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ACTION ALERT: PLEASE ASK STATE SENATORS TO OPPOSE AB 323/SB 249, WHICH WOULD ALLOW THE YEAR-ROUND, NO LIMIT HUNTING OF WOODCHUCKS IN WISCONSIN!

 

UPDATE on AB 323: THE VOTES ARE IN, AND THE WOODCHUCKS LOST in the Assembly. SB 249 is currently "Available For Scheduling" in Senate.

     AB 323, a year-round, no limit open season on groundhogs, passed the Assembly yesterday (June 21, 2017) on a voice vote (with one representative throwing in a comment on how "delicious" woodchucks are). The bill now heads to the senate.

     Really, Wisconsin???? Animal protection matters, even for the smallest of creatures, and year-round hunts on a new species should never be undertaken lightly or in a joking manner. PLEASE let your state legislators know that you OPPOSE AB 323 / SB 249 -- Wisconsin CAN and MUST do better! See below for info, talking points, and how to find your WI state representatives.

     Earlier this month (June 7), both the Senate Committee on Sporting Heritage, Mining, and Forestry and the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources and Sporting Heritage voted to make woodchucks a game species subject to year-round hunting. The bills passed along party lines, with all Republicans voting in favor and all Democrats voting against. Please join us in thanking these legislators for voting AGAINST AB 323 / SB 249: Sen. Jon Erpenbach, Rep. Dianne Hesselbein, Rep. Mark Spreitzer, Rep. Amanda Stuck, and Rep. Jonathan Brostoff in committee. Committees/ contact info below. (Please note that Rep. Nick Milroy was not present to vote.)

     The woodchuck bill is not just about woodchucks – it also speaks to this legislature's overall approach to ALL humane legislation. We need to speak out now, and continue to speak out on every single animal-related issue that comes up!

 pawprint bullet point   More info on SB 249 / AB 323   pawprint bullet point   Talking Points   pawprint bullet point   Committees   pawprint bullet point


 pawprint bullet point   SB 249 Full Bill Text    pawprint bullet point   AB 323 Full Bill Text   pawprint bullet point   Assembly Amendment 1

 pawprint bullet point   AB 323 Bill History   pawprint bullet point   SB 249 Bill History   pawprint bullet point   Talking Points   pawprint bullet point


 

Woodchuck checking out the grill in a park picnic area.     AB 323/SB 249 would open a hunting season on woodchucks (a.k.a. groundhogs and "whistle pigs") -- and a recent proposed amendment would make that season year- round, with NO limit! This unnecessary and inhumane legislation is being fast-tracked through both houses of Wisconsin’s legislature. Similar legislation was rejected in 2013, largely thanks to vocal opposition from wildlife advocates. PLEASE help us get this new, even worse, legislation rejected, too!

     To summarize AB 323/ SB 249: The Department of Natural Resources currently, by rule, prohibits hunting and trapping woodchucks without DNR's authorization by designating the woodchuck as a “protected wild animal."

     Under this bill, a woodchuck is defined as a “game animal" and as a “fur-bearing animal." As a result, a person may hunt woodchucks under the authority of a small game hunting license and trap woodchucks under a trapping license. Also under this bill, DNR is required to establish an open season for woodchucks that begins on July 1 of each year and ends on the following December 31 [later amended to "a year-round open season"]. DNR may not impose a bag or possession limit for this season.

      AB 323, was introduced on May 16, 2017 by Representatives Jacque, Kleefisch, Brandtjen, E. Brooks, Edming, Horlacher, Murphy, Tittl and Wichgers, and cosponsored by Senators Tiffany, Marklein and Stroebel. (AB 323 Full Bill Text). It was referred to the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources and Sporting Heritage. The committee added Assembly Amendment 1, which states, "The department shall establish a year-round open season for hunting and trapping woodchucks. The department may not impose a bag or possession limit for this season." On June 7, 2017, bill and amendment were approved along party lines and passed along to the full Assembly.

     SB 249 was introduced on May 11, 2017 by Senators Tiffany, Stroebel and Marklein, and cosponsored by Representatives Jacque, E. Brooks, Kleefisch, Horlacher, Brandtjen, Wichgers, Tittl, Edming and Murphy. (SB 249 Full Bill Text). It was referred to the Senate Committee on Sporting Heritage, Mining and Forestry, where, on June 7, it was approved along party lines and passed along to the full Senate with the addition of the Assembly Amendment.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

      Please call or email your WISCONSIN state representatives (see link below to find your WI representatives ). Ask them to OPPOSE SB 249/ AB 323, which would REQUIRE an open season for woodchucks. If you phone, that is all you need to do. If you want to give reasons for your position, please see our Talking Points and links for further information below!

     Also, please post your opposition on your Representative's and Senator's Facebook pages!

     Try to keep your message brief, and be sure to give your name, address, and phone number. Let your representative know that you are a constituent. Please, ALWAYS be polite and respectful. Name-calling, and rude or abusive letters or emails will hurt, rather than help, our cause.

 pawprint bullet point   Find your WI State Representatives   pawprint bullet point

 

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Talking Points:

  • Hunting woodchucks completely unnecessary. The DNR already permits landowners to hunt or trap individual problem animals.

