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DNR finalizes rules on hunting, trapping in state parks

By Chuck Quirmbach, Wisconsin Public Radio

The Department of Natural Resources Board has finalized rules banning gunfire across trails and traps that aren't dog-proof on state properties.

Republican efforts to allow more hunting and trapping in state parks continue to advance. Though after a major controversy 14 months ago, the DNR Board created emergency rules prohibiting the discharge of firearms from or across state trails, and restricting trappers to the use of dog-proof or underwater traps. The board has now unanimously approved those rules permanently.

Board member Jane Wiley suggested people upset with any additional hunting and trapping on state lands remember that Republican lawmakers and Gov. Scott Walker ordered the expansion.

“I don’t think it means that everyone wants hunting in state parks by any means, but I think that at least we got the word out: If this is something you want changed, don’t call us,” said Wiley.

Recent public hearings on the permanent rule didn’t attract many people, but the DNR said of 169 written comments, 152 came from citizens that opposed any hunting and trapping in state parks, and another 11 opposed unleashed hunting dogs on those lands.