Forest Products Industry Objects to Deer Hunting Legislature. Bills Passed and on to Walker Anyway!

by Free Speech on October 20, 2011

Lodi, WI~

Lodi Valley News serving Lodi, WI & the Lake Wisconsin area with local information since Earth Day 2008.

 

“In 2008, 65,000 individuals were employed by the forest products industry. Wisconsin’s forest products industries comprise 15.2% of all manufacturing sectors and provide $3 billion per year in wages to the Wisconsin economy. If these woodlands cannot be regenerated due to excessive deer populations, our economy is going to experience an adverse impact.”

 

“Natural resources professionals will need every tool available to achieve this very fine balance that must be predicated by science and not by politics.”

 

-Kimberly Quast, Chair, Wisconsin Consulting Foresters

 

 

“NewPage is not for or against the Earn-A-Buck program or the October hunt. We are advocating that the Earn-A-Buck and the early October hunt remains tools to be used to control the deer herd. If these tools are removed the options to control the deer herd will be reduced. This will jeopardize the ability of certain forests to regenerate and ultimately impact sustainable forestry that is crucial to sustaining the forest products industry in the state.”

 

-Fred Souba, Jr, Vice President Wood Supply and Sustainability, NewPage Corporation

 

 

PCA is a pulp and paper mill located in Lincoln County, WI.  We employ 450 people and convert raw forest products into medium for containerboard.

 

Wildlife managers may need to employ a multitude of techniques/strategies to control the deer herd.  ….  If deer populations are uncontrolled, adequate forest regeneration may be compromised, which negatively impacts the sustainability of both the forests and the carrying capacity of the deer herd.

 

We understand the social and economic drivers related to deer management. Many of our employees are avid hunters.  However, we need to include ecology/science in deer management in order to maintain a healthy and sustainable forest and a balance of wildlife.

 

Therefore, we urge the Senate Committee on Natural Resources & Environment to keep the deer control tools of Earn-a-Buck and October gun hunts in the hands of wildlife managers.

– James Hoppe, Packaging Corporation of America

 

“It is well-known that heavy deer browsing is detrimental to forest regeneration and can harm the diversity of plants and animals.  We are concerned that without a full complement of deer management tools the herd could again reach levels of overpopulation.”

 

Unfortunately, while SB 75 (and its companion AB 99) addresses an understandably contentious issue, it removes the authority of the Department of Natural Resources to use deer management tools such as Earn-a-Buck and an October hunt to control the herd in selected management units.  We believe all options for deer management should remain available to the agency.  They may not be utilized, but they should not be statutorily barred

 

-Earl Gustafson, The Wisconsin Paper Council

 

 

“We will likely see a reduction in our total antlerless harvest as more hunters will fill their tags with bucks instead of antlerless deer this year.”

 

-Kurt Thiede, Administrator of the Division of Lands, DNR

 

 

“Over 86,000 Wisconsin jobs rely on our $28 billion/year forest industry. Forest industries and related companies are the #1 employer in 23 Wisconsin counties.

 

“The DNR needs to have the tools available to maintain the deer herd at the goals including October doe hunts and yes, even Earn-a-Buck when needed. The health of our forests and forest-based economy depend on it. Don’t let a minority of dissatisfied hunters impede one of our leading industries by raising the costs of growing timber.”

 

-Jerry R. Van Cleve, Certified Forester; Chair, Wisconsin Society of American Foresters

 

 

“Wisconsin County Forests Association (WCFA) represents the 29 counties in Wisconsin that collectively manage nearly 2.4 million acres of forests, the largest public ownership in our state. We are opposed to maintaining large deer numbers as a trade-off for healthy forest ecosystems.”

 

“Deer browsing by an overabundant herd causes economic losses due to reduced tree survival and growth…….   Several of our member counties have spent tens of thousands of dollars on deer abatement measures such as fencing and bud capping in efforts to regenerate forests.”

 

“We believe it is essential for the WDNR wildlife biologist to have all necessary tools available in the management of Wisconsin’s deer herd.”

 

-Jane Severt, Executive Director, Wisconsin County Forests Association

 

 

“…..the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation is proud to be at this hearing today standing tall with farmers and farm organization, woodland owners, lumber companies, ecologists, paper companies and land trust to oppose the PERMANENT removal of important deer management techniques such as Earn-a-Buck and October Herd Control Seasons.”

 

-Ralph Fritsch, Chair, Wildlife Committee, Wisconsin Wildlife Federation

 

 

“….the WI deer population remains at near record levels and vastly exceeds community established goals in most units in the western and southern two-thirds of Wisconsin.”

 

“Failure to embrace consistent use of the original EAB (without pre-qualification) is one of the major reasons greater herd reduction has not occurred in the CWD (Chronic Wasting Disease) zone. The proposed legislation would further compromise the effectiveness of EAB. Legislative mandates remove necessary flexibility in rule-making.”

AB 99  and  SB 75  passed and is waiting Governor Walker’s signature.

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