Setback for Wisconsin Wetlands As Legislation Passes in State Assembly and Senate

The Wisconsin State Assembly and Senate passed legislation that will impact up to 100,000 acres of “isolated,” non-federal wetlands in our state. This legislation will now go to Governor Walker’s desk for his signature.

The passing of this legislation is a critical setback for Wisconsin and our valued traditions of resource and wetland conservation. We are saddened by the erosion of our former status as one of the best resource-managed states in the country.

The bills remove protections to many isolated wetlands within a half-mile radius of every city and village in Wisconsin. In addition, the legislation allows the filling of up to three acres in rural areas without a permit – increasing the risk to cranes and other wildlife that depend on rural wetlands. Any wetland loss is potentially significant and will impact flood abatement, ground water recharge and wildlife habitat now and for future generations.

What do we do now?

•  We encourage you to stay active in your local and state politics. Contact your legislators when you disagree with proposed legislation – your voice matters!

•  Please continue to support organizations such as the International Crane Foundation and Wisconsin Wetlands Association that are working to ensure wetlands will have a future in our state. Together, we will make a difference!

•  Share our Wisconsin Wetlands story map with your family and friends – help us spread the word about the value of these critical resources!

•  Thinking about restoring a local wetland or guide your community in conserving wetlands in your area? Check out the new Wetlands by Design tool developed by our colleagues at The Nature Conservancy and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.