As VCLRA has been reporting in recent years, the growing popularity of wake surfing boats presents challenges on state lakes. The public again has an opportunity to influence state regulations through the 2023 Spring Hearing online input sponsored by The Wisconsin Conservation Congress (WCC), a liaison between the citizens of Wisconsin, the Natural Resources Board (NRB) and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Its provides an avenue for public input and exchange concerning conservation issues in Wisconsin. Pending approval by the Wisconsin Legislature, a Citizen Resolution can become a state rule/law.
VCLRA is again requesting your input to the 2023 Wisconsin Conservation Congress Annual Spring Hearing on REGULATING WAKE SURFING ON WISCONSIN LAKES AND RIVERS.
Your response to last year’s request resulted in the six hazardous wake resolutions to WCC to be resoundingly approved. This year’s request for input represents a next step toward the development of a DNR regulation. Input can be provided online from noon April 10 to noon April 13.
Several Citizen Resolution questions have been proposed. Some of the resolutions are open for voting from all Wisconsin citizens, while others are specific to Vilas County and Dane county residents. Please follow the instructions carefully. If successful, current State boating regulations and statutes could be changed to regulate wake boats.
For additional information:
Here are the details about the questions that have been proposed on wake surfing and complete instructions on voting.
A priority of the Northwoods Land Trust (NWLT) is to assist landowners in conserving sizable properties to protect our world-class water resources. Permanent land conservation is one of the most effective ways to safeguard our lakes and rivers.
The Vilas County Lakes & Rivers Association (VCLRA) is partnering with NWLT to advance a Shoreland Protection Legacy Initiative to reach more landowners on Vilas County’s 1300 lakes and 70 rivers. Both organizations are promoting permanent land protection tools as a means to ensure our waters stay healthy, productive and clean.
Natural forested areas and undeveloped shorelines play a big part in maintaining water quality and wildlife/fish habitat long-term. Moreover, protecting more land today will reduce the need to restore degraded water resources tomorrow.
Private landowners hold the key to preserving remaining natural shoreland areas. Community-based conservation with a nonprofit land trust like NWLT is local, voluntary, and (importantly) permanent. Landowners that protect the land they love also provide greater public benefits in the form of clean water and air, wildlife habitat and scenic beauty.
Below are two articles that we encourage Lake Associations to share with members in your newsletter and communications. There will also be a Shoreland Owner Workshop on June 26th in Eagle River on best practices and programs to protect water quality and habitat, as well as permanent conservation options through NWLT. Registration is required. More on the workshop here.
If your town is considering a hazardous wake ordinance, you may want to attend this workshop at the Boulder Junction Community Center on March 8, 2023. The purpose of this workshop is to offer guidance to town supervisors, town lakes committees, lake district commissioners, and lake association board members who feel there may be a need to regulate hazardous wakes within their township or municipality through local ordinances.
This workshop is limited to the first 100 attendees and rsvp’s are required.
Our Winter 2022-2023 newsletter is available online (members who get print copies will get these by mail in a few weeks). Read about Hazardous Wake Issues, Blue Heron Stewardship awards, AIS prevention and much more…
06/28/2022 12:30 PM – 04:30 PM CT at the North Lakeland Discovery Center
Our Northwoods lakes have a protective shield – healthy shoreline buffers! Join Mariquita Sheehan, Conservation Specialist for the Vilas County Land & Water Conservation Dept. as she surveys the Statehouse Lake shoreline to quantify the health of the buffer, identify areas that might need some modification, and make a plan to fix any problems we find. Take home skills and materials to use on your own shoreline buffers! This is a free workshop. Registration appreciated by 6/26.
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.
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.
I read the Winter 2021-22 Newsletter article regarding Wake Boats. [See page 6 of the winter newsletter.] It may be of interest to readers to know WI currently has State Statutes which offer some relief from documented wake boat damage.
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.