Alliance for Animals Information for Conservation Congress Meeting Tonight


We're expecting the results of the votes to appear on the DNR website by Wednesday or Thursday. As soon as we are aware of them we'll put them up on the DSTC website. As far as what happens next, that depends on the outcome of the vote.

Rest assured that we're notgoing to stop advocating for cats, even if 62 is crushed.

Stay tuned! The real work begins later this week.

Adam from Don't Shoot The Cat (DSTC)

From the DNR: "All Conservation Congress Advisory questions are listed on the Spring Hearing Questionnaire. The Spring Hearings are a tool used to gain citizen input regarding those questions. All Conservation Congress Advisory questions are just that, advisory questions. The results of the Spring Hearings are forwarded to the Natural Resources Board and Department of Natural Resources for further consideration following the statewide recommendations from the Conservation Congress at its annual meeting. The State Legislature would then need to pass legislation to implement this proposal. And then the Legislature would ultimately decide this issue."

Alliance for Animals - 122 State Street #406 - Madison, WI 53703Phone: 608-257-6333 Fax: 608-257-6400

Below are suggested answers to the numbered questions listed on the DNR website [click here to look at proposed Fish Rule changes (Qs 1-27) online; click here to look at the proposed Natural Resources Board Advisory Question (Q 28); click here to look at the proposed Wildlife Rule changes (Qs 29-43); click here to look at Advisory Questions (Qs 44-74)] and in the DNR's Spring Hearings booklet.

Disclaimer: Many of these questions deal with activities that we do not support in any form (e.g. fur-trapping). Because we want to provide you with a suggested answer but do not feel entirely comfortable with a simple "yes" or "no," some of our suggestions below include caveats and brief statements as to why we have chosen one answer over the other. Please note that because of the nature of these questions, we found that we had no choice but to choose the lesser of two evils for many of them.

Fisheries Mgmt. and Habitat Protection Rule Changes

1. Yes
2. Yes
3. Yes
4. Yes
(Questions 5 - 27 are county-specific; if you live in one of the counties affected, please consult with animal-friendly individuals in your area for suggested answers)

Natural Resources Board Advisory Question

28. Yes

Proposed Statewide Wildlife Management Rule Changes

29. No (We are opposed to this because we are opposed to bear hunting in any form)
30. No
31. Yes (Important! Involves use of electronic turkey decoys)
32. No (Important! Involves use of dogs to hunt turkeys)
33. Yes
34. Yes
35. Yes (We are against all trapping, but in favor of any means of reducing incidental take)
36. No (Important! Involves landowners shooting and killing gray wolves)
37. No (We support equal access for differently-abled people but we don't support sport hunting in any form)
38. No (See above)
39. No
40. Yes (We support the further restriction of closing the refuge during this time but not allowing hunting after Nov. 30)
41. No (Important! Involves expanding the use of dogs for bear hunting)
42. No (Important! Involves expanding the use of dogs for bear hunting)
43. No

Conservation Congress Executive Council Advisory Questions

44. No (We are opposed to all forms of sport hunting)
45. No (See above)
46. No (See above)
47. No (Important! Involves lowering the hunting age from 12 to 10)
48. Yes
49. No
50. Yes
51. No
52. No
53. Yes
54. Yes
55. Yes
56. No (Important! Involves expanding bobcat harvest zones)
57. No (We are against all fur-trapping)
58. Yes
59. No (Important! Involves extending ruffed grouse season)
60. No (Important! Involves expanding bobcat harvest zones)
61. No (Important! Involves allowing the hunting of fishers)
62. No (Important! Involves listing of feral cats as unprotected species)
63. Yes
64. No [Commercial navigation improvements do not equate to a healthier river or ecosystem (from Wisconsin Internetwork)]
65. No (Important! Involves providing funding to private shooting ranges)
66. No (Important! Involves legalizing the use of prehistoric-style weapons to kill animals)
67. No (Important! Involves allowing first year hunters the option of not taking a hunter's education course)
68. No (Important! Involves allowing children under 12 to possess, control, and discharge a firearm under adult supervision)
69. No (Important! Involves allowing 12 and 13-year-olds to hunt with an adult other than a parent or guardian)
70. No
71. No
72. No
73. Yes (While we support habitat protection for muskies, we do not support stocking solely for recreational fishing)
74. We do not have enough information to give a suggested answer for this question.

From the Oshkosh Northwestern
Patrick Durkin writes a weekly column for The Northwestern. He may be reached at 721 Wesley St., Waupaca, WI 54981; or by e-mail at

"In case you missed it, new shoreline-protection rules were developed after 16 months of negotiations between state senators, Assembly representatives and environmental, conservation, realty and construction groups. After the rules were approved by the Natural Resources Board and sent to the Assembly’s Natural Resources Committee for review, Rep. Gard decided the rules weren’t landowner-friendly. A party-line vote sunk the package.

I empathized with the concerned citizen, but noted that two conservation groups — Clean Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation — had indeed issued press releases that criticized lawmakers. Clean Wisconsin even described Gard’s tactics as “strong-arm political moves,” and warned of “more water pollution and less enforcement” when spring construction projects begin.

I should have added Gard is no fool. He flicks away such critics as if they’re errant ants at a picnic. After all, science-based conservation laws supported by well-read advocates seldom get voters excited.

However, if the Wisconsin Conservation Congress ever mobilized its 350-plus delegates and supporters to harass politicians on behalf of the public’s waterways, now that would be a story.
Because the Conservation Congress is legislatively sanctioned to be the public’s adviser to the Natural Resources Board. In fact, this citizens organization holds hearings and takes votes every April.

And politicians — bless their hearts — can read vote totals.

Unfortunately, the Congress seldom deploys its state-sanctioned clout for anything significant, unless you consider nonstop nattering about deer-herd estimates a vital endeavor. Anytime lawmakers consider a rational move for deer management — such as just shutting up — the Congress waves its votes to scare them straight.

That might explain why legislators have helped mismanage Wisconsin’s deer and forest ecology since before World War II.

With a half-century record for championing the trivial and ignoring the crucial, the Conservation Congress leaves true conservation work to groups that lawmakers ruthlessly disregard.

But if you’re seeking an outfit that consistently makes loud, short-lived news, never overlook the Conservation Congress.

Despite all the potential good it holds for Wisconsin’s outdoors community, the Congress regularly humiliates itself over stupid stuff — often in its “advisory questions” at the April hearings. This year’s nationwide newsmaker is Advisory Question 62, which asks the DNR to support hunts for feral cats.

Personally, I don’t think feral cats should receive any more protection than feral hogs, but I concede that with 100 million U.S. cats claiming pet-hood, some folks might disagree. Just a guess, but I doubt pet pigs exceed 100, period. Not only that, but pork tastes great, wild or domestic, and cats aren’t even good furbearers.

The Congress’s cat question overshadows another side-splitter, Advisory Question 66, which suggests hunters be allowed to wield the prehistoric atlatl and dart. Supporters say the atlatl is similar enough to a bow that it should be legal for hunting fish and game.Oh mirth! Stop it, man, you’re killing me! Does the Conservation Congress wonder why mankind advanced from atlatls and darts to bows and arrows thousands of years ago? Maybe in part because bows can be steadily aimed, and even equipped with sights?"


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