Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters is committed to protecting and fostering Wisconsin’s proud hunting heritage by advocating on behalf of Wisconsin’s sportsmen and women. We support hunter education and training. We support the concept of the Sporting Heritage Grant. What we do not support is a rigged process for awarding the grant that reeks of cronyism.
By writing extremely narrow grant guidelines and failing to advertise its existence, the state legislature is attempting to buffalo the many authentic hunting organizations in our state for the benefit of a single political front group.
We urge the special committee reviewing this grant application to table this discussion today. We strongly suggest that the legislature revisit and revise the grant guidelines, beginning by changing the criteria to allow state groups with national affiliations to be considered. The criteria should also require that qualifying organizations have the ability to hit the ground running – with a demonstrated history, network, and experience in working with Wisconsin hunters “doing outdoor education, recruitment, and retention of sportsmen and women,” which is the stated intent of the Sporting Heritage Grant. It is not too much to ask that any organization receiving half a million dollars from taxpayers each biennium in perpetuity have the infrastructure and proven expertise to accomplish the stated goal of the grant.
Once the committee gets its “ducks in a row,” Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters will volunteer to assist in disseminating the grant opportunity to our network of qualified hunting organizations to help ensure that the most qualified applicant is identified…and that the goal of educating hunters and engaging youth in our hunting traditions is realized.
For decision makers concerned about government transparency and judicious use of taxpayer dollars, the only option is to stop this grant process in its tracks, back up, and try again.
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Government Handout to Political Front Group Cheats Wisconsin’s Authentic Hunting Organizations
Statement of Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters