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Welcome to the Wisconsin Audubon Council website! The WAC website is intended to increase the capacity of all Wisconsin Audubon chapters and centers to tell our stories, reach areas of Wisconsin that are under-served, and open up a statewide dialog on Audubon priorities and projects. This website connects Wisconsin's chapters and centers to pursue the collective mission, "to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth's biological diversity."

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Wisconsin Audubon Council

Chapters across Wisconsin for a collaborative mission.

Restoration in Wisconsin

WAC protecting natural spaces.

Bird Conservation

All Audubon chapters in Wisconsin work for increased bird conservation.

Saturday, April 11, 2020


Spring Hearings 2020
Online voting will go live at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 13, and be available for 72 hours.

We can all make a difference for birds and other wildlife by completing the Spring Conservation Congress online survey available April 13-16 at https://dnr.wi.gov/About/WCC/springhearing.html Anyone that lives in Wisconsin can answer the questions in the survey. The recommendations below were prepared by the Chequamegon Audubon Chapter.

Please share this information with other interested conservationists to provide feedback to our state wildlife managers.

For more information about the impacts of lead on birds, please see the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Partnership (WBCP) Issues paper, "Lead Poisoning in Wisconsin's Birds".

Neil Howk, president of Chequamegon Audubon

We can all make a difference for birds and other wildlife by completing the Spring Conservation Congress online survey available on April 13-16 found at https://dnr.wi.gov/About/WCC/springhearing.html   Anyone that lives in Wisconsin can answer the questions in the survey.  Most important are the following questions (even if you only have time to answer these, especially #1-#7 which deal with banning lead ammunition on state lands and #28 which opposes the Back Forty Mine):
1-7:  YES          19:  YES             28:  YES              48:  YES         55:  YES
10: NO               21:  YES             31:  NO                49:  YES
16: YES             22:  NO               33:  NO                50:  NO
18: NO               24:  YES/NO      34:  NO                52: YES
1-7:  YES to support banning lead ammunition on Wisconsin State lands.  Lead poisoning is still one of the leading causes of death for bald eagles. This is so important to prevent devastating lead poisoning in birds, wildlife, and humans (especially children).  For excellent and detailed information on this subject, go to http://www.huntingwithnonlead.org/
10:  NO to increase the length of the deer gun harvest season.  As a population management tool to reduce the deer herd and encourage forest regeneration, #24 lengthening the season before the current opening (closer to the rut), would be more effective.
16:  YES to restrict the use of deer baiting and feeding to reduce the spread of CWD (Chronic Wasting Disease) and other disease.
18:  NO to a spring hunting season for bears.  A spot and stalk hunting tactic would be difficult in heavily timbered areas like northern Wisconsin, leading to more baiting as a probable hunting method.  Bears currently get 40% of their diet from bait piles.  This would extend the baiting season from mid-April through fall harvest and result in an even greater percentage of their diet from unhealthy/unnatural foods found in bait piles.  Black bears are also listed as a CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) species because have a look-a-like subspecies somewhere in the world that is/are endangered and on Appendix I.  This would require federal approval to extend the harvest.
19:  YES to earn a Buck.  This is a tool to reduce deer herds and limit the spread of CWD.
21:  YES to give more authority to the WDNR to determine baiting and feeding regulations. 
22:  NO to allowing the CDACs (County Deer Advisory Committee) to make recommendations regarding baiting and feeding in their counties.  CDACs are not biologists and can be subject to pressures of local constituents on baiting and feeding, even if they are not scientifically based.  The effort here is to limit the spread of CWD. 
24:  YES to increase the length of the deer gun harvest season opening earlier than the current season.  An earlier opening season (closer to the rut) is a good population management tool to reduce the deer herd and encourage forest and ecosystem regeneration.  However, we struggled with this question because this would also result in an increase in lead poisoning in birds and other wildlife, especially bald eagles, so some might want to vote NO on this question.  Ultimately, Audubon wants to both encourage WDNR deer population management tools that result in better forest regeneration but also encourage a switch to non-toxic ammunition. 
28:  YES to oppose the Back Forty mine and support water quality for the Menomonie River and Lake Michigan, one of the largest watersheds in Northern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
31:  NO to an opening an experimental trapping season for badger.  We feel there needs to be more data on population parameters and demand before a trapping season is opened. 
33:  NO to a change which would allow the use of cable restraints in trapping fox, coyote, and bobcats beginning on the first day of the season for those species?  Annual surveys show that trappers catch about 40-50 dogs in cable restraints annually, all of them released with no injury.  However, to push the cable restraint season earlier would result in greater potential trapper - dog owner interaction and possible conflict with fall "walkers", be they bird hunters or hikers.  
34:  NO to extending the bobcat season.  This request is not biologically based.
48:  YES to restoring fish passage for migrating (lake run) fish to the Iron River in Bayfield County.  This will decrease the need for hatchery trout being released into Lake Superior, allowing natural reproduction to take over.  The disease issue is of less concern after high waters have already allowed natural fish to access the fishery without any problems. 
49:  YES to support the WCC recommending that the DNR and Natural Resources Board study the buffalo fish species to determine and establish appropriate levels of harvest protection within Wisconsin waters?  This is a native fish species that is currently categorized as a “rough fish” and as a result has no bag limit (unlimited harvest) and needs protection.
50:  NO to allow boating in excess of slow-no-wake on lakes with 50 or more acres of surface water not currently restricted to slow no wake zones.  This could have an negative impact on nesting loons, waterfowl, and other wildlife using lakes if boats, jetskis, etc run at high speeds near shorelines.
52:  YES to support 3 day non-resident wild rice license.   State and tribal wild rice committees have been supportive of this concept.  If allowed the opportunity to harvest the wild rice, it would encourage stewardship of wild rice by non-resident shoreline owners and give family members of resident ricers opportunities to harvest with them.  We may also gain greater support not only for wild rice management, but for the overall need to protect wetlands.
55:  YES to support the legislature creating an alternative funding source in addition to license fees to fund the WDNR’s wildlife and fisheries management programs.  As the number of hunters continues to decrease, so has funding for important fish and wildlife programs that their license fees support.  Another source of funding is important.