DNR seeks comment on new process


Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
101 S Webster, P.O. Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707
Phone: 608-267-2773 TDD: 711
dnr.wi.gov http://www.wisconsin.gov

DATE: February 28, 2013

Kristy Rogers, 608-261-4383
SUBJECT: DNR seeks comment on new process to open up agency guidance development to the public

MADISON – In an effort to improve transparency and provide more opportunities for the public to give input on key natural resources decisions, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is developing a new process to standardize how the agency develops guidance for complying with state and federal rules and requirements.

“For several months now we’ve heard concerns about a lack of transparency and participation in some of the department’s decision-making,” said DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp. “We’ve developed a new process aimed at alleviating those concerns, a way to develop internal program guidance that includes an opportunity for public comment.”

Programs in the agency develop guidance documents that direct staff on how to approach making decisions when there are not specific details in a law or code. Guidance often informs decisions on permits intended to protect air or water quality and the implementation of fish and wildlife programs.

Stepp said the concerns voiced by agency stakeholders relates to the DNR setting guidance that directly impact various customers without those individuals or businesses either being notified or being able to provide input into the process.

“This new initiative is a major change and promotes participation and transparency,” said Stepp. “While many agency programs involve stakeholders in making decisions, currently there is no consistent formal process that provides an opportunity for all interested parties to participate in developing program guidance. With this initiative, any member of the public will now be able provide input.”

Under the proposed process, new draft guidance documents will be available on the DNR website. There would then be a period during which the affected businesses, municipalities and general public would be able to submit comments on the proposed guidance.

Information on the new guidance development process is available by going to the DNR website and typing in the keywords “program guidance.” An example of program guidance is also posted on that Web page.

The public can comment on the new proposed guidance process until March 22, 2013. After considering all comments, the agency plans to present the new process to the Natural Resources Board in May for approval.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Kristy Rogers, 608-261-4383.


  1. Well, any transparency would help as it apparently isn’t working right now. Permits should be available to the general public and posted in particular places, so the public can see them. At this time posting for government meetings are not required. If one could go to the website for more information on these permits it would help. Actually getting rid of our state government as it now stands would be the ultimate solution. Out with Ms Stepp and Walker. Those uncaring representatives who appear to have NO consideration for our environment should be trashed as well. However, the old adage of , “What you see is what you get..” should be, “What you vote for is what you get.”
    Unless the public is interested in learning about our environment and vote to change our government by voting differently then we all lose. Big Business is not looking our for the general population.
    If the citizens won’t get off their butts and do something besides click the tv remote to watch another ‘realistic’ show then they get what they deserve. For years it has been in the hands of a dedicated few to speak for the ‘ALL’. Time for more people to become involved. Join an organization that is willing to get involved to save our land, air and water. To protect our children from the hazards of air pollution, diesel pollution, dangerous traffic, polluted groundwater and so on. The parents, grandparents, all the family MUST become involved. Where are the hunting, trapping, fishing organizations who want to preserve our land for their recreation, their hobby or their lively hood. Chippewa County has already had more hunters turn to our county forests for hunting this past season because where they used to hunt is now in mining. Walker is talking of selling land to foreign companies according to The Country Today. Some of our counties have sold land that should have belonged to everyone. St Croix County.

    • Ben Burnt says:

      Dear Coventree,

      Well said. Obviously this is not for more participation of the general public and the DNR will read or listen to the comments and do what they always do, toss them into file 13. Due to all the submarining by the DNR of those that are trying to get some control on the destruction of our environment and the Wisconsin Legislature handing the environment of the Bad River Watershed on a platter to the powers that be, it is obvious that this is a “Public Relations” damage control effort. It is very transparent that the DNR is trying to con us again, and I suppose it will work for thos that do not pay attention to the State Government practices.

      Ben Burnt

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