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March 15, 2019
Wisconsin's 12th Senate District contains communities in Florence, Forest, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto, Oneida, Shawano, and Vilas Counties.

Committee Assignments:
  • Joint Committee on Finance
  • Sporting Heritage, Mining, and Forestry Committee (Chair)
  • Elections, Ethics, and Rural Issues (Vice-Chair)
  • Local Government, Small Business, Tourism and Workforce Development
  • Joint Survey Committee on Tax Exemptions
Wisconsin Paper Caucus

This week I invited my fellow Wisconsin State Senators to join me in forming the Wisconsin Paper Caucus in the state legislature. The Wisconsin Paper Caucus will be an informal body of legislators from both houses, as well as a representative from the Governor's administration, who will work together to craft policy solutions to help sustain and promote the papermaking industry throughout our state.

I am working with State Senator Janet Bewely and State Representatives Scott Krug and Katrina Shankland to form this bipartisan group. Each of them represents an area of the state where papermaking is an important part of the economy and we look forward to informing and educating more people about the importance of the industry in our state.

I will continue to keep you up to date on our work on this issue. 
Ice Shanty Removal
 
The DNR issued the following warning this week:

Ice anglers are reminded that the last deadline to remove permanent ice shanties from state waters is this Sunday, March 17, when shanties must be removed from waters north of Highway 64 and all other outlying waters by the end of the day. Warm temperatures and rain in the forecast could complicate removal so state officials are urging anglers not to wait until the deadline.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Chief Conservation Warden Todd Schaller says owners experiencing problems can seek local assistance from fishing clubs, vendors and other anglers. If the deadline has been missed, please contact the DNR Violation Hotline (1-800-TIP-WDNR or 1-800-847-9367) provide a status report of ongoing attempts to remove, as well as shelter location.

After the shanty removal deadlines pass, anglers can continue to use portable ice fishing shelters daily if they feel the ice is safe -- and if they remove their shelters daily and when not actively being used. Permanent shelters, meaning those normally not removed daily from the ice, must be removed from the ice no later than the specified removal date for that water body.

 
Boys and Girls Club
 
This week, the Boys and Girls Clubs held their annual conference in Madison. Several of their members stopped by my office to talk about the good work they are doing in their communities. Thank you to all of you who stopped in!
Boys & Girls Club of Langlade County staff members Hilary, Angel and Corie with my staff member Chris. 
 Department of the Interior Statement

I wanted to share a press release from the Department of the Interior on their decision to delist the gray wolf. I think it provides great insight into their decision:

The gray wolf, an iconic species of the American West, had all but disappeared from landscape in the lower 48 states by the early 20th century. Now it roams free in nine states and is stable and healthy throughout its current range. This constitutes one of the greatest comebacks for an animal in U.S. conservation history. Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is re-affirming the success of this recovery with a proposal to remove all gray wolves from protection under Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Thanks to the partnerships involving states, tribes, conservation organizations and private landowners galvanized under the ESA, the Service is now able to propose turning management of all gray wolves back to the states and tribes who have been so central to the species’ recovery. This proposal excludes Mexican gray wolves, which would remain listed under the ESA.

“The facts are clear and indisputable—the gray wolf no longer meets the definition of a threatened or endangered species. Today the wolf is thriving on its vast range and it is reasonable to conclude it will continue to do so in the future,” said David Bernhardt, Acting Secretary, U.S. Department of the Interior. “Today’s action puts us one step closer to transitioning the extraordinary effort that we have invested in gray wolf recovery to other species who actually need the protections of the Endangered Species Act, leaving the states to carry on the legacy of wolf conservation.”

The gray wolf joins the bald eagle, peregrine falcon, American alligator, brown pelican and 33 other species of animals and plants in U.S. states, territories and waters that have been brought back from the brink with the help of the ESA. Countless more have improved or stabilized.

The gray wolf has already been delisted in the Northern Rocky Mountains. The states of Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington have shown their ability to manage this delisted wolf population responsibly so that it remains healthy and sustainable. Populations in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota are also strong and wolves have begun to expand into northern California and Western Oregon and Washington. In total, the range-wide gray wolf population stands at more than 6,000, exceeding the combined recovery goals for the Northern Rocky Mountains and Western Great Lakes populations.

