Beneficial stream habitat projects will be easier to undertake in Wisconsin with a new general permit the state Department of Natural Resources has issued aimed at streamlining stream habitat projects.
Before the creation of this general permit, many beneficial stream habitat projects were authorized under individual permits, which added time and expense to the permitting process.
The general permit authorizes numerous activities, including placement of fish habitat structures, placement of wildlife habitat structures, and dredging or adding material to a previously channelized streams. The general permit also authorizes constructing a ford crossing and disturbing wetlands, as long as these activities are associated with fish or wildlife habitat projects.
The general permit is available for stream habitat projects designed by staff from DNR, Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Land Conservation Department or other county agencies. The regional DNR fisheries biologist must approve the projects.
The general permit is available by searching the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for water permits and then clicking on the drop-down for “Waterway and wetland.”
The general permit was issued Nov. 6, 2017, and will be valid until Nov. 6, 2022. At that time, the DNR will solicit public input on the permit before renewing, modifying or revoking the permit.