A wetland regulatory reform bill (LRB 2803/1) has been introduced into the Wisconsin legislature and will be the subject of public hearings on Tuesday Jan 10, 2012 and Thursday Jan 12, 2012). The bill, sponsored by Senators Kedzie and Schultz and Representative Mursau, is intended modify certain aspects of the wetland permitting, review, and approval process; and to modify statutes “relating to public input on and enforcement of wetland permits to make them consistent with current, or proposed Wisconsin statutes for lakes, river, and streams” and allows the WI DNR to establish a mitigation program in collaboration with the US Army Corps of Engineers (WWA memo, 2012).
For additional reportage and analysis, see The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (JSOnline) coverage.
The Wisconsin Wetlands Association (WWA) applauds these proposed changes, but cautions that the overall outcome of the bill could be to weaken wetland protections in Wisconsin. The WWA says:
“Despite these positive program modifications, there are other provisions that substantially change existing wetland protections. We do not believe it was the intention of the authors to fundamentally weaken wetland protections in the state, but the practical implications of some sections of this bill do just that.”
Wisconsin Wetlands Association Analysis and Recommendations for LRB 2803/1
The Wisconsin Wetlands Association has issued a letter to Wisconsin legislators containing a thorough analysis and set of recommendations. See the complete memo.
If you have questions or comments, please contact WWA’s Policy Director Erin O’Brien or Executive Director Tracy Hames at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or by calling 608-250-9971.
Assembly Committee on Natural Resources
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
State Capitol Room 412 East
Senate Natural Resources and Environment Committee
Thursday, January 12, 2012
State Capitol Room 411 South