No more DNR?
I have just finished reading much the the latest Wisconsin Outdoor News. It's a great issue with a articles on a variety of outdoor interests. The entertaining editorials section alone is worth the cost of the magazine.
There were articles about how the new paper tags are being printed off in duplicate by poachers, how the leader of the Conservation Congress accidentally speared a carp and could lose his position, CWD, decline of deer and walleye, sturgeon spearing, how to build a wood duck house, and more.
In the "Mixed Bag" section on page 4 that says the proposed split up of the DNR (which is the subject of this thread) is not going to be included in the state budget. Our leaders are going to allow Secretary Stepp a chance to reorganize the existing agencies.
A recent La Crosse Tribune article stated that our state legislature wants to put in the state budget the elimination of Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine.
They give as justification:
The government should not be involved in printing. Conservation patrons should not have to pay $6.00 plus change for a subscription - it should be a choice. Not enough people even read it.
I called Joel Kleefish's office - he is the Chair of the state's Natural Resources and Stewardship Committee to let his phone person know that:
I get the conservation patron's license and the $6.00 plus dollars is a bargain for getting such an informative magazine that is intended to educate the public and that I heard that a poll on the readership indicated that most subscribers do read it - in fact, most subscribers are not conservation patron license holders .88,000 people get it.
I am aware that the magazine is self - supporting - it's not costing the tax payer anything. So, what is the real reason to want it out of circulation?
I am aware that leaders of Wisconsin conservation groups are opposed to discontinuation of the magazine - it is an environmental education tool. A way for people to stay informed.
You guys heard about eliminating the mill tax that funds the forestry department? Article I read said it would save Property taxes by 90 million which would miraculously get replaced with funding from some other source. Looks like they are trying to choke out the division of forestry as well. Should be pretty easy once they get rid of a dedicated funding source. This will guarantee more robbing Peter to pay Paul....
X2 on that post, Eric.
Good news is that this item is not included in the budget. If it were to be introduced as separate legislation it will at the very least, have to be debated on its own merits rather then sneaking something like that into the budget.
I see many comments regarding creating individual divisions independent of one another in the DNR. The problem with that is they are all interconnected. You can't address fish and game without water quality or Forestry. Forestry goals are adjusted to improve wildlife habitat in many cases . Addressing water quality and shoreline clearing affects recruitment of fish and spawning success.
Ever since Walker took office he has reduced staff in the DNR but maintained and added to their responsibilities. That is why an understaffed fish and game department has been forced to take on many extra duties and a backlog develops.
We have been blessed with 1000's of lakes in Wisconsin and they are owned by everyone (the public). Problems occur when property owners treat them as if they own them. Removing logs and weeds destroys habitat for aquatic creatures. It would be not different than a neighbor plowing up your own back yard.
Shoreline cover is extremely important to the development of organisms at the bottom of the food chain. Without them we won't have the larger fish. One technique that fisheries biologists use to improve habitat is to cut trees and have them fall into the water for cover for small fish and other organisms. The two lakes I have seen this on are Plum and Shannon in Vilas county. While most of the property owners will understand this there are too many that are ignorant of the facts or just don't care. Same people that take their limit of panfish every day and complain that the muskies are responsible for the low panish populations.