Comments on WDNR Draft Ruffed Grouse Management Plan 2020-2030
Tom Hauge and Adrian WydevenWI Green Fire, December 14, 2019
August 26, 2019
To: Alaina Gerrits, WDNR Assistant Upland Wildlife Ecologist
Subject: Wisconsin’s Green Fire Review of Draft Ruffed Grouse Management Plan, 2020 -2030
Thank you for the opportunity to offer our comments on the draft ruffed grouse management plan. Our wildlife work group membership has extensive experience in the conservation of this species and are very interested in helping WDNR develop a plan to guide future efforts. We want to express our thanks to all involved in producing this draft of the plan. We understand that a lot effort went into draft plan and it is a great step forward in the conservation of this species.
Our understanding is that the Department intends to review all the public comments received from the three public hearings and online comments and prepare a final version of the plan for Natural Resources Board (NRB) adoption at its September 25th meeting. We are very concerned that there will be inadequate time for the public to review and discuss the final version of the plan before having to provide their support or concerns to the Natural Resources Board. We strongly recommend that the Department delay NRB consideration of the final plan to allow for a 30-45 day public review. This is a 10-year plan and the public needs adequate time to consider the merits of this proposed plan prior to its adoption.
We also strongly recommend that ruffed grouse hunter survey results conducted to gather public feedback on ruffed grouse management be made available during the public review of the final plan. It’s clear from the minutes of the plan committee that this survey provided important information to the decision-making process. Unfortunately, these survey results are not available yet for public review. This is another reason for delaying NRB action on the final plan to allow full public review. Download a pdf of the comment letter WGF Ruffed Grouse Plan Comments 2019-8-26.