May 17, 2013 – MADISON – Today the Wisconsin’s Hunters Right Coalition (HRC) thanked members of the Joint Finance Committee for their actions regarding stewardship and implementation of the Kroll Report.
“Knowing how concerned the legislature is with state debt, Wednesday’s actions by the Joint Finance Committee will help keep stewardship on solid footing moving forward,” said Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association Vice President Carl Schoettel. “It also ensures that less stewardship money will be spent on projects that are not open for use by all taxpayers.”
The Joint Finance Committee maintained the Governor’s recommended bonding level of $32 million for land acquisitions by both the DNR and NCOs. These lands are almost always open to hunting.
Wednesday’s motion also included the provision that two-thirds of DNR land acquisitions must be done through conservation easements rather than outright purchases. HRC member organizations have long thought it a good idea for the DNR to change its focus to easements and applaud the committee for including this in the motion.
The committee also voted to reduce Governor Walker’s proposed DNR Property Development and Local Assistance Grants budgets. These funds are rarely used to purchase lands open to hunting.
Road access to stewardship lands was also addressed. Too often land has been purchased with stewardship funds without any road access for hunters. HRC is very pleased committee members addressed these concerns.
Also important to Wisconsin’s hunting community, the committee voted to adopt and fund in full the recommendations of the Kroll Report. The HRC was the driving force to bring Dr. Kroll to Wisconsin and has been vocal in its support for the Report’s recommendations.
“Dr. Kroll’s report provided the legislature with a scientific assessment of how to better hunting in Wisconsin,” added Joe Koback, Legislative Chairman for Wisconsin’s Chapters of Safari Club International. “We want to thank members of the Joint Finance Committee for adopting and funding the recommendations of this important report, including changes to deer season management policies and the creation of a DMAP.”