WWF - Jobs Bills will weaken potection for the lakes, rivers, and streams

Wisconsin Wildlife Federation

October 23, 2011

                                                      News Release

Contact: George Meyer, Executive Director, 608-516-5545

Jobs Bills Significantly Weakens Laws Protecting Wisconsin’s Lakes and Streams

Poynette: Today, the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation announced that it had completed its legal review of SS/SB 24 that has been introduced as “Job Bills” in the Special Session of the Legislature. The review shows that the bills will significantly weaken Wisconsin laws protecting its lakes and streams and make it virtually impossible for Wisconsin citizens to have meaningful input into DNR decisions that affect their waterways. The Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, representing the interests of over 170 hunting, fishing and trapping groups, opposes the bills because of the damage that will happen to fish and wildlife habitat critically important to sportsmen and women.

Specifically, in its study of the bill the Federation found that the bills:

------Substantially remove Wisconsin Citizen’s ability to protect their lakes and streams

------Significantly weaken environmental regulations protecting fish and wildlife habitat

------Violate the Constitution-based Public Trust Doctrine protecting navigable waters

------Weaken environmental standards that apply to metallic mining in Wisconsin

The Federation has detailed these findings in the attached fact sheet.

“Whether you are a hunter, angler or trapper, Wisconsin’s lakes and streams are critically important habitat for the fish and wildlife that are the backbone for hunting, fishing and trapping in Wisconsin,” stated Chuck Matyska (Cecil), President of the Federation. “Allowing these lakes and streams to be damaged is contrary to the interest of every sportsman and woman in this state.”

“The Legislature is working hard to increase the recruitment and retention of young hunters, anglers and trappers in Wisconsin, but without quality fish and wildlife habitat, the important heritage of hunting, fishing and trapping will be lost forever,” indicated Betty Borchert, Chair of the Federation’s Environment Committee. “Ultimately, the loss of this habitat will hurt the economy and in fact cost Wisconsin jobs.

The Federation is the state’s largest hunting, fishing and trapping organization and is dedicated to conservation education and the advancement of sound conservation policy on behalf of hunters, anglers and trappers.