Act 168 - Letter to NRB

To: Natural Resources Board
Date: November 8, 2012
Location: Appleton Wisconsin
Re: Act 168
My name is Bill Herrbold and I am here to speak about Act 168 on behalf of the Friends of Hartman Creek State Park, Waupaca, Wisconsin. I would first like to thank the board for being here and for allowing us to express our opinions and feelings about Act 168.
I have read Act 168 and do not find that it requires that each state park must allow hunting and trapping in each park, in fact, just the opposite is true. The law states: “The department may prohibit hunting, fishing, or trapping in a state park or a portion of a state park if any of the following applies: 1. The department prohibits hunting, fishing, or trapping within 100 yards of a designated use area. 2. The natural resources board determines that prohibiting hunting, fishing, or trapping is necessary to protect public safety….” Likewise, nowhere does it state that areas within a state park that have been open to deer hunting in the past must be open to all hunting now, although this requirement was passed on to park managers by the DNR for establishing those areas where hunting and trapping could be allowed. Also, the law does not state that established trails such as the Ice Age Trail, or any other trail, cannot be listed as a “designated use area”. Why wouldn’t a trail be a “designated use area”?
I have distributed the Map and Trail Guide to Hartman Creek State Park to the members of the Natural Resources Board present here tonight. After reviewing this map I hope you will concur with us that it will be necessary to close the entire park to hunting and trapping “… to protect public safety”. As you can see there are trails covering the park from north to south and from east to west. There are single track bike trails, other bike trails, hiking trails (including the Ice Age Trail), cross-country ski trails, snowshoe trails, horse trails and a horse trail rest area (which are a testament to Park Manager Mike Bergum and his predecessors). Approximately 85% of these trails would be open to hunting and trapping thereby precluding their use by everybody else due to safety concerns. Hunting and trapping do not mix safely with any other uses of the park.
We voluntarily give up the park for 9 days of deer hunting in November. Please do not ask us to give up the park for almost 8 months! In case you are concerned about where hunters and trappers can go, immediately to the south and adjoining Hartman Creek State Park (total area including lakes 1500 acres) there are 1470 acres of public hunting and fishing grounds in the Emmons Creek Fishery & Wildlife Area. Less than 4 miles east of Hartman Creek there are 1281 acres of public hunting at Radley Creek Fishery Area. There are even more public hunting grounds in the immediate vicinity of Hartman Creek, in fact, there are 6.3 million acres of public hunting lands in the state of Wisconsin.

The natural resources board has the authority to prohibit hunting and trapping in Hartman Creek State Park and we ask you to exercise that authority in the interest of public safety for all of the non-hunters who wish to continue to seek refuge and recreation in the park.
Thank You,
Friends of Hartman Creek State Park