News

Governor Walker Announces Budget Provisions to Implement Deer Trustee Report

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

“Deer hunting in Wisconsin is part of our DNA. It feeds traditions and fuels a huge economic engine for the state.”

That’s what Governor Scott Walker said today as he unveiled budget provisions he says will make sure the 2012 Deer Trustee Report is successfully implemented.

You may remember in 2011 Gov. Walker commissioned Dr. James C. Kroll as the state’s Whitetail Deer Trustee to take an independent look at how the state manages its deer herd. The conclusions of Dr. Kroll’s study, along with input from hunters and conservationists, were compiled into 62 recommendations for Department of Natural Resources implementation. That report was released last July.

Recommendations from that report included: forming a Deer Management Assistance Program (D-MAP) to improve the partnership between hunters, landowners and DNR in managing deer on private land; updating technology to gather information on land cover to better inform decisions; and, adopting a more passive approach to CWD management where the disease exists while providing the public improved access to deer testing.

Specific to these recommendations, Gov. Walker’s budget provisions include authority for DNR to:

  • Establish Deer Management Assistance Program (D-MAP): Develop and sustain a Deer Management Assistance Program, including setting a fee for services provided and establishing a D-MAP coordinator position within the DNR.
  • Invest in Updated Technology: Invest in new satellite imagery technology to provide land cover data statewide to best inform decisions of deer managers and to be used for the benefit of landowner and local government partners.
  • Fund CWD Testing and Surveillance: Begin charging fees for antlerless deer tags in counties with CWD, using a portion of fees to fund surveillance efforts and improve the turnaround time of and access to CWD testing.
  • Develop Emergency Rules: Enable DNR to begin implementation for the 2013 deer season with final implementation as soon as the 2014 deer season.

The DNR has begun the initial stages of developing its system for implementation. This includes appointing a Trustee Report Coordinator and establishing a set of action teams that will include conservation partners — including tribal representatives, members of the public and key Department staff to define actions necessary to implement portions of the plan.

Read the governor’s full statement: http://1.usa.gov/XtiAvF

DNR Secretary says talented staff, partners ready for task

In response to today’s announcement from the governor, DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp said the department has “talented staff and dedicated partners to see implementation through.” Here is her statement:

“Each year, hundreds of thousands of hunters, representing all states in the nation and even foreign countries, take to Wisconsin’s woods and farmlands to harvest deer. We have seen an increasing number of hunters, including new youth and female hunters. We continue to rank in the top five deer hunting states in the country for total harvest, and this year the buck archery harvest broke the state’s all-time record.

“We have a strong base to build on, but we can always do better. One area for improvement is how we work with hunters, landowners, tribes and other partners. It is a priority of mine to improve these relationships and the initiatives in the Governor’s budget are integral to doing this.

“Implementation of the Deer Trustee Report will enhance how deer are managed in Wisconsin. We look forward to continuing to work with partners, tribes and stakeholders to implement the Deer Trustee Report to the fullest extent possible.

“Together we can solidify Wisconsin as the state for great deer, great hunting, and great experiences.”

Logo courtesy Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Any views or opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect those of OutdoorHub. Comments on this article reflect the sole opinions of their writers.