MADISON - Some changes will be made to hunting and trapping rules for state parks and trails after a meeting in Madison today.
The measure, called Act 168, affects 13 state parks in Northeast Wisconsin.
This evening, the Natural Resources Board decided to adopt some of the State Parks Department's restrictions. The changes will affect times when you can hunt. They will also restrict trap use to dog proof traps. It will also be illegal to shoot across paths and trails.
The head of the Natural Resources Board says he thinks this is a compromise that will work well for the state.
More than 100 people packed the conference room at the Department of Natural Resources building in Madison today.
"We may have made a mistake and we may need to fix it," said State Rep. Brett Hulsey, a Democrat from Madison.
In a packed hearing room, folks from state representatives to state park users weighed in on hunting and trapping in state parks.
"Anything that expands our hunting heritage is a great opportunity," said State Rep. Jeffrey Mursau (R-Crivitz.)
"I'm very concerned about safety. There's several thousand of us that use our parks year round," said Denny Dewing, who lives on the border of High Cliff State Park in Sherwood.
After five hours of hearing nearly 50 people state their case on Act 168, as it's called, the board decided to find a compromise, and take the park's department recommendation.
"This is a compromise, and one that we think will work, but we will see. The legislature certainly has the ability to weigh in on this," said David Clausen, the director of the Natural Resources Board.
The supervisor of the state parks says he hopes hunting will be an asset, not a deterrent to people visiting state parks.
"Some places will see new opportunity and new people visiting the parks and some will see a changing of what already exists there now," said Dan Schuller, the state parks director.
The majority of the people in attendance at the meeting expressed opposition to Act 168. They think that having hunting and trapping in state parks will put families who use the parks for other recreation in danger.
The meeting started out with the State Parks Department presenting some proposed changes to the bill.
One of the possible amendments, which didn't get approved, included opening up High Cliff State Park in Sherwood to archery hunting only.
The president of the Friends of High Cliff State Park spoke at the meeting in Madison today.
"The whole park is used, so you can put archery in there. But its still, the favorable and what we really recommend is not doing anything in High Cliff State Park until either you can acquire more land to expand the park and set a wildlife area up next to it or something else," said Jeff Samida, Friends of High Cliff State Park.
"As it was proposed the last, the last proposal to the department and the changes they made to the proposal as it went through the hearings I'm supporting that, yes," said State Rep. Jeffrey Mursau, (R-Crivitz). "Any opportunity that expands our hunting heritage is a great opportunity."
Hunting and trapping in state parks, along with the regulations will start January 1st.
Stay logged onto fox11online.com and watch FOX 11 News at Nine for updates on this story.
Firefighters are battling a house fire in Kewaunee County.
Wind, snow, cold and ice played a role as firefighters battled a fire in downtown Ripon Wednesday morning.
Outagamie County's second largest employer is expanding, and veterans are encouraged to apply.
The State Building Commission has approved $5 million to help build the Wisconsin Maritime Center of Excellence in Marinette.
Fond du Lac police have released more information about the weapons they found in the apartment of a man who was at the center of a five-hour standoff on Monday.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is announcing a public meeting has been scheduled to provide road closure and design information for the Velp Avenue interchange area.