Number of claims for deer damage submitted through the wildlife damage program under s. 29.889
, Stats., per 100 square miles of total land.
NR 1.15 Note
Note: The crop damage data used for these evaluations are adjusted to omit damage losses to high valued crops such as cranberry, orchard, Christmas tree, truck farm crops, etc. where low deer numbers can still cause high losses, and where effective abatement is available in the form of 8 foot high deer barrier, high tensile woven wire fences. The focus of the “tolerable levels" criteria is on chronic damage losses caused by high deer populations.
If crop damage in a deer management unit with an objective to maintain or increase the population is above the tolerable limit in 2 years out of a 3 year period prior to a unit review under s. NR 10.104 (3)
, the department shall consider establishing an objective to reduce or maintain the deer population.
(b) Hunting objectives.
Achieving and maintaining opportunities for a range of deer hunting experience while still allowing to the extent possible, freedom of choice by hunters. Regulations should provide incentives or disincentives to encourage better distribution of hunting pressure. If hunter numbers continue to increase, control of hunting pressure may become necessary.
(c) Black bear.
Maintaining the black bear as a trophy big game animal and offering the best opportunity for a quality hunting experience. In addition, the maintenance of a quality hunt will be emphasized by continuing controls over the use of bait and dogs.
(d) Animal damage.
Deer, bear and elk damage complaints will be handled according to the provisions of s. 29.889
, Stats., and rules as published in the Wisconsin administrative code. Damage can be most economically controlled by maintaining populations with a hunting season harvest as specified in par. (a)
Maintaining elk as a big game animal and offering the best opportunity for a once-in-a-lifetime, quality hunting experience. In addition, the maintenance of elk as a valued component of the natural community will be emphasized by continued management.
Research and surveys.
Surveys, investigations and research shall be conducted to provide technical information necessary to evaluate population objectives and establish population trends, harvest recommendations, population objectives and habitat management needs and guidelines.
NR 1.15 History
Cr. Register, April, 1975, No. 232
, eff. 5-1-75; r. and recr. Register, July, 1977, No. 259
, eff. 8-1-77; am. (2) (d), Register, January, 1984, No. 337
, eff. 2-1-84; am. (1) (a), (2) (a) and (b), r. and recr. (1) (b) and (c), Register, July, 1987, No. 379
, eff. 8-1-87; r. and recr. (2) (a), Register, July, 1996, No. 487
, eff. 8-1-96; correction in (2) (d) made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats., Register, September, 1999, No. 525
; CR 00-154
: am. (2) (a) and cr. (2) (am) and (at), Register January 2002 No. 553
, eff. 2-1-02; CR 08-021
: am. (intro.) and (2) (d), cr. (2) (e) Register November 2008 No. 635
, eff. 12-1-08; Emr1405: emerg. am. (2) (at), (3), eff. 2-25-14; CR 13-071
: am. (1) (a), (b), (c) 1., (2) (a) (title), (intro.), r. and recr. (2) (a) 8., am. (2) (at), (3) Register July 2015 No. 715
, eff. 8-1-15.
For the purposes of this section, furbearers are muskrat, mink, weasel, beaver, fisher, otter, skunk, raccoon, fox, coyote, bobcat and opossum. The furbearer management program has the following essential needs and actions:
Wetlands are the primary habitat component for many furbearers so the actions regarding wetland protection and management stated in s. NR 1.12 (1)
are reemphasized in relation to furbearers.
The capacity to produce furbearers on lands and waters under the management and control of the department can be increased through more intensive management of suitable habitat. Generally, management activities designed to improve furbearer populations are compatible with management for other species of wildlife. In certain situations, populations of furbearers such as fox, raccoon, coyotes and skunks can depress the population of other game species. Management activities on department lands should be designed to achieve a desirable balance between predator and prey species which is consistent with goals and objectives established in the course of developing master plans for state properties.
Since the majority of furbearers depend upon habitat under the control of private landowners, management information will be provided to private landowners requesting it. Incentive programs to encourage habitat preservation and management on private lands will be developed where they are feasible.
