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The Wisconsin Natural Resources Board proposes an order to repeal NR 45.11 (7) (j), 45.13 (3) and (10) (c), 45.13 (13m), 45.13 (16) and (24); to renumber and amend NR 45.05 (3) (d), and 45.13 (14m); to amend NR 45.03(3) and (16v), 45.04 (1) (b), 45.04 (3) (v), 45.045(1) and (2)(c)(intro.),45.05 (3) (f), (g) and (h) (intro.), 45.09 (1), 45.09 (5) (b), 45.10 (l) (n), 45.12 (1) (b) 1. f., 45.12 (1) (b) 7.d., 45.12 (4) (g) 2.a. and b. and (i), 45.13 (11m) (b), NR 51.70 (1) (intro.); to repeal and recreate NR 51.73 (2); and to create NR 45.03 (18X), (21d) and (25m), 45.04 (4), 45.046, 45.05 (3) (d) 2. And 3., 45.05 (3) (em) including Note, 45.09 (4) (d), 45.095, 45.10 (1) (r), 45.10 (5), 45.11 (4) (zc), 45.12 (1) (d) 55. to 58., 45.12 (4) (L), 45.13 (14m) (a) 1. and 2., 45.13 (28), 45.13 (29) and (30), NR 51.70 (3) relating to public use of department properties and implementation and administration of the Stewardship grant program.
Analysis Prepared by the Department of Natural Resources
1. Statutes interpreted: In addition to the general authority granted by s. 227.11(2)(a), Stats., to implement and interpret its statutory authority, the Department of Natural Resources has specific grants of rule making authority in chs. 23 and 27, Stats., to manage its properties. See ss. 23.09(2), 23.091, 23.11(1), 23.28(3), 23.33(4)(b), 27.01(2)(j), 27.01(10)(b), (f) and (h), 27.01(11)(b), Wis. Stats.
2. Statutory authority: In addition to the general authority granted by s. 227.11(2)(a), Stats., to implement and interpret its statutory authority, the Department of Natural Resources has specific grants of rule making authority in chs. 23 and 27, Stats., to manage its properties. See ss. 23.09(2), 23.091, 23.11(1), 23.28(3), 23.33(4)(b), 27.01(2)(j), 27.01(10)(b), (f) and (h), 27.01(11)(b), Wis. Stats.
3. Explanation of agency authority: The Department of Natural Resources is given general authority to promulgate rules relating to the management and protection of Department properties and to regulate the conduct of visitors to Department properties. In addition, the Department is given specific authority to promulgate rules relating to categories of campsites, camping fees, and the campground reservation system, and the use of all-terrain and utility terrain vehicles on road in Department properties.
4. Related statute or rule: Not applicable
5. Plain language analysis: Chapter NR 45 is the principal rule governing the conduct of visitors to the properties and facilities, owned, acquired by easement, or leased by the Department. This chapter is reviewed and revisions are proposed on a regular basis however it has been over 5 years since this rule has been reviewed and any revisions have been approved. Proposals seek to update fee structures, provide camping guidance, and address a variety of general and specific property uses governed by rule. A few rule changes are also included to implement recent statutory changes or to improve rule clarity.
Chapter 51 relates to the administration of the Stewardship grant program. The language is updated regarding the purpose of the state trail network, water trails are defined and a state water trail is added to the list of state trails making that project eligible for funding under the Stewardship program.
Section 1 amends the definition of “Bicycle” to be consistent with state law and amends the definition of “Physically disabled person” to be consistent with the definition in federal law.
Section 2 creates definitions for “Established Shooting Range”, “Special event” and “Water trail”.
SECTION 3 modifies a rule that allows, by posted notice, the closure of land, structures, or property for safety and protection of resources. The modification will allow for the ability to close for one or more activities in addition to a complete closure for all public use and codifies that the closure is to be authorized by the Secretary or Secretary Designee.
SECTION 4 clarifies that wood collection for legally authorized campfires does not require a forest product permit and adds the Rainbow flowage property to the list of properties where driftwood and other dead and downed wood located below the ordinary high water mark may not be removed or destroyed without written permission.