“It is a proud moment when we can tell our children and our grandchildren that the future is secure for these magnificent creatures,” said the Service’s Principal Deputy Director Margaret Everson. “Our deepest gratitude goes to all our conservation partners in this victory, particularly the states and tribes who are committed to wolf conservation and will continue this legacy forward.”

The measure for listing a species under the ESA is whether wolves are in danger of extinction, or at risk of becoming so in the foreseeable future, throughout all or a significant portion of their current range. The ESA does not require wolves to be present throughout all of their former range or for populations to be at historical levels for delisting to occur.

Peer-reviewed studies on a range of factors including habitat and prey availability, gray wolf adaptability, recovery activities and post-delisting regulatory mechanisms, and predictions about how these may affect the wolves in the future are consistent in guiding the Service’s decision to delist. By any scientific measure, wolves no longer meet the ESA’s standard for protection.

The law mandates that the Service delist species once they have recovered and turn management back to the states. Every species kept on the Endangered Species List beyond its point of recovery takes valuable resources away from those species still in need of the act’s protections.

If the wolf is delisted, the Service will continue to monitor the species for five years. Should numbers decline to perilous levels or regulatory mechanisms prove insufficient to safeguard its future, the Service can relist the species and assume gray wolf management again.

The Service’s proposal to delist the gray wolf throughout the contiguous United States will be open for public comment in the Federal Register beginning on March 15, 2019. Comments must be received within 60 days of publication until May 14, 2019. All comments will be posted on http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means any personal information provided through the process will be posted.

Information on the proposed rule and how to comment may be found at: https://www.fws.gov/home/wolfrecovery/.
State Budget Benefits Illegal Immigrants
 
Several veterans serving in the state legislature spoke out this week over a provision in Governor Evers' proposed budget. In the Governor's budget, college applicants in the country illegally would be given in-state tuition rates if they had been "present" in the state for three years. The veterans in the state legislature pointed out that in addition to maintaining their grades and proving their military service, veterans who were not Wisconsin residents when they enlisted have to be residents of the state for five years to receive tuition benefits.

That is not the only benefit the Governor would provide for people who are in the country illegally. The Evers budget also includes a provision to allow illegal immigrants the ability to get driver's licenses as well as identification cards. Currently, there are only about a dozen states that allow this. 

 
Hunter Safety Classes
 
A few weeks ago, I ran into Kathy Yahr who serves as the secretary of the Lincoln County Sports Club. One of the things we got to talking about was Hunter Safety Classes. Kathy shared with me that the Lincoln County Sports Club will be offering a class on March 25, 26, and 30. They will also offer a Trappers Education Class available on May 4 and 5.

You can register for these classes or find classes in other counties right on the DNR's Go Wild! website. Here is the link.

Thank you, Kathy, for sharing the info!
District 12 Events
Start Date Upcoming Event Location
March 16 OF Fire Department Spaghetti Dinner Oconto Falls
March 16 Taste of Tomahawk Tomahawk
March 16 Pickerel-Pearson St. Patrick's Day Parade Pickerel
March 20 Artrageous Minocqua
March 21-24 On Golden Pond Wabeno
March 30 5th Annual Red Arrow Club dinner play Lakewood
April 6 Phelps Maple Syrup Fest Phelps
April 6 Only Fools Run At Midnight 5K Minocqua
April 6 Spring is in the Air Craft Show Tomahawk
April 20 Hops and Vines Beer and Wine Tasting Rhinelander
April 26 Veterans Benefits Expo Rhinelander
April 26-28 Central Wisconsin Concertina Festival Merrill
April 28 St. Germain Fire Department Fish Fry St. Germain
May 4 Colors of Cancer 5K Crandon
Contact Me:
Mail: Senator Tom Tiffany, PO Box 7882, Madison, WI, 53707
Phone: (608) 266-2509  Fax: (608) 282-3552
Email: sen.tiffany@legis.wisconsin.gov
Copyright © 2019 Office of State Senator Tom Tiffany, All rights reserved.


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As always, if you have any events for our calendar, comments or thoughts regarding the subjects of this newsletter, please feel free to contact me.