Wisconsin Conservation Voters
Press Release

Budget Reaction: Stewardship Program Frozen; More Politics Added to the DNR

Conservationists ask legislature to Improve governor’s budget.

By - Feb 4th, 2015 03:04 pm

Madison – Governor Walker’s proposed budget fails Wisconsin’s air, land, and water in devastating ways, including a recommendation to freeze the Stewardship Program, Wisconsin’s popular land protection program, until 2028.

“Governor Walker’s budget is inexplicably off the mark. The Stewardship Program provides public places for all Wisconsinites to enjoy and supports healthy communities and healthy local economies. Why would he want to cut the legs out from under a program that has been so popular and has such a positive impact, not just to Wisconsinites today, but to future generations?” said Anne Sayers, Program Director.

The hallmark of the Stewardship Program is that it makes the most beautiful and diverse places accessible to all Wisconsinites, including hunters and fishermen. Polling by The Nature Conservancy found that 90% of Wisconsinites support funding the Stewardship Program, even in tight fiscal times.

The Governor’s proposed budget would also remove the authority of the Natural Resources Board, a citizen board that advises the Department of Natural Resources.

“The very last thing Wisconsin needs when it comes to natural resource management is more politics guiding the decisions. This is a purely political maneuver with no fiscal impact. Governor Walker may have thought he could sneak this by the voters of Wisconsin, but I don’t think it’s going to fly under the radar. Hunters and anglers, hikers and bikers, land trust advocates and birders all have fought in the past to keep politics out of natural resource decisions. I don’t think it will be any different with this terrible proposal,” said Sayers.

Conservationists look forward to working with legislators toward a state budget that solves these and other proposals in Governor Walker’s budget that negatively impact Wisconsin’s air, land, and water.

Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to electing conservation leaders, holding decision makers accountable and encouraging lawmakers to champion conservation policies that effectively protect Wisconsin’s public health and natural resources.

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