DNR Spring Hearings Modified by Act 21April 5, 2012
This coming Monday, April 9, 2012, is the Department of Natural Resources annual Spring Fish & Wildlife Informational Hearings and Wisconsin Conservation Congress annual spring county conservation meetings. Commonly known to Wisconsinites as the “spring hearings,” these annual meetings are going to be slightly different this year as a result of changes made in 2011 Wis. Act 21, the major regulatory reform legislation passed last year.
Act 21 made a number of important changes to Wisconsin’s rulemaking process. In general, the modifications make the Governor and the Legislature more accountable for the adoption of new regulations and force agencies to be more transparent about how proposed rules impact regulated businesses. As a result of these changes, the rulemaking process is now quite a bit longer than it was in the past.
Because of the extended rulemaking timeline, the 2012 spring hearings will not include votes on proposed rules changes. The DNR expects to have rule change proposals ready for next year's hearing.
The hearings will still include elections of local delegates, introduction of and votes on citizen resolutions, and votes on advisory questions. This year’s hearings will also include a “town hall” segment where local delegates will lead a discussion on potential ways to simplify regulations and remove barriers to participation in outdoor activities.
This post was authored by GLLF staff attorney Emily Kelchen.