Legislation advancing at the Capitol could impact natural resources decisions. The bill sets requirements for the seven member Natural Resources Board which advises the Department of Natural Resources. Representative Dan LeMahieu, a Sheboygan County Republican and the bill’s author, wants three members to have a sportsman’s background. “Those three people would have to have had a hunting, fishing or trapping license seven of the last ten years prior to nomination,” LeMahieu says. Also, one member would be required to have an agriculture background.
George Meyer, a former DNR secretary, and executive director of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, has seen problems in other states. “I had the opportunity to see what happened in fish and wildlife agencies in other states,” says Meyer, noting that many such agencies are guided by similar citizens’ boards. “The Colorado Division of Wildlife had a board at one point that was anti-hunting. I heard the absolute frustration on the difficulty of managing wildlife in that state with the anti-hunting composition of their citizen board.”