Keeping the silent sports community informed and self propelled.
Frequent Silent Sports contributer Mike McFadzen sent the following in response to the December 11 decision by the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board to scale back a plan by the DNR to open state parks and trails between October 15 and the Thursday before Memorial as called for in Act 168, the Sporting Heritage bill, signed into law this past spring. The plan sparked outrage from thousands of citizens, some of which took three hours to tesitfy at the meeting.
The NRB voted unanimously to only allow hunting and trapping in WI parks from November 15 to December 15, with limited April hunting and some expanded bow hunting. The measure passed on a 7-0 vote Tuesday evening. This represents a huge win for traditional park users who campaigned against a massive hunting/trapping season from October 15 to Memorial Day.
This is a victory for park enthusiasts, who made their voices heard during this contentious process. The hunting/trapping crowd tried to muscle their way into state parks but gained little, other than organized opposition to this absurd land grab. Diverse park user groups including, hikers, skiers, bikers, birders, equestrians, scouts and others rallied to support using state parks per their original Wisconsin charter.
Organizers of the effort to curtail the hunting and trapping provision of Act 168 will study the details and determine if further action is necessary. I will continue to track this issue and provide more information when it becomes available.
Thanks to everyone who contacted their legislators and the NRB to convey their thoughts on healthy park and trail use.
See Tom Held's article "Natural Resources Board muzzles hunting in state parks" for more information.