What Actions Have Been Taken So Far
A proposal was written and introduced at the Wisconsin Conservation Congress Hearing on April 8 in Baraboo, Wisconsin (see below or “What You Can Do“ page for details). The resolution requests protection of white and albino deer within the Chronic Wasting Disease Zone, a change of legislative wording to include mostly white deer, and increased fines for taking a white deer illegally. It would give the Leland white deer the same protection as white deer in the rest of the state and extend protection to mostly white deer. The resolution passed by a large margin and will go to a second level of consideration with the Conservation Congress this summer.
We have spoken with or written letters to state representatives and senators and to people in the Department of Natural Resources about our concerns. Since the WCC (Wisconsin Conservation Congress) is a slow process, getting an elected official to sponsor a bill on our behalf would be a faster and more sure route for protection of the deer. We’ve had positive feedback from some of the offices, particularly from Rep. Fred Clark. A jointly sponsored bill that would have bipartisan support would be ideal.
This website is a major part of our effort to bring the white deer issue to public attention and to keep people informed. It brings together diverse sources, materials, and information on our local and other white deer for easy access and viewing. With the online petition and legislative contact page, we have made it as easy as possible for people to get involved in helping the white deer.
Thanks to generous donations from businesses and individuals, yard signs and banners have been purchased to spread our message, “Protect the Rare White Deer.” Signs have already been distributed and displayed in yards around the area and as far away as Milwaukee. T-shirts, long sleeve t-shirts, and sweatshirts with the “Protect the White Deer” logo are also available. Contact Amy Sprecher at 608-544-2054 to order a shirt or get a sign.
The Wisconsin Conservation Congress (WCC) is an advisory committee of elected delegates who represent local and state citizen interests in natural resources. The committee takes citizen recommendations on hunting and fishing to the DNR for consideration and action.
The WCC outlines its purpose: To work with the Natural Resources Board and the Department of Natural Resources to “effectively manage Wisconsin’s greatest asset, our abundant natural resources, FOR PRESENT AND FUTURE GENERATIONS TO ENJOY.” (We hope that includes Leland’s white deer!)
To learn more about the Conservation Congress, check out their website: http://dnr.wi.gov/about/wcc/
March 11, 2013
A number of Leland area residents attended a March 11 “Listening Session” with Representative Fred Clark and Senator Jon Erpenbach. The meeting was held at the Ruth Culver Library in Prairie du Sac and was intended to give residents a chance to get acquainted with our new legislators and to discuss issues of concern.
We addressed the white deer shooting incident and the need to change the law to protect the remaining white and piebald deer. We felt we got to adequately present our case and the official’s response was very positive. Representative Clark and Senator Erpenbach stated that they would contact the other three representatives for the area where the deer reside, as well as the DNR, to find out what needs to be done and to begin some action.
Much thanks to these two officials for taking the time to do this session!
Photo: Several of the Leland area residents who attended the listening session at Prairie du Sac with Rep. Fred Clark.
Many people were at the meeting wearing their “Protect the White Deer” shirts. Channel 3 Madison news reporter Theo Keith did a nice feature story on the Conservation Congress meeting at Baraboo. He interviewed several white deer advocates about their efforts, the proposal, and their hope for the Conservation Congress process. The article and video broadcast are on the Channel 3 website:
April 9, 2013
“I write today to urge Department of Natural Resources (DNR) staff to review administrative rules relating to protections for albino and white deer as they consider rule implementation of the Wisconsin White-Tailed Deer Trustee and Review Committee’s “A 21st Century Model for Deer Management in Wisconsin: Final Report and Recommendations”, commonly referred to as the Deer Trustee Report.”
The letter recognizes that this is a good window of time to review white and albino deer rules and implement changes:
“As you know, DNR and members of the public have already begun work that will lead to implementation of the Deer Trustee Report. Full implementation of the report will require revisions to administrative rules; I believe this is an appropriate time to review restoring protections for albino and white deer.”
“The Deer Trustee Report recommends the DNR adopt a more passive approach to managing CWD in management zones. As the DNR begins to shift its focus and strategy as it relates to CWD management I would ask that the Herd Health/Chronic Wasting Disease Action Team consider restoring protections for albino and white deer in CWD management zones as well as review the definition of an albino or white deer in NR 10.02.”
April 22, 2013
Photos: Amy Sprecher and Eileen Muchow with Rep. Ed Brooks at the April 22 listening session in La Valle.
July 4, 2013
This year the Witwen parade included a float with a white “deer” family and the message: “Protect the Rare White Deer.” The banner on the back of the float read: “Sauk County’s Hidden Treasure.” A stand near the parade route offered shirts, yard signs, photos, and information for those wanting to learn and do more.
Thanks to Janice and Palma for helping at the table; and to Bailey, Alex, and Ethan, who walked beside the float and handed out flyers with the website address. They did a super job! Special thanks to Jolene, whose idea and efforts put together statues, spray paint, chicken wire, and branches to make a pretty cool float.