Wausau airport committee postpones trapping discussion

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) — The discussion for potential trapping on a portion of Wausau’s Downtown Airport was postponed until next March.

The proposal was on the agenda for the airport committee on Wednesday.

Airport officials said skunks have become an issue in the area and fear they could potentially cause a fatal accident on the tarmac.

“The issues we talked about at the meeting mainly pertained to skunks,” Chris Hamerla, of Rothschild said.

Committee members felt they needed more time to do research and look into Federal Aviation Administration rulings before making any decisions.

During public comment, a handful of central Wisconsin residents spoke to the issue. Some were very strongly opposed to the idea. Others, including the trapper who brought the idea to the table, were for it.

Hamerla is the trapper who brought the idea to the committee.  He wants to trap fur-bearing animals in a wooded area between the airport and the Wisconsin River.

It wouldn’t be a trap and release. The animals would be killed and their fur would be used in other ways.

Peckham told residents it would be behind tall fencing so pets and kids would not be at risk, but some residents don’t agree.

“With trapping, it’s indiscriminate so it could be an animal getting caught,” Wausau resident, David Woods said.

Hamerla disagreed.

“There’s a variety of traps that can be used,” Hamerla said. “So whatever is best in that situation can be used but, if the fear is people’s pets getting in there, getting killed, then we don’t use traps that can do that.”

If the committee likes the idea come March, a proposed city ordinance will be in the works.

The proposed ordinance would go the Public Health and Safety Committee for a possible recommendation to the full council.

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