A Madison legislator announced multiple bills Tuesday to crack down on hunting in state parks, drawing the ire of at least one Republican who called the proposal unnecessary.
The first of two bills, both authored by state Sen. Fred Risser, D-Madison, would outlaw hunting in state parks, while the second would prohibit the use of steel-jaw and body-gripping traps and snares on state park land.
Risser cited safety concerns as his rationale for the two bills, saying in a statement that hunting was preventing his constituents from enjoying the state’s natural resources.
“There ought to be more places in the state where hunting is not permitted under any circumstances,” Risser said in the statement. “Hunters already have many locations where they are allowed to hunt, but state parks exist for everyone’s enjoyment, from hikers and cross-country skiers to bird-watchers and photographers.”
The bills would reverse legislation passed in the 2011-’13 session which authorized hunting on state park properties. Under the law, the state Department of Natural Resources can curb the practice in certain areas if it presents a threat to safety.
State Rep. Adam Jarchow, R-Balsam Lake, criticized Risser’s proposals, saying hunting presented no safety concerns.
“My constituents are sick and tired of living the consequence of policies that seem to constantly emanate from Madison liberals,” Jarchow said in a statement.
Both bills are currently circulating for co-sponsorship.