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APM Rules Before NRB in August

UPDATED ~ Integrated Aquatic Plant Management Rulemaking Heads to Natural Resources Board – Deadline for written comments/request to speak is now Aug 5 at 11am

By Wisconsin Lakes staff

Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resource’s bid to update and consolidate the rules surrounding aquatic plant management takes its next step on August 10, 2022 when the Natural Resources Board (NRB) will consider approving the draft rules and sending them on to the Wisconsin Legislature for final review in 2023. The NRB is an independent board of appointed citizens that sets policy for the DNR.

The package under consideration for adoption by the board is a new, comprehensive set of rules for aquatic plant management. The rule revises NR 107 and NR 109, relating to chemical, mechanical, physical, and biological control of aquatic species into a single NR107. The result will be a more effective system for aquatic plant management that employs an holistic, adaptive approach called “integrated pest management” to help ensure the best method is being employed for the long haul. Wisconsin Lakes supports the rulemaking and is recommending adoption by the NRB.

Some critics of the rule claim it tips the scale to chemical management over non-chemical, while others argue exactly the opposite. Wisconsin Lakes’ reading is that it is a balanced rule that does not pick one over the other. Rather, it ensures the permittee considers all available options to reach the best path forward. And, though some permit fees will increase to ensure proper staffing and support for the program by DNR, overall costs for some groups may drop as management plans may not need to be redesigned as frequently. For more information on what the rules are about please go to: https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/lakes/plants/rules.

If approved, the rules will still need to go to the Legislature for review some time in 2023. The program changes are scheduled to go into effect January 1, 2024. DNR says it will hold several workshops this fall and winter on the proposed permitting and planning process and Integrated Pest Management. The workshops will help lake groups familiarize themselves with the program changes starting January 1, 2024.

Information on attending or viewing the Natural Resources Board Meeting, including the full agenda, can be found at https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/About/NRB/2022/Aug.

Want to have your own voice heard? You can submit written comments or request to appear before the board by going to https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/about/NRB/public.html. The deadline for submissions has been updated to Friday, August 5th at 11am.

To be notified of program developments and get updates on the workshops from DNR, please sign up for
GovDelivery at https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/WIDNR/subscriber/new.
And for more information on the APM program in general or this rulemaking, you can contact DNR’s Carroll Schaal, DNR’s Lakes and Rivers Section Chief in the Bureau of Water Quality at .