A legislative proposal that would designate the ruffed grouse as the official small game bird of Wisconsin made one big step forward last week thanks in part to the testimony of a cadre of Park Falls residents.
Senate Bill 21, which would amend the statutes designating state symbols to include the ruffed grouse, received a public hearing by the Senate Committee on Government Operations, Technology, and Consumer Protection May 7. The bill was introduced by Senator Janet Bewley and Representative Beth Meyers earlier this year after students from the Class ACT Charter School in Park Falls proposed the designation in late 2017.
Coming before the committee last week were students from Class ACT, Class ACT advisors Paula Zwicke and Travis Augustine, Park Falls Area Chamber of Commerce Director Ed Kane, former mayor Dan Leitl, and local business owner Misty Bolier.
“This is a great bill because it has a great impact on many areas of Northern Wisconsin,” said Kane, who originally took the proposal idea to Class ACT two years ago. “It’s huge for our tourism area and it exemplifies the hard work of many people from the region who have worked diligently since the late 1970’s in creating the ruffed grouse society in Northern Wisconsin. This little bird carries the weight of Price County’s economy on its wings and this bill who only help to improve our area.”
On May 9, the bill was voted on and passed in the committee and the authors are now working with the leaders in both houses to get the bill scheduled for a full vote before the entire legislature, according to a press release from Meyers office.
The legislators hope to get the bill passed in either the senate or the assembly and signed into law by Governor Tony Evers this year.
“The opportunity for the children of Class Act Charter School to come to Madison and testify in support of a legislative proposal that they came up, exemplifies the bridge between Price County’s industry and technology and the future of our community, these kids are the future and they understand the significance of the ruffed grouse and what it means for our area,” said Bolier.