APPLETON - Thursday evening, some area citizens weighed in on a new law to make hunting and trapping easier in state parks. Wisconsin's DNR is looking for input on how to implement the new law that takes effect in January.
Act 168 or the "Sporting Heritage Bill," became a law in Wisconsin last spring. It allows hunting and trapping in any state park, during any hunting season.
"Basically opens all state parks unless closed by specific action either by the department or the natural resources board," said DNR State Parks Director Dan Schuller.
Schuller told FOX 11 the state could decide to close off hunting in certain areas if public safety or natural resources are concerns.
Before this law, hunting was allowed in some state parks, but only with special DNR permission.
Now the DNR has to write up a plan of has the rules and regulations for the new law's implementation in each park. The Natural Resources Board has to approve that plan.
Thursday night members of both heard from the public in Appleton.
"I think we're going a good thing. It's part of conservation. It's part of management of our natural resources," said Chuck Matyska.
Some said this will help control certain animal populations on public lands, but others were worried about the human population.
"I just think it's an accident waiting to happen," said Bob Richards.
Richards told us safety is a big concern, especially in the parks in Door County. He worries this could hurt tourism.
"It's going to be very, very difficult for people to go out, take a walk, go skiing, go biking in the spring, knowing there could be hunters out there," said Richards.
But Matyska said this could help hunter tourism now that so much land is private.
"Lots of times you can't find a place to hunt and if we can't find a place to hunt, we're going to lose hunters," said Matyska.
Schuller told us the state will take all ideas and concerns into account.
"We're going to take our recommendation to the natural resources board at their December meeting," said Schuller.
The board is expected to vote on that recommendation before the end of the year. The law is scheduled to take effect the first of the new year.
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