After a 20-year reintroduction effort in northern Wisconsin, the state Department of Natural Resources holds the state's first ever elk hunt near Clam Lake this fall. Elk were first reintroduced in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in 1995 when 25 animals were brought in from Michigan. DNR big game ecologist Kevin Wallenfang said the plan was to grow the herd and initiate an elk hunt once the Clam Lake herd reached 200 animals.
The number of Wisconsinites applying for permits to carry concealed firearms has doubled from last year. Though most are renewing their licenses, concealed carry is becoming more popular overall. This year, nearly 68,000 applications to carry concealed guns have been processed by the state Department of Justice, well beyond what was seen this time last year. Most of that increase comes from citizens renewing their concealed carry licenses, which must be done every five years.
Local governments would have less discretion to deny permits for things like frac sand mines under legislation being marketed as a "homeowner bill of rights." Matching bills introduced by state Sen. Tom Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst, and state Rep. Adam Jarchow, R-Balsam Lake, would change how local officials issue conditional use permits. The permits are a tool used by local governments to regulate things like large-scale farms or industrial sand mines. They work by setting a list of conditions a developer must meet before a permit is approved.