Legislation Alert-hearings this week on bills to allow hunting with dogs off-leash in spring in northern Wisconsin

Greetings Friends of the Namekagon Barrens Wildlife Area!

I’m writing to let you know that two bills are coming up for public hearing this week in the State Legislature: Assembly Bill 512 and Senate Bill 545. The hearings are being held by the Senate Committee on Financial Institutions and Sporting Heritage (Wednesday) and the Assembly committee on Sporting Heritage (tomorrow – Tuesday).

Both bills remove restrictions on hunting with dogs in spring in a northern zone of the state. I sent emails to our mailing list about this earlier this fall. Today I’m writing to let you know the hearings are coming up this week. I’m sorry for the short notice.

My understanding is that the only way to provide direct testimony is to appear in person at the hearings in Madison. However, you can let your state Senator and Assembly representative know you position and opinion on the bills. You can also call the Governor’s office and urge that Gov. Evers veto the bills (if that’s your opinion) if they advance out of committee and survive a full vote of both houses.

As a non-profit organization, our Friends group can only do limited lobbying, but we can advocate and educate. Our concern is that allowing dogs off-leash in the spring will result in the stress or even death of nest-bound or fledgling songbirds, sharp-tailed grouse, upland sandpipers, wild turkeys, and even fawns.

We leave you to draw your own conclusions. There is still an opportunity to provide input to your Wis. State Senators and Assembly Representatives as I mentioned above. Further, there should be an opportunity to comment if the bills survive committee and are introduced in both houses.

Here are some more contact email addresses:

Gov. Evers Office: 608/266-1212 – ask for Zach Madden.

Register a comment with the Governor’s office on-line: https://evers.wi.gov/pages/connect.aspx

Assembly Committee members:

Rep.Pronschinske@legis.wisconsin.gov, Rep.Tittl@legis.wisconsin.gov, Rep.Bodden@legis.wisconsin.gov, Rep.Rob.Brooks@legis.wisconsin.gov, Rep.Callahan@legis.wisconsin.gov, Rep.Green@legis.wisconsin.gov, Rep.Mursau@legis.wisconsin.gov, Rep.Sortwell@legis.wisconsin.gov,

Rep.Shelton@legis.wisconsin.gov, Rep.Shankland@legis.wisconsin.gov,

Rep.McGuire@legis.wisconsin.gov, Rep.Conley@legis.wisconsin.gov

Senate Committee members:

Sen.Stafsholt@legis.wisconsin.gov, Sen.Felzkowski@legis.wisconsin.gov, Sen.Tomczyk@legis.wisconsin.gov, Sen.Spreitzer@legis.wisconsin.gov, Sen.Hesselbein@legis.wisconsin.gov

Legislators for the area where the Namekagon Barrens is located:

Sen.Quinn@legis.wisconsin.gov, Rep.Sapik@legis.wisconsin.gov

Thanks for your consideration on this matter,

Kathy Bartilson

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