Legislative alert – Wisconsin Assembly Bill 512 and Senate Bill 545 passed and move on to Governor for signature

Greetings Friends of the Namekagon Barrens Wildlife Area,

I’m writing to let you know that two bills (Assembly Bill 512 and Senate Bill 545) have been passed by the State Assembly and Senate. These two identical bills remove restrictions on hunting with dogs on public land in spring in a northern zone of the state. I sent emails to our mailing list about this last fall when the bills were first proposed, and again today for an update.

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 and other small mammals. While there are still restrictions on using dogs on state land, these bills will allow their use on county forestland, which as most of you know borders nearly every boundary of the Namekagon Barrens. Dogs in pursuit will not know when they have crossed the property line.

There is still an opportunity to urge Governor Tony Evers to veto these bills. With many large tracts of contiguous public land up north, it’s especially important to protect our wildlife during the spring.

The advice we have received from the Governor’s office is to use this website to register your concern:


The site is easy to use, and has room in the last space at the bottom for very lengthy comments, if needed. We’d also appreciate hearing from you if you send in comments. Feel free to respond to me at this email address (oh2paddle@gmail.com).

Thanks for your support to the creatures of the Barrens!

Kathy Bartilson

for the Friends of the Namekagon Barrens Wildlife Area

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  1. I’m not certain. The bill language just says “repeal” for a lot of existing rules. Some of them could be selectively lined out. I’m not certain how many types of legislation a line item veto can be used on.


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