Furbearers are significant from an ecological, biological, recreational, cultural and economic standpoint. Management efforts will assure their future in suitable natural ecosystems and harvest regulations will be designed to make optimum use of these species for these purposes.
Every effort shall be made to design regulations on as uniform a basis as possible that will still maintain desirable population levels from year to year. Best management practices that include cultural, ecological and biological objectives shall be accorded primary consideration in the management of furbearer populations and the establishment of harvest regulations.
Because of the cultural, economic, recreational
and public service value of the furbearer harvest, present trapping methods and techniques must continue. However, efforts to develop best management practices for trapping that would improve humaneness, selectivity, efficiency, effectiveness and safety will be encouraged.
Stocking of furbearers is restricted to the trapping and relocation of certain species to effect planned range extension or introductions.
All of these species are capable of causing economic damage. Section 29.885
, Stats., provides a procedure for dealing with wild animals causing damage to private property. Desired population levels of furbearers and hunted carnivores will be maintained primarily by the use of general public hunting and trapping seasons. Control of damage through the issuance of permits to the complainant shall be the next step employed to control problem animals. Direct control by the department shall be employed only where other control methods are not feasible or effective.
In addition to the above, beaver activities can harm trout habitat and lowland forest stands but at the same time can benefit the habitat of other wildlife species. Beaver reduction and management programs shall be based on the following guidelines:
In all areas containing class I trout waters or productive lowland coniferous stands, a program to keep beaver populations at low levels that do not adversely affect these resources shall be conducted;
On reaches of other trout streams, where it is clearly demonstrated that beaver activity is deleterious to water quality or trout habitat, beaver populations shall be kept at sufficiently low levels to protect these resources;
In all other areas, beaver shall be managed to produce populations that will provide sustained annual harvest.
NR 1.16 History
Cr. Register, April, 1975, No. 232
, eff. 5-1-75; r and recr. Register, July, 1977, No. 259
, eff. 8-1-77; correction in (4) (a) made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats., Register, September, 1999, No. 525
; CR 01-008
: am. (2), Register November 2001 No. 551
, eff. 4-1-02; CR 04-046
: am. (intro.) Register September 2004 No. 585
, eff. 10-1-04.
Nongame species play an important role in the normal functioning of ecosystems and contribute to the aesthetic quality of our environment. Since nongame management programs provide significant benefits to many segments of society, new sources of revenue (other than hunting license fees or excise taxes) will be sought to support expansion of these programs. New federal excise taxes on selected outdoor recreation equipment are supported as one appropriate source of funding for this program. Nongame species include all birds, mammals and other terrestrial vertebrates which usually have no open season for hunting or trapping. Species classified as endangered or threatened are also included in this section. To implement an adequate program for nongame wildlife, the following needs and actions are essential:
Habitat requirements of nongame wildlife collectively encompass almost every combination of topography, soils, water and vegetative types. The highest priority for management will be allotted to endangered, threatened and uncommon species. In order to protect and manage habitat for nongame species on public and private lands, programs will be initiated as required which may include the protection, development and maintenance of key nesting grounds, den sites, feeding areas, roosting areas, wintering areas, strategic migrational rest areas and other critical habitat components. Program implementation may employ one or more of the following actions:
Food and cover management, construction of artificial nest or roost devices, refuge creation, protective fencing, incorporating important habitat needs into management plans for public lands, or providing incentives to private landowners to develop or protect habitat.
Most nongame species are protected by law; however, certain species may become so low in numbers that the special status of “endangered" is created by administrative rule under s. 29.604
, Stats., and ch. NR 27
. Endangered species are those whose continued existence as a part of the state's wild fauna (or flora) is in jeopardy and, without further state action, may become extirpated. Threatened species currently receive some protection under ss. 23.09
, 29.014 (1)
, Stats., and those which appear likely, within the foreseeable future, to become endangered. Additional regulations will be adopted as necessary for the protection of endangered and threatened species and for any nonhunted wildlife species that is exhibiting a chronic decline in abundance. Human access to critical areas of endangered or threatened species habitat on public lands will be limited or prohibited as necessary.
