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#1 Posted : Tuesday, November 28, 2017 12:46:10 AM(UTC)
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Wisconsin Outdoor News Dec. 1

Madison - Two bills seeking to restrict the DNR's ability to change determinations of navigability of state waterways and exempt certain impoundments from those regulations are the subject of separate legislative hearings, but hearings will both be held on the same day - Tuesday, November 28 - in Madison.

The Senate Bill 506 is set for hearing 10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 28 in Room 300 Southeast of the Capitol. Assembly Bill 599 is set for noon the same day in Room 328 Northwest.

Sen. Terry Moulton, R-Chippewa Falls, is a lead sponsor of SB-506. As of press time, Moulton had not responded to email questions.

According to a Legislative Reference Bureau analysis: "Current law regulates... the placement of structures on, the deposit of materials on, or the removal of material from the beds of navigable waters and the zoning of shore lands, wetlands and construction sites. All streams that are navigable in fact for any purpose are declared navigable to the extent that no dam, bridge or other obstruction may be made in or over the stream without permission of this state.

Under this bill if DNR makes a determination that a stream or portion of a stream is not navigable and a dam is constructed on the stream that modifies the flow of the stream or portion of the stream as compared to the natural flow of the stream or portion of the stream prior to its construction, and if an artificial impounded created by the dam is or has been subject to a federal Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Fish and Wildlife Habitat Development Agreement or similar restoration project, then the DNR's ability to change that determination is restricted.

Specifically, the bill prohibits DNR from changing its determination of non-navigability with respect to the stream or portion of the stream unless all structures that affect the flow of the stream or portion of the stream are removed, all changes to the stream or land adjacent to the stream or portion of the stream are substantially returned to their natural state, and a DNR evaluation of the navigability of the strea or portion of the stream conducted after the first two conditions are met indicates the DNR's determination of navigability should be changed".

The LRB said the bill also exempts this type of impoundment from laws regulating structures and material placement or removal.

The Wisconsin River Alliance (WRA) urged the public to testify or send in writtent comments to legislators.

"These bills run afoul of the Public Trust Doctrine, which states that all navigable waters are 'common highways and forever free, and held in trust by the DNR for the people of Wisconsin," said Raj Shukla, WRA executive director in a statement.

An earlier briefing on page 3...

"on the surface, it looks as though both bills could be aimed at providing "access relief" to one or two large landowners who would like to keep the public out of waters within their holdings that can currently be reached by you and me via navigable streams".

"In the meantime, you need to know that legislators quickly put together two hearings on these bills on the same day - again, Tuesday Nov. 28. I can't say that it's rare to have hearings in the Assembly and Senate on the same day for the same bills, but it doesn't happen very often. That alone makes a person wonder what's going on. What are they trying to rush through?"

WRA exec. director Raj Shukla..."these bills would prohibit the DNR from changing navigability declarations on waters impounded behind a dam (built) on a stream that was formerly determined to be non-navigable. We believe this authority should not and cannot be taken away from the DNR."

I'm certainly no legal scholar or politician, but this all seems relatively shady, as has become the norm.

Reps- Quinn, Bernier, E. Brooks, Felzkowski, Kleefisch, Kulp, Petryk, Ripp, Summerfield and Tauchen; Also Edming and Krug
Senators- Moulton, Harsdorf, Marklein, Stroebel and Tiffany

Edited by user Tuesday, November 28, 2017 1:37:26 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

#2 Posted : Tuesday, November 28, 2017 2:23:18 AM(UTC)
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Who's surprised?

You get what you vote for.
Private correspondence at: jkschind "at" tds.net
#3 Posted : Tuesday, November 28, 2017 4:11:46 AM(UTC)
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Oh for fuck’s sake....
"I fish because I love to: Because only in the woods can I find solitude without loneliness."
#4 Posted : Tuesday, November 28, 2017 5:36:19 AM(UTC)
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R U implying someone could get something designated non navigable to prevent access and then modify flow to restore fishing and thus navigable and not determined to be?
#5 Posted : Tuesday, November 28, 2017 2:27:36 PM(UTC)
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Not surprised to see Kleefisch's and Tiffany's names attached.
William Schlafer  
#6 Posted : Tuesday, November 28, 2017 8:20:18 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
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This has been in the plans for awhile now, ever since the current administration took over. Block or remove the ability of the DNR to enforce and regulate, put control of public waterways in the hands of the private sector (think CAFOs, mining interests, large industry). They don't care one bit about protecting the environment, or the public's right to enjoy Wisconsin's waterways for recreation.

It's all about the money boys, always has been. The legislature and the governors office has been bought, and the buyers expect a return on their investments.

Think carefully next time you vote.

“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
thanks 1 user thanked William Schlafer for this useful post.
draik11 on 11/29/2017(UTC)
#7 Posted : Wednesday, November 29, 2017 1:33:41 PM(UTC)
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Early word is the bills are for the sole purpose of closing off access to a small brook trout stream that flows through agricultural property. So...It’s another use of the legislative process to benefit a handful of citizens at the expense of the public. These bastards just never stop.
#8 Posted : Wednesday, November 29, 2017 1:48:57 PM(UTC)
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Think about this situation, everybody, when it comes to election time...
Bob Williams, "Weiliwen"
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