconsin conservation groups join forces on wetland protection

Wisconsin’s conservation organizations have learned that they can accomplish far more by working together than they can by forging ahead individually.

That’s the reason that a new coalition, Sportsmen for Wetlands, has formed and its member groups are now working to go on the offensive to promote the value of wetlands.

Wisconsin chapters of Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, Trout Unlimited, Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, Wisconsin Wetlands Association, and the Wisconsin Waterfowl Association have signed a memorandum of understanding agreeing to cooperate on pursuing coalition goals.

Other organizations are expected to join the coalition.

The coalition is non-partisan, but hopes to generate involvement by the hunting, fishing and trapping organizations and individuals to advocate on behalf of natural resources.

Coalition goals include:

  • Raise the awareness of the ecological and economic importance of wetlands.
  •  Promote outdoor recreational values of wetlands.
  •  Educate and advise Wisconsin leaders how wetlands benefit communities.
  •  Generate collaborative approaches to wetland conservation.

George Meyer, of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, said the coalition can bring facts out as a safety valve to prevent fast-moving legislation without reasoned, professional study.

Kyle Rorah, of Ducks Unlimited, noted that last year’s wetland legislation was alarming, and the coalition will work together to improve policy makers understanding of wetlands.

Anyone who has followed the Wisconsin Legislature over the last eight years knows this new coalition is facing an uphill battle. The Legislature’s majority has been interested more in business interests and rolling back wetland protection than in preserving wetlands or protecting ground water.

The coalition forsees an opportunity to build support for the value of wetlands.

Rod and gun clubs and other conservation organizations can learn more and obtain information on joining at sportsmenforwetlands@gmail.com.

Categories: Wisconsin – Tim Eisele

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