DNR Secretary clarifies permit application changes

cows on farm

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp is trying to clarify a plan to allow consultants to write large livestock operations’ permit applications.

The DNR released a plan Wednesday calling for allowing consultants to write permit applications for large livestock operations. Several media outlets initially reported that the plan would allow farmers to write their own permits.

Stepp posted a statement Thursday saying farmers won’t write their own permits. The plan instead would create a program in which consultants who meet certain qualifications develop farmers’ permit applications.

She says farmers often use consultants to write applications, but submissions still often lack the proper information and DNR staffers spend too much time working with farmers to complete them. She says the new program should result in higher-quality applications and save time.