April 10, 2013:The Assembly Committee on Natural Resources and Sporting Heritage will hold a public hearing on a number of bills – Assembly Bills 8, 75 and 84.

Assembly Bill 8 relates to restrictions on hunting within a specified distance of hospitals, sanatoriums, or school grounds and restrictions imposed by local governmental units on hunting with a bow and arrow or crossbow and specifies that 1,700 feet restriction applies only to hunting with a firearm. The Bill provides that a local government may not enact or adopt a resolution that prohibits hunting with a bow or crossbow within the jurisdiction of that local government unit. An exception provides that a local governmental unit may prohibit hunting with a bow and arrow or crossbow within specified distance, not to exceed 100 yards of a building used for human occupancy that is located on another person’s land.

Assembly Bill 75 relates to the applicability of a county shoreland zoning ordinance in a shoreland area annexed by, or incorporated as, a city or village. The Bill eliminates the requirement that if a city or village annexes a county shoreland area after a specified date and that area, before annexation, was subject to a county shoreland ordinance, then the county shoreland ordinance continues to be in effect and enforced by the annexing City or Village.

Assembly Bill 84 relates to exceptions for fishing licenses and aquatic plant management permits. The Bill allows a person to use algaecide or herbicide in a self-contained pond that is located entirely on the person’s private property without obtaining a permit from DNR.

What to look for in coming weeks:
April 16, 17 & 18th,2013: The Department will be holding public hearings on proposed changes to Chapter NR 150 on April 16th, 17th and 18th, 2013. The proposed rule changes include the replacement of the type list with criteria for identifying, prioritizing, analyzing and seeking public input on issues relating to DNR actions. The new rule proposes to eliminate the use of Environmental Assessments as a means of Wisconsin Environmental Policy Act compliance (WEPA) for individual actions. The proposed rule would add new process and procedures for “bigger picture strategic policy analyses.” The changes in the rule may have significant impacts on the process for the analyses of environmental impacts as well as may act to preclude environmental review for individual projects where the DNR has performed a strategic analysis of the type of projects.

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