Vilas, Oneida lead charge
The Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) proposal to allow motor trolling on every lake in Wisconsin, one department official said would have no problem winning approval in a statewide vote, was shot down last Monday by a vote of 2,775 to 2,391.
Those are the official results of voting at spring fish and game hearings in all 72 counties, the forum the department used to push a proposed rule change that would have expanded motor trolling from the current 105 lakes to the state’s more than 10,000 lakes.
We are pointing out the inaccurate prediction of several DNR staffers because it was used as bandwagon propoganda — the old you might as well join us because you can’t beat us philosophy.
But in Vilas County, where motor trolling has been prohibited since the late 1980s, hearing attendees voted nearly 3 to 1 against the proposal, with 146 to 48 saying no. In Oneida, where trolling is allowed on only five waterbodies, the vote was 86-48 against trolling.
We salute those who attended and voted, for our goal of making people aware of the proposal and urging them to vote was to ensure Vilas and Oneida counties had a significant enough no vote to win exemption from any statewide mandate. The DNR had everyone convinced that this rule was going to pass.
What they didn’t bank on was the number of fishing guides, avid anglers, muskie organizations and lake associations that got the word out — and not just here. And we wonder if the department and the Natural Resources Board are listening this time, because the majority of avid sportsmen and -women in Wisconsin don’t want motor trolling. Period. It’s time to move on.
The side that won here is the group of anglers and conservationists who believe motor trolling would put added stress on muskie, walleye and lake trout resources that don’t need any more pressure. The side that triumphed believes the extra lake congestion, user conflicts and increased pollution from motor trolling aren’t worth what the DNR called a change to simplify regulations.
We commend those who wrote letters, encouraged their friends, and who turned out to say no to an effective fishing method we don’t need on what is undisputably the largest concentration of small lakes in Wisconsin.
Postal Service backs off
It is good news for rural America, small business owners and community newspapers that the U.S. Postal Service backed down last week from its plan to eliminate Saturday mail delivery without congressional approval.
The Postal Service said in February that it planned to switch to five-day-a-week deliveries beginnng in August for everything except packages as a way to hold down losses.
We believe the estimated $2 billion in projected annual savings was overstated, and that the American people would be losing a service that is significant to business owners and the public — especially in rural areas such as Vilas and Oneida counties.
|Tuesday, April 16, 2013 2:24 PM|