SECTION 5 creates a mechanism to regulate “special events” and identifies criteria for authorizing said events. This will help assure that these events do not have significant adverse impacts to public safety, other authorized uses of the property, and the natural resources. Property management staff has experienced an increase in requests for special events on Department properties in the past several years.
SECTION 6 amends the language governing the possession of firewood by eliminating wording about where the firewood is intended to be used. This is intended to provide clarity for enforcement of this provision whose purpose is to help slow the spread of invasive species. For clarity, lumber is removed from the definition of firewood as NR 45.045(3) specifies that dimensional lumber that is debarked, kiln dried and smoothed is exempt from the requirements regarding firewood possession.
SECTION 7 creates provisions for the cutting and gathering of firewood for home use as authorized under a valid forest products permit. Currently no administrative rule or statute allows for enforcement of forest product permit conditions for firewood gathering.
SECTION 8 amends the language to clarify that this permit authorization for use of a motorized vehicle is specifically for individuals with a disability that impairs mobility. This section also specifies what is required for proof of disability and provides that up to two additional people may accompany the permittee on the devise for the sole purpose of providing assistance.
SECTION 9 codifies permit requirements for motorized vehicle use as a mode of personal conveyance for an individual with a mobility disability. Permits are utilized to protect public safety and property resources. Codifying the provision creates an enforcement mechanism if the permit conditions are violated. This section also includes language to assure that the authorization is solely for the purposes of assisting the disabled individual.
SECTION 10 authorizes the use of motor bicycles on state trails open to bicycles provided that the motor is not engaged, or at less than 15 MPH if the electric motor is engaged. It also allows the department to prohibit operation of motor bicycles on specific trails, or sections of trails, by posted notice.
SECTION 11 adds motor bicycles to the requirements that currently apply to bicycles on designated bicycle trails. The rules require stopping at stop signs and prohibiting riding in a reckless manner so as to endanger life, property or persons.
This section also allows the Department to establish all-terrain vehicle routes on all Department lands over Department roads. This broadens the rule beyond just northern state forests and recognizes authorizations in some recent master plan approvals. It further reflects recent legislative direction in s. 23.116 to evaluate motorized access.
SECTION 12 removes the category of state parks from, and adds designated campsites to the list of locations where no person may take, catch, kill, hunt, trap or pursue any wild animal or bird, or discharge any firearm, or have in possession or under control any uncased firearm or air gun or any bow, crossbow, slingshot or spring-load device designed for shooting a projectile unless the same is unstrung or enclosed in a carrying case. State parks are being removed from the list to be consistent with a statutory change which expanded hunting in state parks. Designated campsites are added to the list for public safety considerations. This section also adds an exception to the general prohibition to enable the Department to issue a special use permit to facilitate hunter education, civil war reenactments, interpretive programs, and other events.
SECTION 13 creates an allowance for the use of a firearm to kill an animal that has lawfully been trapped in a state park to dispatch a trapped animal.  Note: Trapping is allowed in state parks per 2011 Act 168.
SECTION 14 amends the wording to state “shooting range” rather than “target range” to more accurately describe the facilities.
SECTION 15 creates general rules for department shooting ranges and adds some specific restrictions for the range at the Kettle Moraine state forest, Southern Unit. Presently most shooting ranges on Department lands have no codified rules making enforcement difficult.
SECTION 16 adds restrictions on the number of days that camping is permitted on state-owned islands on the Mississippi River and a requirement that the campsites must be occupied daily and camping property may not be left unattended for over 24 hours. The rule is written to be consistent with island camping regulations on the Upper Mississippi National Fish and Wildlife Refuge.
SECTION 17 places restrictions on canceling camping reservations made at the maximum window, 11 months prior to arrival, to prevent customers from abusing the reservation system by keeping control of their desired site by cancelling and rebooking camping site reservations until they get their desired dates.
Links to Admin. Code and Statutes in this Register are to current versions, which may not be the version that was referred to in the original published document.