2017-2018 ANIMAL LEGISLATION
Committee on Organization has yet to schedule this bill on the calendar during an upcoming floor session in the Senate. It has passed in the Assembly. The next floor period session begins on 9/12 so nothing will happen before then UNLESS a budget bill is agreed upon and they want to call an emergency floor session and this bill gets added. LOHV will be watching calendar and notify our members via e-mail alert if enough lead-time is provided which would allow constituents to call their Senators.
Assembly Committee on Natural Resources & Sporting Heritage passed this bill with a vote of 9 to 4 and amendment below was not given consideration
Voting by both committees will occur Wednesday, June 7th
Please contact via e-mail/phone all committee members (see group e-mail contacts below) in both houses with support for the following amendment proposal:
This amendment would remove a year-round open killing season on Woodchucks and replace with a bill that would allow for the ability of private property owners and municipal managers to lethally control woodchucks—the original intent of the bill. This amendment not only addresses our deep concerns for Woodchucks and the impact of a killing season but also addresses the growing concerns for public safety as killing opportunities continue to rise and take precedence over public safety on our public lands. Most recently a recreational hiker's two dogs were killed (one died in her arms) by a hunter on public lands and a gentleman was killed in his own backyard by a hunter's bullets. Over 90 (documented) domestic dogs were caught in traps in 2015 as well.
AB 373/SB 249
Requiring a hunting season for Woodchucks
Referred to committee on 5/16/17
Rep. Jacque & Senator Tiffany - authors
Public hearing in assembly on 5/23/17
Public hearing in Senate committee on 6/1/17
9:00 am - Capitol Rm. 201 Southeast
This bill to remove state protections from the Woodchuck and have a year-round killing season for them is currently being rushed thru the legislature. Public opposition was huge back in 2013 when the same bill was introduced. There is no limit to how many Woodchucks can be killed under this bill and hunters can kill/trap them during breeding season and rearing of young. A rushed public hearing was held on 5/24 (press release).
Dr. Stanley Temple, Professor Emiretus in Conservation at UW-Madison & Senior Fellow at Aldo Leopold Foundation discussed this bill on WPR radio. He stated that Woodchucks are not highly reproductive thus they don’t have the capability to become overabundant. He discussed how modern wildlife management promotes solving problems when and where they occur using nonlethal solutions before killing animals. Dr. Temple suggested barriers such as fences, repellants or scaring devices. A hunting season will not eliminate any isolated problems occurring with Woodchucks. It is simply recreational killing.
Woodchucks serve a valuable ecological niche. They are also gregarious, family-oriented social animals who greet each other with kisses and whistle to warn other Woodchucks when danger is near.
PLease attend the public hearing if at all possible. If you can't stay to speak you can simply fill out a slip outside the hearing room and leave it with an attendant. Also, please contact via phone and e-mail your state senator and representative to let them know you oppose this bill and request that they attend the hearing on 6/1/17 @ 9:00 am in opposition as well. Also contact the following senate and assembly committees. Feel free to send a group e-mail to each committee:
Senate Committee on Sporting Heritage, Mining and Forestry
Assembly Committee on Natural Resources & Sporting Heritage