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Committee Approves Wisconsin Burial Sites Bill

Bill Would Require State Historical Director To Consider Evidence Adding Land To Catalog

By
State Capitol
Marc Buehler (CC BY-NC 2.0)

A legislative committee has approved a bill that would require the state historical director to consider evidence for adding land to Wisconsin’s burial sites catalog.

Developers need permits to excavate on land listed in the catalog. Republicans introduced a bill two years ago that would have allowed quarry owners to excavate Ho-Chunk Nation burial grounds to prove human remains are buried there. The bill went nowhere but spurred legislative leaders to appoint a committee to study burial site protections.

The bill requires the historical director to consider whether evidence of human remains exists before cataloguing a site and establishes a process for challenging decisions and removing sites from the list.

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The Assembly Committee on Environment and Forestry approved the proposal on a 8-0 vote Thursday, clearing the way for a full Assembly vote.

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