Outdoor vote

To the Editor:

Hunters, fishermen, outdoorsmen and women will have a chance to vote on various fishing, hunting, trapping, deer baiting and feeding, and other wildlife questions at the annual Spring Public Hearing at 7 p.m. Monday, April 14, at the Plymouth High School Auditorium located at 125 Highland Ave., Plymouth.

Thirty-five advisory questions have been proposed by the state Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), followed by 23 advisory questions submitted by the Wisconsin Conservation Congress having to do with deer registration, invasive plants, trapping questions, adequate free access to waterways, season opener and Mother’s Day weekend, voluntary support for the Wisconsin Outdoor Education Expo, panfish management, increasing inland waters trout stamp fee, catch and release fishing seasons, and wolf trapper education, plus many others.

New this year will be a WDNR Wildlife Management report on Deer Herd Status & New Rules for 2014. Staff will present current deer herd information for Sheboygan County and answer questions regarding the implementation of the new deer hunting rules and how they will affect hunting opportunity in 2014 and beyond.

Of concern to Sheboygan County outdoorsmen and wom- en is “Question 46. Adequate free access to waterways,” having to do with boat launch fees. In 2011, the Sheboygan County Conservation Association was unsuccessful in getting the Sheboygan County Board to abolish boat launch fees when the board rescinded the recreational fee; and “Question 52. Voluntary support for the Wisconsin Outdoor Education Expo,” having to do with voluntary funding from outdoorsmen for an outdoor youth expo that has attracted more than 30,000 fourth- and fifth-grade students since its beginning in 2006. Many Sheboygan County conservation clubs continue to support this annual outdoor youth expo. To move forward, both questions would need a positive majority vote and would require legislation as well.

The spring hearings are held on the same day and at the same time in each of the 72 counties in Wisconsin and have been held annually for more than 75 years. The support or opposition serves as recommendations to the WDNR and the Wisconsin Conservation Congress. The results of the 2014 Spring Hearings will be available online as of Wednesday, April 16, at dnr.wi.gov -- search for “Spring Hearings.”

Phil Mersberger

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