The payment of damages caused by nonhunted wildlife species is opposed. Should legislation mandate such payment, sources of funding other than hunting license fees or excise taxes will be sought.
Many nongame species require the development of new survey techniques as well as a system to monitor population trends. Annual surveys will not be required for most species. Indications of marked population declines will require more frequent and precise surveys to determine if management action is required. Endangered and threatened species will require close monitoring until they become more abundant.
A nongame program must rely on the knowledge available for each individual species to be managed. Research projects will be initiated as required to provide the following information: life history, habitat requirements, population distribution and abundance, census methods, management techniques and effects of land use changes, pesticides or other environmental population depressants.
Propagation and stocking.
Due to habitat changes or other ecological factors, a species may decline to the extent that viable breeding populations are absent. In this event, a reintroduction program would be considered and evaluated to determine potential adverse interactions with other species, and any environmental factors that would negate successful establishment. Wisconsin pledges cooperation with other state and federal agencies in feasible reintroduction programs which require the capture and export of Wisconsin wildlife.
NR 1.17 History
Cr. Register, July, 1977, No. 259
, eff. 8-1-77; corrections in (2) made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats., Register, September, 1999, No. 525
Captive birds and mammals. NR 1.18(1)(a)(a)
“Captivity" or “captive" means the state of confinement within a fence, pen, cage, house or similar enclosure.
“Captive game farm birds and mammals" means birds and mammals which were propagated in captivity.
“Wildlife" means birds and mammals which have inhabited and were propagated in a natural environment.
Authorized activities involving captive wildlife result in recreational, educational and economic benefits. The department, when feasible, will establish joint permit systems with other agencies having jurisdiction of the protected wildlife.
Permits authorizing possession of captive wildlife or captive game farm birds and mammals shall be denied or revoked upon a showing that such possession results in care practices which are not humane, adequate or sanitary.
The department may receive confiscated wildlife and shall render care consistent with standards and guidelines established for captive, protected wildlife.
First aid and temporary care administered to orphaned, injured or confiscated wildlife may provide important benefits to the scientific community through knowledge gained during such treatment as well as benefit the wildlife being treated.
Necessary standards for facilities and care shall be established to assure proper care and confinement.
Skunks may not be held under this permit authority.
Wildlife may be destroyed by the department or permittees when there is no hope of successful release to the wild or for cost free use for falconry, wildlife exhibits, propagation, zoos or educational institutions.
The department may not actively engage in a rehabilitation program but provide coordination of referrals to authorized rehabilitators. The department may continue to provide care for confiscated wildlife.
The use of certain species of raptors for the pursuit and capture of wild animals is a legitimate use of a natural resource which requires skill and dedication on that part of the user and may yield important biological, ecological and other scientific knowledge of predatory birds.
Because of the complexities of the sport, permit applicants will be tested for their knowledge of basic biology, raptor care, literature, laws, and regulations.
Special hunting seasons may be established within the biological limits of the wildlife species to provide recreational opportunities.
When the security of any wild population of raptor is in doubt or in jeopardy, the department shall prohibit the use of wild-trapped birds of that species for falconry.
The use of raptors hatched, raised or rehabilitated in captivity will be encouraged for falconry to reduce the use of wild raptors.
The department will encourage educational efforts to improve the public's knowledge of raptors and monitor the program, particularly regarding the health, care, taking and transfer of raptors.
The use of game farm birds and mammals or wildlife which cannot be released to the wild for advertising or exhibition purposes serves the public interest when the public's general knowledge of wildlife is increased by such use.
Standards for facilities and care shall be reviewed by the department to insure humane and sanitary treatment of captive birds and mammals and compliance with the animal welfare act of 1966 (P.L. 89-544
), as amended.
No exhibited bird or mammal may be released to the wild. Further precaution shall be taken to minimize contact between captive and free-roaming wildlife.
Use of propagated game birds, game mammals and raptors contributes to the satisfaction of public demands by providing an alternative to the complete reliance upon wildlife populations. Habitat components beneficial to the survival of wild populations may be protected by private citizens participating in these programs.
