March 15, 2024


NEWS RELEASE:                                                                                                                            Contacts:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                               Senator Robert Cowles – (608) 266-0484                                                                                                                                                                                              Representative Jeff Mursau – (608) 237-9136


Senator Cowles, Representative Mursau

Applaud Signing of Bill to Ease Wetland Mitigation


MADISON – Senator Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) and Representative Jeff Mursau (R-Crivitz) released the following statement after the Governor signed Senate Bill 255 into law yesterday as 2023 Wisconsin Act 111:

“When a wetland is disturbed by development, the goal is always to mitigate close to the site of the discharge,” Senator Cowles stated. “That allows us to still reap the benefits from the healthy growth of wetlands and their natural wildlife habitats, reduced impacts from flooding, and cleaner ground and surface waters. Act 111 helps us to achieve each of these goals by removing one of the biggest hurdles towards successful, high-quality wetland mitigation near the discharge site.”

“When selecting a site for a wetland mitigation project, a number of factors need to be present, and finding one with public access can be a major obstacle,” stated Representative Mursau. “Wisconsin’s in lieu fee subprogram is the only state-managed program in the United States that requires public access. By making public access optional, we may end up attracting more private landowners to the program.”

Act 111 was drafted following a recommendation from the Wetland Study Council, and address worries from landowners about privately-funded wetland mitigation on private property. The new Act eliminates the requirement that any wetlands in the DNR’s In-Lieu of Fee Subprogram be open to the public, while also ensuring there is no net loss of public access to wetlands in Wisconsin. This change in statute aligns access requirements with other wetland mitigation programs in Wisconsin, and every other wetland mitigation program across the United States.