Your experience and training carry a lot of weight when you comment on ongoing conservation initiatives. There are a number of initiatives open for comments at the moment, and I hope you will consider logging in to share your expert opinions:
Many of you spent time helping protect and restore Wisconsin’s endangered species. You may have checked bald eagle nests from a DNR plane, helped erect osprey platforms, worked with the public to develop the Wisconsin Wildlife Action Plan, or contributed in other ways. This May, you can help put conservation of endangered and declining nongame species on sound financial footing.
Proposed bipartisan federal legislation would bring $18 million a year to Wisconsin targeting more than 400 declining wildlife species. A coalition is working to get this legislation passed in our state. You can help by contacting or e-mailing your U.S. senator or representative and registering your support. Urge them to vote “yes” on the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. The legislation would provide the dedicated, stable funding needed to keep more species from becoming endangered. Importantly, it would require no new taxes; the Senate version would pay for it from environmental fines paid by polluters. A big push and vote are expected in Congress in May. There's more information about the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, direct links to your senators and representatives, and comment forms or telephone numbers at Wi Coalition for RAWA There's more information under the News Now tab.
But don't stop there. Comments are also sought on:
• EPA is accepting comments on the 2015 Ozone Transport Rule through June 6. More information under “News Now.”
• DNR is making it easier for the public to get involved in decisions that affect the air they breathe by rolling out a new webpage to engage in the air permit process. The new webpage helps people find recent air permit actions and air permit input opportunities. The federal Clean Air Act and Wisconsin laws require public participation and input on air permit actions. The new webpage facilitates communicating with DNR staff and other stakeholders. The page will include DNR's “Meetings & Hearings Calendar,” DNR staff contacts and links to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Title V petition process. More information under News Now tab.
I hope to see you guys at our next lunch, May 4 at the Maple Tree in McFarland. Should be a nice, relaxing meeting. By the way, sturgeon spawning cameras are up and running. See DNR's website for links to the Wolf River underwater camera (requires sign up).
P.S. Happy Arbor Day! Wisconsin has pledged to plant 75 million trees in rural and urban areas, and to conserve 125,000 acres of forest by 2030. When fully realized, the pledge will result in nearly 29 million metric tons of carbon dioxide stored over the next 50 years.