DNR looking to relax refuge closed-area restrictions, possibly shorten ruffed grouse season
The Wisconsin DNR is offering several opportunities for public input on wildlife issues in the days ahead.
First up is a proposed realignment of closed areas and wildlife refuges in the state.
The DNR believes many of these closed areas are no longer necessary, or are in need of change.
The end result is that the recommendations include a reduction in the number of refuges and closed areas. It also will remove closed area protections from privately-owned land that is not owned by the DNR.
The DNR believes the changes will simplify regulations, offer more opportunities for hunters and result in more accurate maps.
Questions about the proposals can go to firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments on the changes can be made until Aug. 16 and should be sent to DNRAdministrativeRulesComments@wisconsin.gov
Next up are two new management plans, one for ruffed grouse and another for waterfowl, that are now out for public review and comment.
Ruffed grouse gained some attention in the last two years as the possibility of some birds being infected by West Nile virus gathered attention. The virus was confirmed in a handful of Wisconsin grouse last fall.
The new plan calls for a shortening of the season, and revising the grouse management zones. The ruffed grouse management plan can be found here. Comments on the plan can be sent through Aug. 26 to email@example.com.
The new DNR waterfowl management plan calls for retaining Wisconsin’s wetlands, continuing research and monitoring populations, and maintaining hunter satisfaction. The draft can be accessed here. Comments or suggestions on the plan can be made by Aug. 16 to Taylor Finger (608) 266-8841 or Taylor.Finger@wisconsin.gov.