WGF Members Submit Comments for June Natural Resources Board Meeting

WI Green Fire, June 15, 2022

prairie chicken

Members of Wisconsin’s Green Fire’s Wildlife Work Group and Public Lands and Forestry Work Groups have submitted comments to the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board for consideration during their upcoming June 22nd meeting. These comments cover three agenda items, voicing approval of the 2022-2032 Wisconsin Greater Prairie Chicken (GRPC) Management Plan and the 2022 Antlerless Deer Quotas, Permit Levels and Season Frameworks, and support for the proposed Princess Point and Leola Marsh Land Acquisitions.

WGF Wildlife Work Group members Jim Keir and Tom Hauge co-wrote the GRPC Management Plan letter. Jim, a retired Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist who specialized in Greater prairie-chicken biology, served as WGF’s representative on the GRPC Advisory Committee and played a role in plan development. The comment letter voices support for the updated management plan, focused Department management efforts and investments in core GRPC habitat in Wisconsin. Read the full comment letter here.

The second letter voices support for the 2022 Antlerless Deer Quotas, Permit Levels and Season Frameworks proposed by WDNR. This letter outlines WGF’s analysis of Wisconsin white-tailed deer management in our July 2021 Meeting Wisconsin’s Deer Conservation Challenges Opportunities Now report. This report outlines the deer conservation challenges we face, including the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease, forest habitat destruction from over browsing, and declining numbers of deer hunters. The comment letter encourages the NRB to consider creating a Wisconsin White-tailed Deer Conservation Plan to guide WDNR management for the next 10-15 years. Read the letter here.

WGF Public Lands and Forestry Work Group co-chairs Linda Parker and Ron Eckstein wrote the final comment letter in support of the proposed Princess Point and Leola Marsh land acquisitions. The letter emphasizes the importance of Leola Marsh as grassland habitat that supports prairie chickens and other grassland species. Additionally, the letter calls Princess Point an “outstanding” opportunity to restore a large and connected wetland to support waterfowl, particularly in a region where up to 75% of the wetlands have been drained. Read the full letter of support here.

Please contact WGF Executive Director Fred Clark with any questions at fclark@wigreenfire.org.