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DNR spring meeting set for April 14
MONROE - Outdoor lovers of all ages are invited to voice concerns and vote for a peer to be the county delegate for the spring Conservation Congress.

The yearly Conservation Congress will be held at Monroe Middle School on Monday, April 14 at 7 p.m. The meeting will feature a 40-minute presentation by wildlife officials, a brief nomination period for the county delegate position and a questionnaire. The questionnaire features 57 questions, which are available on the Department of Natural Resources' website,

Ryan Caputo, Green County's conservation warden, said he is encouraging people to come early to fill out the questionnaire. It features questions submitted by Wisconsin residents, but are advisory questions only. If passed at Monday's meeting, the questions are then reviewed by the Conservation Congress, which can choose to uphold public opinion or choose to table or reject the results of the advisory questions. The results are then forwarded to the Natural Board of Resources as advisement, which will decide whether any advisory results will be passed on to U.S. Congress.

Chronic Wasting Disease has been an issue for a number of years, and the questionnaire has a couple of advisory prompts about the issue. One concerns whether the rare albino deer should be protected in CWD zones. It is illegal to harvest albino or white deer outside of CWD zones. The phenomenon of white or albino deer is rare - current DNR estimates put them at less than 1 percent of the deer population and they are typically localized to a specific area. There is also an advisory question that suggests banning baiting and feeding statewide 10 days before the nine-day gun season for deer. Baiting and feeding deer is currently prohibited in Green County.

Some of the questions are more regionally specific but offer a chance for Green County residents to make a statement about statewide concerns.

"Say you have a piece of property up north in Vilas County, then you have an option to weigh in," Caputo said.

The first question is to look at the proposed rule change to motor trolling for fish. Trolling is the act of trailing a lure or bait from a boat propelled by a motor or anything other than drifting or rowing. Most counties allow trolling with three lines in the water. The proposal would add 17 more counties to allow trolling on all waters. Green County already allows trolling.