(Madison, WI) Hunting and trapping will be allowed on Wisconsin state park land starting New Year's Day. But the law meant to encourage outdoor activity is getting a lot of backlash. After numerous statewide listening sessions that collected over 2,000 comments from the public, state parks personnel brought their revised plans before the Natural Resources Board in Madison.
In a packed meeting room, heated debate over Act 168 - the Sporting Heritage bill. As parks officials show revised maps for state parks like High Cliff - outlining exactly where hunting and trapping will be allowed.
"State parks are located by many communities," said WI State Parks Director, Dan Schuller. "It's a good opportunity to let people get accustomed to our state parks."
But plenty of people say it's just not worth the risk and 64 of them said their peace before the Natural Resources Board. People like Shelia Williams. "I'm just requesting that they go back to the legislature and you know, admit that they cannot safely implement the law."
Act 168 gives hunters and trappers permission to use state park land like High Cliff State Park.
They already can't do anything within a 100 feet of high use areas like trails, campgrounds and picnic areas. Still Parks Director, Dan Schuller, is asking for more. "These adjustments will provide for safety and a good experience for all users," said Schuller.
The plan they are considering takes more than a third of the land off the map for hunters and trappers. Including changes for High Cliff - where hunting would be limited to archery starting Nov. 15th of each year. In Schuller's eyes there is plenty of space for everyone.
"By separating out these activities we are creating a positive experience for hunters and trappers, as well as others who use our state parks."
Under the law taking effect Jan , hunting would be allowed in state parks either Oct. 15 or Nov. 15 through the Thursday prior to Memorial Day. Hunting at High Cliff State Park in Calumet County and Peninsula State Park in Door County would be archery only, with some sections of Peninsula open beginning Oct.15 and others, Nov. 15. All archery hunting at High Cliff begins Nov. 15th. Potawatomi State Park in Door County would open Oct. 15. For a link to all the proposed maps follow this link, http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/hunt/index.html.