4/14/2017 7:29:00 AM Spring hearings bring sportsmen and women together
Beckie Gaskill/Lakeland Times
Conservation Congress delegate Roger Sabota addresses a large crowd at the Oneida County Conservation Congress spring hearings on Monday night. From left: DNR wildlife biologist Jeremy Holtz, fisheries supervisor John Kubisiak, Sabota and Conservation Congress chairman Ed Choinski.
Each year the Department of Natural Resources and Wisconsin Conservation Congress hold their spring hearings in April. Monday was the night for sportsmen and women to gather in their counties and have their voices herd in regards to conservation efforts and fish and wildlife management actions across the state. Each year the DNR puts out a questionnaire and, while the Natural Resources Board in a meeting just this year asked that those putting together the questionnaires attempt to limit the number of questions in order to possibly bolster participation, this year's questionnaire contained a whopping 88 questions. This year's hearing in Oneida County was well attended, with over 50 people staying for the entire meeting.
Attendees of the spring hearings always have the option to simply fill out their answer sheet to the questionnaire, but many also stay for the meeting itself. Each question is read and discussion ensues on any question attendees wish to have more information.
Four citizen resolutions were presented for votes by those in attendance in Oneida County. Each year citizens are welcomed to bring their own resolutions to the hearings to be voted on by their county. Once a citizen resolution passes in its county of origin, it is sent to the appropriate advisory committee for review. If the advisory committee passes the resolution it is referred to the District Leadership Council and recommended for statewide input. Questions that pass the District Leadership Council are then placed on the next year's statewide spring hearings questionnaire.
Delegates for the Wisconsin Conservation Congress are also elected at the spring hearings with alternating two-year and three-year terms. Two Conservation Congress delegates were up for re-election this year. Both Ed Choinski and Dave Blunk were re-elected to their positions and ran unopposed.
Votes on each question will be tallied statewide and from there it will be decided which questions will move on to the next step in the process. Results will show which counties approved of each resolution and which did not. A summary of some of those results will be published here when they become available.
Beckie Gaskill may be reached via email at email@example.com.