Annual Wisconsin Conservation Congress meetings begin tonight statewide, and State Rep. Joel Kleefisch's crane hunt is among the issues to be debated.
There's a pdf file of where the hearings are, here.
Just remember what has been said (and what I posted) about the hunt, records show.
There was this example from a local paper in Kleefisch's Waukesha County district:
Kleefisch: Cranes are the 'ribeye of the sky'
A local legislator, prompted by concerns from farmers and sportsmen, is hoping to establish a hunting season for sandhill cranes.
State Rep. Joel Kleefisch of Oconomowoc proposed the bill that would require the Department of Natural Resources to create a season for the birds, making Wisconsin the 14th state to do so. The DNR would be allowed to limit the number, under the proposal.
At issue are farmers who point to the damage done to crops from the birds....
And don't forget that the WCC hearings (here's the DNR's description of the WCC) don't have the value they had before Scott Walker assumed all state rule-making to himself, as the Tomah Journal points out.Rep. Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc) said that the sandhill crane population has grown to the point where the birds are causing excessive damage to farmers' cornfields. He is proposed a hunting season to control the crane population.But a September 6, 2011 summary memo among records released to me last week under the state open records law by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources about the plan, and other topics, said this about Kleefisch and the proposed crane hunt:* His interest was motivated by his personal hunting experience and his work with several hunting groups.
* Agricultural damage was not his primary reason for proposing this legislation.Media reports about Kleefisch's plan had emphasized its relationship to crop damage from cranes.
Says the paper:
The annual hearings still will take place, but they will be radically different thanks to Act 21 signed by Gov. Scott Walker. The act grants the governor sweeping powers to approve or reject administrative rules, and it transformed the WCC hearings into a meaningless advisory exercise.
While Act 21 impacts every department of state government, no state agency is more affected than the DNR because it has the most administrative rules. Every fish and game regulation — from the 32-inch limit for northern pike at Devil’s Lake to zone boundaries for bear hunting — is an administrative rule. Only the most high-profile rules ever were addressed by the governor or state Legislature.