Notice all the orange? Those were ALL of the water bodies in Madison
and they were ALL “special”.
It was the same blanket coverage across the state of nearly all of
Wisconsin’s 15,000 lakes.
The DNR was a
bit too “liberal” in their selection of waters that were “special”
as you can see from the graphic above (taken from DNR’s website). If
everything is special, nothing is special,
and the DNR
wastes resources that could otherwise be used to protect the truly
In our new law, DNR won’t be able to run roughshod with increased
regulations over every riparian property owner.
The regulations imposed by the DNR on boat house owners were nothing
short of ridiculous.
DNR – “Hey! You held a wedding at your boathouse?! Well, then it’s no
considered a boathouse by our narrow interpretation and now has more
regulations on it.
Oh…and here’s your citation and hefty fine.”
Yes, that actually
happened and it’s not an isolated incident. There are plenty of other
examples including owners being fined for having a lawn chair on their
boat house’s flat roof or having a deck on it.
An owner should be allowed to
enjoy his or her own boat house if its use doesn’t negatively impact the
environment. By the way, the fish love them…ask an angler!
Not everyone has a boat house. I get that. However, many property owners
and all sportsman will likely have interactions with the DNR at some
point and the DNR needs to
recognize what’s actually important and why they exist. It’s not to give
ticky-tack citations, it’s to protect the environment – we’ve
refocused their efforts in our new law.
Ditches and storm-water
retention ponds will no longer be considered “navigable waters” as they
were by past DNR rule. Just because after a rain, there’s water
running through a ditch, it does not mean it’s a “navigable waterway”;
such a designation subjects all the adjacent land to, what? You guessed
it, increased regulation.
Ditches and retention ponds are a good thing for the environment and
prevent runoff pollution. We should be encouraging their use, not
punishing landowners who have these good protections on their property.
DNR – “We know that this was a completely made-made pond on your own
property, but we
found 1 cattail…it’s now a wetland! You can’t touch any of that pond you
and now we’re regulating all of the land around it as well.”
This is the sort of government overreach
we’ve put behind us with the signing of my Private Property Rights
Package on Tuesday. Truth be told, there’s a lot that we had to leave
behind to get these commonsense reforms and others. While it’s
frustrating to not get into statute things like classifying dry-land as
dry-land and more straightforwardly allowing the dredging of invasive
species along shorelines, we still accomplished a lot.
All in all, it was a very big
win for private property rights and owners trying to use their land
as they see fit while still protecting the environment. Government, by
its nature, is incessantly encroaching on our personal liberties and
unreasonably inserting itself into our daily lives. It’s been my life’s
work to fight against this sort of government growth and overreach and
am happy to share another victory with you!
Private property rights >
unelected bureaucratic law.