Posted by: Wild Instincts | April 10, 2011

WRAC

Unless you are deeply involved in Wildlife Rehabilitation in Wisconsin, you probably have never heard of the Wildlife Rehabilitation Advisory Committee (WRAC).

Formed in 2002 for the development of standards and regulations to move wildlife rehabilitation in WI from a backyard hobby to a profession, WRAC thereby protects not only wildlife but people as well.

It’s comprised of dedicated individuals most of whom volunteer their time and expertise as they advise Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) on matters pertaining to wildlife rehabilitation.

In the early days, there were quite a few meetings as the framework for regulations was built. These were typically held in the south-central portion of the state to make it somewhat fair for those driving long distances. For Mark to attend a WRAC requires the entire day, usually driving several hours there, a many hour meeting, and driving several hours home.  That isn’t counting the “homework” to do between meetings like the nights in our house we were drafting sample test questions for the now required written test.

Now the WRAC meets once a year unless something unusual comes up. This is much more convenient because the annual meeting can be planned around busy baby season.

The committee is compromised of a wildlife liaison who is employed by WDNR. That person works for wildlife health section of the WDNR and is paid to be on WRAC. There is a vet, a WDNR conservation officer, and a group of wildlife rehabbers. Most of these individuals are not only people with decades of wildlife rehab experience, but the majority of them have been on the WRAC since it started.

Of the rehabbers on WRAC, two retired from rehab and then left WRAC after serving well for years. One joined the WRAC after they left. The others have been there since the beginning. In that same time frame, the employed Wildlife Liaison position has changed SEVEN times!

That just goes to show the level of dedication WI rehabbers have! Many thanks to all of them.

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