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State DNR looks to cut paintball in state parks

The Department of Natural Resources is closer to curtailing paintball games in state parks and other DNR-controlled lands.

In 2001, there was a push to ban paintball activity on DNR lands, but the legislature rejected the idea.

DNR wildlife policy specialist Scott Loomans says since that time there have been some problems on state property.

He cites an incident in Brown County where a conservation warden had to make a quick decision as to what type of firearm a person was brandishing. Because of training they go through, the situation turned out OK.

However, he says it's the kind of thing that makes people uncomfortable and he says wardens would like to know who's out there and what people are doing on the property when they go out to check on people.

As a result, the DNR Board has advanced the idea of requiring a permit for paintball games on DNR land.

DNR staff note that at spring conservation hearings this year voters also strongly supported the idea.

Loomans says he's not sure if any permit would ever be granted. He says while it could be authorized in certain situations in the future, he's not exactly sure what those will be.

He says he doesn't think the DNR intends to provide this as a recreational activity at this time.

Loomans says there are many private paintball venues.

Two owners of such businesses in Wisconsin said they would support tight limits on players using state land for their sport.

The paintball permit plan now goes back to the Legislature.