Hunting in parks

Public comments sharply oppose hunting in parks

by Nick Penzenstadler, The Northwestern  |  published on December 10, 2012

A new law that opens Wisconsin parks to hunting became a flash point of tension this fall as residents inundated lawmakers and state agencies with emails and letters opposing the measure.

On Friday, the DNR released a scaled-back recommendation for Act 168, known as the Sporting Heritage Bill. About two-thirds of state park and trails — instead of all state parks and trails — would be open to hunting. Additional safety measures, including a ban on guns at High Cliff State Park, were recommended.

The Post-Crescent obtained the more than 2,500 emails and letters sent to legislators, the Department of Natural Resources and Natural Resources Board, which will take action on the law’s implementation Tuesday in Madison.

The vast majority of the 2,033 comments received by the Parks Board — 1,949, or 96 percent — were opposed to at least some aspect of the law.

“This is absolute insanity and you must reconsider!” wrote Joan Sample of Madison. “Someone is going to get hurt or killed, and it will be on the DNR’s and State’s shoulders.”

Some took direct aim at the legislators who passed the law.

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