A few topics of note were discussed during fast-moving Chippewa County spring hearings hosted by the Department of Natural Resources and Wisconsin Conservation Congress on Monday evening at Chippewa Falls Middle School.
The meeting lasted just 90 minutes in total but a few advisory questions among the 54 up for discussion by the 133 people in attendance drew conversation at the annual meeting.
One such question, which asked if citizens would support an increase in the fee for yearly guide licenses from $40 to $250 drew unanimous negative feedback from those in attendance. Those who spoke felt the increase for guides was too much with Heather Andersen of Bloomer stating the proposed increase was “exorbitant.”
Another issue near the end of the meeting to draw discussion was a proposal that would require all non-motorized watercrafts such as canoes to be registered.
Those in favor of the measure felt those using non-motorized watercrafts were utilizing natural resources just as much as those in motorized watercrafts and should also be paying to do so. Others who were against the proposal felt it was unnecessary and nothing more than an attempt to make more money.
It was also suggested that non-motorized watercrafts should not have to be registered, but should be required to have the owner’s name and address displayed on them in case they are lost or owners need to be contacted.
All questions up for discussion this year were advisory questions, meaning if passed in a statewide vote they would not be moved into law, but rather be up for vote again next year and could become law if they passed then as well. Chippewa County Conservation Warden Robert Kneeland said discussion is usually more spirited in law-deciding years, but was pleased with the amount of people that showed up and made their voices heard on this year’s set of questions.
“We had great participation,” Kneeland said. “It was good to hear the different opinions (on the topics).”
Statewide results will be tabulated and released later in the week.
A pair of elections were held for the Chippewa County chapter of the Wisconsin Conservation Congress at the start of Monday’s meeting with one board member being reelected and earning election to the board.
Jim Morning was reelected to a 3-year term while Curt Loew was elected to a 2-year term, replacing Dean Gullickson.
Morning also spoke about the upcoming meeting for the Chippewa County Deer Advisory Council, which takes place on Thursday, April 19 at 7 p.m. in Room 003 in the basement of the Chippewa County Courthouse in Chippewa Falls.
At next week’s meeting the council will discuss to finalize its recommendation to the state to maintain the county’s deer herd through an allocation of a certain amount of deer tags for the 2018-20 hunting seasons. The online public comment period is open now through Thursday with members of the public able to submit their feedback at the Department of Natural Resources’ website (Dnr.Wi.Gov) by searching ‘CDAC’.
Citizens will also be able to give their feedback in person at next week’s meeting.