The department shall provide housing guidelines and each permittee shall implement control measures which minimize disease and potential threats to wildlife.
The department may authorize the periodic taking of wildlife for breeding purposes.
Endangered and threatened species.
Birds and mammals on the Wisconsin endangered and threatened species list, s. NR 27.03
, may be acquired and possessed only by persons possessing a Wisconsin endangered species permit issued under s. 29.604 (6)
Scientific collection and research.
Except as provided by specific rule or law, all protected wild animals, alive or dead, not listed as endangered or threatened species may be acquired and possessed only by persons possessing the appropriate scientific collectors permit issued under s. 29.614
, Stats., or scientific research license issued under s. 169.25
, Stats. The permits or licenses shall be issued only if the use of the wild animal provides useful scientific knowledge or educational opportunities in the natural sciences consistent with s. NR 19.11
Licensed veterinarians providing emergency treatment of wildlife or game farm birds and mammals shall not be required to possess additional department permits.
Wildlife is often obtained by citizens attempting to rescue sick, injured or orphaned birds and mammals. Such person shall notify a conservation warden within 24 hours and advise of such possession.
Dog trials and dog training.
The use of captive game farm birds and mammals for dog trial and training activities is consistent with sound resource management principles and provides opportunities for hunters to improve their dog handling skills and the dog's performance during periods closed to hunting.
NR 1.18 History
Cr. Register, October, 1982, No. 322
, eff. 11-1-82; r. (2) (d), cr. (11), Register, April, 1985, No. 352
, eff. 5-1-85; corrections in (7) and (8) made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats., Register, September, 1999, No. 525
; CR 05-031
: am. (8) Register November 2005 No. 599
, eff. 12-1-05.
Growing trees and shrubs. NR 1.20(1)(1)
The department shall produce and make available from state-operated nurseries trees and shrubs of suitable species and size to be planted in the state of Wisconsin for forestry and other types of conservation projects. No trees or shrubs intended for private ornamental or landscape planting shall be sold by the department.
The following guidelines shall be adhered to:
No trees or shrubs over 5 years of age or more than once transplanted shall be produced for general distribution by state-operated nurseries.
Species grown shall be limited to trees and shrubs normally used for forestry and wildlife plantings.
No shipment of less than 500 trees will be made to an applicant. However, “wildlife packets", including trees and shrubs and tree packets for windbreaks, shelterbelts and erosion control in quantities of not less than 250 trees or shrubs shall be made available where practicable.
No trees or shrubs shall be made available to commercial or municipal nurseries for lining out stock or other nursery purposes.
Nursery stock produced in state-operated nurseries may not be utilized for the commercial production of Christmas trees.
Trees and shrubs may be purchased for education and public awareness purposes by educational institutions, youth groups (such as 4-H, future farmers, boy scouts, girl scouts and similar vocational or character building organizations), and nonprofit organizations for planting, provided the department is assured the project will have adequate supervision.
All trees and shrubs distributed for planting on private lands, except as provided in par. (h)
, shall be purchased at prices established by the department in accordance with s. 28.06 (2)
Trees and shrubs may be made available free of charge for department-sponsored forestry promotional events, university research and project respect participants, provided the department is assured the project will have adequate supervision and pending availability of nursery stock.
Species inventories exceeding sales and allotments may be sold or traded with other states or the U.S.F.S.
Nursery stock produced in state-operated nurseries shall be made available for reforestation purposes on county forest lands entered under s. 28.11
, Stats., at 50% of the prevailing price established in accordance with s. 28.06 (2)
NR 1.20 History
Cr. Register, April, 1975, No. 232
, eff. 5-1-75; r. and recr. (2) (e) and (h), am. (2) (f) and (g), cr. (2) (j), Register, April, 1993, No. 449
, eff. 5-1-93.
Private forestry assistance. NR 1.21(1)(1)
This section and ss. NR 1.211
contain rules for the administration of the private forestry assistance program to private, non-industrial landowners under ss. 26.35
, Stats. Priorities for servicing private forestry requests and a cooperative program with consulting foresters is established.