  • In addition, a wide variety of non-lethal management options exist. These options are typically far more effective at solving conflict than driving down the overall population.

  • Woodchucks are not game animals and shouldn’t be hunted or trapped. No one uses their pelts and virtually no one eats them.

  • Speaking on Wisconsin Public Radio, Stan Temple, professor emeritus of conservation, forest and wildlife ecology at UW-Madison, said that the woodchuck problem "doesn't exist on a statewide level" and "they are not a general nuisance, so it doesn't make sense to have a general open season for them."

  • Woodchucks are not overabundant in Wisconsin, and are unlikely to become overabundant since they reproduce at relatively slow rates,

  • Woodchucks serve a valuable ecological niche. Their burrows mitigate for flooding, store carbon, aerate the soil and provide habitat for other animals. They are also gregarious, family-oriented social animals who greet each other with kisses and whistle to warn other Woodchucks when danger is near.

  • Allowing/ encouraging the killing of any species just for the sake of killing is just plain WRONG.


 pawprint bullet point   Bill Would Establish Hunting Season For Groundhogs   pawprint bullet point

 pawprint bullet point   What to Do About Woodchucks   pawprint bullet point

 pawprint bullet point   Why Pesky Moles And Groundhogs Are Actually Beneficial   pawprint bullet point

 pawprint bullet point   Find your WI State Representatives   pawprint bullet point

 

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Committee Members:

PLEASE respectfully request committee members to REJECT AB 323/SB 249, especially if you are among their constituents!

 

WI Assembly Committee on Natural Resources and Sporting Heritage

Rep. Joel Kleefisch, Chair
R-Oconomowoc
Rep.Kleefisch@legis.wisconsin.gov
(608) 266-8551
Rep. Romaine Quinn (VIce Chair)
R-Rice Lake
Rep.Quinn@legis.wisconsin.gov
(608) 266-2519
Rep.Paul Tittl
R-Manitowoc
Rep.Tittl@legis.wisconsin.gov
(608) 266-0315
Rep. James Edming
R-Glen Flora
Rep.Edming@legis.wisconsin.gov
(608) 266-7506
Rep. Lee Nerison
R-Westby
Rep.Nerison@legis.wisconsin.gov
(608) 266-3534
Rep. Jeffrey Mursau
R-Crivitz
Rep.Mursau@legis.wisconsin.gov
(608) 266-3780
Rep. Ken Skowronski
R-Franklin
Rep.Skowronski@legis.wisconsin.gov
(608) 266-8590
Rep. Keith Ripp
R-Lodi
Rep.Ripp@legis.wisconsin.gov
(608) 266-3404
Rep. Ron W. Tusler
R-Harrison
Rep.Tusler@legis.wisconsin.gov
(608) 266-5831
Rob R. Stafsholt
R-New Richmond
Rep.Stafsholt@legis.wisconsin.gov
(608) 266-7683
Rep. Nick Milroy
D-South Range
Rep.Milroy@legis.wisconsin.gov
(608) 266-0640
Rep. Dianne Hesselbein
D-Middleton
Rep.Hesselbein@legis.wisconsin.gov
(608) 266-5340
Rep. Mark Spreitzer
D-Beloit
Rep.Spreitzer@legis.wisconsin.gov
(608) 266-1192
Rep. Amanda Stuck
D-Appleton
Rep.Stuck@legis.wisconsin.gov
(608) 266-3070
Rep. Jonathan Brostoff
D-Milwaukee
Rep.Brostoff@legis.wisconsin.gov
(608) 266-0650

 pawprint bullet point   Committee on Natural Resources and Sporting Heritage   pawprint bullet point

WI Senate Senate Committee on Sporting Heritage, Mining and Forestry

Sen. Thomas Tiffany, Chair
R-Hazelhurs
Sen.Tiffany@legis.wi.gov
(608) 266-2509
Sen. Patrick Testin, Vice Chair
R-Stevens Point
Sen.Testin@legis.wi.gov
(608) 266-3123
Sen. Terry Moulton
R-Chippewa Falls
Sen.Moulton@legis.wisconsin.gov
Sen. Robert W. Wirch
D-Somers
Sen.Wirch@legis.wisconsin.gov
(608) 267-8979
Sen. Jon Erpenbach
D-Middleton
Sen.Erpenbach@legis.wisconsin.gov
(608) 266-6670

 pawprint bullet point   Senate Committee on Sporting Heritage, Mining and Forestry   pawprint bullet point

 

 pawprint bullet point   SB 249 Full Bill Text    pawprint bullet point   AB3 23 Full Bill Text   pawprint bullet point   Assembly Amendment 1

 pawprint bullet point   AB 323 Bill History   pawprint bullet point   SB 249 Bill History   pawprint bullet point   Talking Points   pawprint bullet point

 pawprint bullet point   Bill Would Establish Hunting Season For Groundhogs   pawprint bullet point

 pawprint bullet point   What to Do About Woodchucks   pawprint bullet point

 pawprint bullet point   Why Pesky Moles And Groundhogs Are Actually Beneficial   pawprint bullet point

 pawprint bullet point   Find your WI State Representatives   pawprint bullet point

 
 

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