The following is an excerpt from a blog post by Eddee Daniel entitled “Milwaukee County Strengthens Protections for Natural Areas” from the website awealthofnature.org, posted on July 29, 2022.
Here, in abbreviated form, are the new provisions:
(A) No person shall harvest, collect, deface, or disturb, in any manner, any portion of a native plant or native fungi within the Park System.
(B) Invasive species can be removed within the Park System only by Dept. of Parks, Recreation and Culture (DPRC) staff or those authorized through written permission from the DPRC. Planting of any vegetative material within the Park System without the written permission of the DPRC is prohibited.
(C) The harassment, capture, injury, or killing of native wildlife within the Park System is prohibited. Introduction or release of any animal, wild or domestic, within the Park System without the written permission of the DPRC is prohibited.
(D) Natural areas designated by the Southeastern WI Regional Planning Commission as “Natural Areas of Local, Regional, or State-wide Significance” or designated as “Critical Species Habitat Areas,” will receive a heightened level of protection. Only hiking, biking, running, bird watching and similar passive recreation activities are allowed and only on designated trails.
According to Natural Areas Supervisor Brian Russart “the County Board did want Parks to be lenient on individuals walking along designated trails in the park system eating the occasional handful of wild raspberries as they are walking, because the impact would be minor and the plants are typically found along trails.” This does not allow people to bring a basket along to pick and remove more berries from the park for later use.
Russart would like you to know this: “Citizens that observe illegal foraging in the park system are encouraged to call the Parks Ranger Hot-line (414-257-7777) as they are observing these activities. This way Parks can respond immediately, and appropriately address the situation.