Conservation Congress in proposed budget at risk ??

3/15/15 @ 3:29 PM
ORIGINAL POST
trouter
trouter
USER since 7/3/01
I was told by a friend in Madison that the original draft of the state budget called for the Wisconsin Conservation Congress to be disbanded. So I called my state representatives in Madison. They knew nothing about the budget changes until the budget became public. I then called the Governors office. They would not offer any minutes from budget meetings of any kind. They suggested I file a freedom of information request. Which I did. The current issue of Wisconsin Outdoor News reports that Tom Tiffany is behind the changes to the DNR in the state budget. So I contacted him via facebook. He told me that "Gov. Walked drafted the proposed budget. Not me." At this point I was a little confused. The DNR staff had no idea of the changes proposed in the new budget. They were not consulted about the changes. Despite the open records laws in Wisconsin, no open records are available about who added the drastic changes to the DNR in the budget. Who in Madison wants to disband the Wisconsin Conservation Congress ?? Who stopped it from being in the budget ? Why are there no open records of budget meetings???
Edited on 3/20/15 10:29 AM
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Displaying 20 to 29 of 96 Posts
3/19/15 @ 9:15 AM
Bozo
Bozo
USER since 7/29/02
The budget actually increases our debt just in other areas. Check this out with gathering waters,org This from the site

The overall investment in Stewardship over 3 decades from 1990-2020 would be less than Governor Walker is proposing for transportation funding over the next 2 years.

Edited on 3/19/15 9:20 AM
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3/19/15 @ 9:11 AM
Bozo
Bozo
USER since 7/29/02
We can slow it down just don't halt it.

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3/19/15 @ 9:09 AM
Bozo
Bozo
USER since 7/29/02
Yes,but then why did Walker propose floating a 220 million dollar bond for an arena for the Bucks? It is about values.

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3/19/15 @ 9:05 AM
yahay
yahay
USER since 11/28/07
So is it possible that the reason for the moratorium is to curtail spending in hopes of bringing our debt down?

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3/19/15 @ 9:02 AM
zeplure
zeplure
USER since 2/11/02
Wisconsin taxpayers are spending $1.6 million a week to pay the debt service, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

This is the problem, the debt spending needs to be brought under control. If the debt spending is brought to a manageable level even more land can be bought. Sending large amounts of money on interest payments takes away from what could be spent on land purchases.

If the debt was cut in half that would free up over 41.5 million dollars a year for land purchases. That's a lot of land!

Nobody likes cuts or moratoriums but some make sense when they are made when you break them down.

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3/19/15 @ 8:57 AM
Bozo
Bozo
USER since 7/29/02
Read that article and note the lines about freezing all purchases. That includes a major forest in the north west part of the state. That would be the Brule St croix. Look this up they are in process on a new purchase. This bill would leave it unfinished until 2028.

Edited on 3/19/15 9:06 AM
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3/19/15 @ 8:44 AM
Bozo
Bozo
USER since 7/29/02
here are some facts from jsonlineGov. Scott Walker's plan to freeze spending for land purchases is the latest and most aggressive attempt by the governor and the Legislature to rein in a program that has protected more than 650,000 acres over the past quarter-century.

The conservation work has touched every corner of the state, but it has come with a hefty price tag. The cost of the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund has mushroomed since 1990, with total spending at $641.8 million.

Wisconsin taxpayers are spending $1.6 million a week to pay the debt service, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

"It's time that we start paying down our debt," said Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst), a member of the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee. "It's a good time to take a timeout."

With Walker's proposed spending freeze casting a big chill over the program, a coalition of environmental and sporting groups has begun lobbying against the cuts.

His proposal would stop land acquisitions until 2028 — the target when borrowing costs would fall from $84 million a year to $54 million, according to the DNR.

The freeze would halt all land transactions — from massive deals that can sprawl for 100 square miles to smaller buys, where the DNR shares costs with local land trusts.

The hallmark of stewardship: Public access is assured and land is protected forever.

In Milwaukee, program spending has included$5 million to finance the start-up of Lakeshore State Park next to the Summerfest grounds and $4 million for the Hank Aaron State Trail in the Menomonee Valley.

Since 1990, local units of government and nonprofits in Waukesha County have received $20.8 million under stewardship; in Ozaukee County, $12.7 million; in Washington County, $11.7 million; in Milwaukee County, $7.9 million; and in Racine County, $7.2 million, Legislative Fiscal Bureau documents show.

"The moratorium will be devastating to land conservation in Wisconsin," said Mike Carlson, external relations director for Gathering Waters Conservancy, a statewide organization that advises local land trusts.

Despite decades of acquisitions, Carlson said Wisconsin ranks behind Michigan and Minnesota in state land holdings. Wisconsin's 4% in DNR-held land compares with 12% in Michigan and 11% in Minnesota, figures from the three states show.

He also said the freeze ignores the economic boost that public land and stewardship-funded improvements give communities.

A 2008 study by Madison-based Northstar Economics Inc. for Trout Unlimited found that $1 spent repairing stream banks — an expense the program helps pay for — returned $24.50 to communities in the Driftless region of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois.

Walker's plans face some objections in his own party, including from Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester.)

Rep. Al Ott (R-Forest Junction), chairman of the Assembly Natural Resources and Sporting Heritage Committee, also opposes a

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3/19/15 @ 8:25 AM
nihsif
nihsif
MEMBER since 6/15/01
I will step aside for now, and wait until there is solid fact to debate

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3/19/15 @ 8:23 AM
nihsif
nihsif
MEMBER since 6/15/01
it's a moratorium , for 10 years... when you're 8, 10 years sounds like forever, in life, it's a short span, and as I mentioned earlier, I am sure there will be provision for "emergency" land purchase ... I doubt very much what is being touted by some is the actual facts of how this will be implemented.... assuming it has been passed into law... and like I said, should it prove to be a disaster, which I doubt it will, but it could, then there is always ways to correct

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3/19/15 @ 8:17 AM
Bozo
Bozo
USER since 7/29/02
What facts,what part of the word freeze don't you understand? It means that for ten or more years this fund will not buy any more land. That means that some one time opportunities could be missed.

Traxx actually said something worth looking into for small tracts of land. The state might want to sell small pieces to private land trusts that protect land. Land trusts have been used to protect the KK river in the north west part of the state.

I fish in an area where there was a resort on the edge of a mandated wilderness area and the Feds wanted to keep that resort from using motorboats in the canoe wilderness. So when the property came up for sale the Feds helped arrange the sale to a conservancy,which in turn found a private buyer who would operate the resort without the motor boats. This was all deeded and made legally binding. You can get creative.

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Displaying 20 to 29 of 96 Posts