For much of the 21st century, letter writing has been on life support. Oh, there are a few people who keep cursive alive by still practicing the lost art, but for the most part, computers and smartphones have changed the way the world communicates: Using these devices is easy, fast and requires no stamps.
But there’s something special about receiving a heartfelt, handwritten letter. What better a way to bring a smile to someone’s face than a surprise read of your encouraging words during this period of anxiety?
There’s also power in the written word when it’s sent to public officials – especially when you offer more ideas about how to solve a problem than criticism.
Until the coronavirus is corralled, written comments are the only way citizens can be heard on state Natural Resources Board (NRB) issues. The NRB, a seven-citizen committee that sets policy for the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), canceled its regular meeting in April and met by conference call to approve a very limited agenda.
This month’s meeting, originally slated for May 26-27 in Madison, will also be held remotely. NRB liaison Laurie Ross said no citizen testimony will take place at the May meeting, but written comments may be made.
Come summer, the NRB typically takes its meetings on the road, giving members an opportunity to tour projects around the state. The June meeting was scheduled for June 23-24 in the northeast region, but because of uncertainty due to the coronavirus, Ross said that all those have been rescheduled back to Madison.
At the time of this writing, the agenda hadn’t been posted. We do know that the DNR was expected to provide input on County Deer Advisory Council final recommendations for this fall’s bow, gun and crossbow deer-hunting seasons. Check for updates at dnr.wi.gov/about/nrb.
By the way, both the Door and Kewaunee County deer advisory groups approved their preliminary recommendations last week, including a holiday antlerless hunt and extended bow and crossbow seasons.
Spring Hearing Results
Nearly 65,000 citizens weighed in on spring advisory questions posed by the state Natural Resources Board, DNR and Conservation Congress last month. A majority opposed changes to the bow, crossbow and gun deer seasons.
See all the results, and check out citizen resolutions by county at dnr.wi.gov/about/wcc/springhearing.html. Vote totals are advisory only and not binding. Any changes would involve legislative action.
Wildlife Stamp Contest
Artists can submit their best works for the DNR’s 2021 wild turkey, pheasant and waterfowl stamp-design contests. The deadline is July 15.
Funds gathered from these programs support management projects, including restoration of upland and wetland habitats that are critical to these species and many others. Learn more at dnr.wi.gov/topic/wildlifehabitat/stamps.html.
Record Gun Sales
April’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System for gun sales shattered records at 1,678,223 – an increase of 69.1 percent over a year ago.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Mark Oliva said this shows there is a continued appetite among Americans to be able to provide for their own safety during times of uncertainty.
As of May 8, Lake Michigan was 34 inches above its 100-year monthly average, nine inches higher than last year and three inches above the previous record, set in 1986.