Conservation Worker Protections
Article written on 2015-11-11 by: Michael Renish
Civil Protections for Conservation Workers
Bills now before the Senate and Assembly would give civil liability protection people who do conservation work. Specifically, people would be protected when they’ve been part of activities like brushing and creating structures in navigable waters or wetlands (under the authorization of the DNR or with someone who has authorization) for the purpose of fish and wildlife habitat creation, protection, or improvement.
Also, the bills provide that those who do this kind of conservation work are not responsible for inspection or maintenance of the structures, or to give any warning about the existence of the structures, or to give warning about any unsafe conditions caused by the structures.
In essence, it’s a sort of “Good Samaritan” law for conservationists. Wisconsin TU strongly encourages everyone to contact your Wisconsin legislators to support AB-421 (Assembly) and SB-315 (Senate). More information and the ability to follow these bills as well as contact information for legislators can be found at openstates.org
TU chapter members across Wisconsin work hard improve trout streams by installing habitat structures and clearing overhanging branches and scrub brush. Doing this kind of work with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) helps support and grow not only trout fishing opportunities, but also the state’s economy.
Angling in Wisconsin:
- $2 billion+ economic impact of angling-based activites
- Over 20,000 jobs
- More than $140 million in tax revenue