General interest

Regulation of wake boats: an opportunity to provide input…

2022 Spring Hearing Citizen Resolution Additional Instructions

Once logged in you will be asked “Would you like to provide input to citizen resolutions submitted for your county of residence?”  ANSWER YES to this question

 The  hazardous wake resolution numbers for Vilas County are 640822, 640922, 641122 and 641222.  Please make sure to respond to those resolutions.

04/12/2022

As we reported recently in the VCLRA report on Wake Boats in our winter newsletter (pages 6-7), the growing popularity of wake boats presents challenges on state lakes. On the one hand, water sports and recreational boating generates tourist dollars. On the other hand, there is the potential for enhanced shoreline erosion due to their energetic waves. The enhanced wakes can also endanger other swimmers and boaters, as well as disturb water fowl nesting sites on the water’s edge. Because wake boats are weighted in the rear so that the propwash has a downward angle, they may stir up bottom sediments, uproot aquatic plants, disturb fish habitat and potentially releasing toxins that have settled to the bottom.

The public has an opportunity to influence state regulations through the 2022 Spring Hearing online input sponsored by The Wisconsin Conservation Congress (WCC), which is a liaison between the citizens of Wisconsin, the Natural Resources Board (NRB) and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).  Its purpose is to provide an avenue for public input and exchange concerning conservation issues in Wisconsin.  Pending approval by the Wisconsin Legislature, what started as a Citizen Resolution can become a Wisconsin rule/law.  To that end, WCC has submitted several proposed Citizen Resolution questions for Vilas County and Dane county. If these resolution questions pass the first step, they will follow the process toward a hazardous wake resolution at the state level.  If successful, current State boating regulations and statutes could be changed to regulate wake boats.

How can I find the online input option?

The link will be placed on the DNR’s Spring Hearing webpage and can be found at https://dnr.wisconsin.gov. Type in “Spring Hearings” in the search box.

How do I provide input using the online option?

The online form is being run through “Survey Monkey”.  Once you sign in, simply read and follow the directions.

When can I provide my online input?

The link will go live on Monday, April 11, 2022 at 7:00 PM CDT and will remain open for three days (until 7:00 PM CDT on Thursday, April 14).  Each person can provide input once for each of the survey questions.

Do I have to provide input on all the questions?

No, just answer “NO OPINION” on questions you do not want to answer.

For additional information:

The 2022 Spring Hearing Online Input FAQ is here: https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/sites/default/files/topic/About/WCC/2022/SpringHearing/2022_Spring_Hearing_Online_Input_FAQ_V4.pdf

The VCLRA report on Wake Boats in the 2021-22 winter newsletter (posted on https://vclra.org/newsletter-archive/) also provides useful references on experiences with wake boats in several states, as well as research on lake impacts due to enhanced wakes.

General interest

Northwoods six-county lakes meeting July 15th to highlight wakeboats…

Lake group leaders and members from six northern Wisconsin counties will convene for a discussion of the environmental impacts of wakeboats, the proliferation of short-term rentals, and other issues related lake recreational capacity on Friday, July 15th, and will return to an in-person event. The lakes meeting is sponsored jointly by the Oneida County Lakes and Rivers Association (oclra.org) and the Vilas County Lakes and Rivers Association (vclra.org).

The effects of enhanced wakes from wakeboarding and wakesurfing have been the subject of great concern and extensive scientific research in recent years. Meanwhile, concern is rising about the short-term rentals of lakefront homes and cabins and how they affect lake water quality, lake crowding, and the integrity of lakefront neighborhoods.

Other topics at the annual Six-County Lakes Meeting, from 9 a.m. to noon at Nicolet College, will include aquatic invasive species prevention, lake access and viewing corridors on lakefront properties, and an update on state legislation and policy related to water resources. Attendees are expected from Oneida, Vilas, Forest, Langlade, Lincoln, and Iron counties. VCLRA and OCLRA will separately also host their annual meetings immediately following the event.

Updates will follow as the agenda is finalized and speakers are confirmed. For more information, contact Steve Budnik (VCLRA) at 715-282-5896 or skbudnik@centurytel.net, Bob Martini (OCLRA) at 715-282-5896 or bobmartini@charter.net, or, use the contact form here: vclra.org/contact/.

Events

Science on Tap: Using Science to Wrangle AIS

Wednesday,  January 5, 2022 6:30 pm —
Live Event – Oakfire Pizza, Minocqua

UPDATE — due to Covid this is now a remote event.
Visit  http://www.scienceontapminocqua.org/ to connect.

Michelle Nault is the statewide lakes and reservoir ecologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Bureau of Water Quality and is responsible for providing technical guidance to a wide variety of lake management and restoration efforts.  Michelle will discuss how the DNR and its partners use science to deal with these troubling aquatic invasive species.

Read more “Science on Tap: Using Science to Wrangle AIS”
Events

2021 Six County Lakes & Rivers Conference Video

View all presentations from the 2021 six-county lakes and rivers conference, which  was hosted by Vilas and Oneida County Lakes and Rivers Associations on July 16th 2021. Attendees were invited from Oneida, Vilas, Forest, Langlade, Iron and Lincoln counties.  Pat Goggin, lake specialist at the UW Extension Lakes, was the conference leader.  Climate change, high water, development, and less state protections can all impact water quality in the Northwoods and were some of the topics addressed during the meeting by lake leaders and experts from Wisconsin and Minnesota. 

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News

2021 Spring newsletter available

In addition to our online (blog) Article and News items, VCLRA publishes 2 print newsletters per year that are mailed to members (unless a member requests digital only). The 2021 Spring printed version will be mailed out later this month; however, view the digital version now:

Events

2021 Multi-county Lakes Workshop

Vilas and Oneida County Lakes and Rivers Associations will again co-host a multi-county lakes workshop on July 16th 2021 from 9am-1pm. Climate change, high water, development, and less state protections can all impact water quality in the Northwoods and will be addressed during the meeting. Six counties are expected to participate: Oneida, Vilas, Forest, Langlade, Lincoln, and Iron.

Read more “2021 Multi-county Lakes Workshop”
News

Happy Holidays!

Finally we can say goodbye to 2020!  Each of us faced unprecedented challenges that truly reshaped our focus and priorities.

VCLRA, like so many others, found new ways to connect with our community and coworkers so we could press on with our work and make an impact. Due to the pandemic, we tailored our approach to engage and inform through zoom meetings, virtual events, and expanded online digital learning experiences. Read more “Happy Holidays!”