Doyle signs new invasive species lawLocal legislators work to prevent the spread of invasive species is now the law.
Local legislators work to prevent the spread of invasive species is now the law.
Gov. Jim Doyle today signed into law invasive species legislation written by Senator Bob Jauch, D-Poplar, and Rep. Nick Milroy, D-Superior.
The comprehensive legislation strengthens enforcement of restrictions on the transportation of aquatic invasive species. It was a high priority during the citizen led Superior Days effort for several years.
“Unchecked spread of aquatic invasive species poses economical and ecological peril to Wisconsin waters and increased enforcement authority is one of the keys to preventing that damage,” Jauch said.
This legislation has been long sought by the Wisconsin Association of Lakes that worried Wisconsin’s law didn’t go far enough to prevent the movement of invasive species from one lake to another, he said.
The lack of a statewide law resulted in a patchwork of local regulations. This bill significantly increases our statewide efforts to control the spread of these damaging invasive and exotic species that choke our lakes and waterways, Jauch said.
“Hundreds of citizens volunteer as lake monitors to prevent the spread of invasive species, but many have been frustrated that despite their hard work there is inadequate law enforcement once a boat leaves a landing,” Milroy said. “These citizens who enjoy our lakes and work so hard to monitor boat landings now have the law on their side to further help prevent the spread of dangerous invasives.”
The new law establishes statewide enforcement on transport of invasive species and is patterned after a similar law that has had success in Minnesota.
The law gives any law enforcement official the authority to remove aquatic animals and plants and issue a fine if there is noncompliance with a removal order.
A similar provision in Burnett County resulted in six citations in the first year of the ordinance.
“It is imperative that we crack down on the spread of exotic species; this new law will quickly send a message that not cleaning your boats and trailers is no longer acceptable,” Milroy said.
“This legislation is designed to give the state some additional tools to stem the harmful spread of invasive species that threaten our most precious resources,” Jauch said. “The development of this legislation was driven by the strongest stewards of our waters, the citizens who are sustained by them.”