A battle could be brewing, over lands purchased by the state's Stewardship Fund.
With the amount of privately held lands increasing, and increasingly posted “no hunting,” state owned land becomes more important to sportsmen. But, do they always have access? State Representative Scott Suder believes they may not. “We need to find out as a state, which land we do own that is accessible or could be accessible for sportsmen, hunters and anglers,” says Suder, “and make certain that all of that land is open and accessible to sportsmen.” Suder and Senator Dave Zien propose “No Net Loss” of public lands in two bills they'll propose next session. They say, for example, that finding land available for public use is “almost impossible” on the DNR website. Not so, says DNR Secretary Scott Hassett, who claims such information is very popular and very accessible.
The lawmakers propose any land purchased by the state must be examined to determine whether it can be used by sportsmen, something Hassett says sounds “excessive, duplicative and unnecessary.” Nevertheless, Suder says there are concerns, that DNR is purchasing land and then not allowing access by hunters, anglers and trappers.