Rep. Clark Statement on DNR Secretary’s Decision on United Sportsmen of Wisconsin Foundation, Inc.
MADISON – Rep. Clark issued the following statement today on WDNR Secretary Cathy Stepp’s decision not to finalize the agency’s grant award to United Sportsmen of Wisconsin Foundation, Inc.”I applaud Governor Walker and Secretary Stepp for making a common sense decision to suspend the poorly conceived grant award to United Sportsmen. In the 2013 state budget this legislature provided the DNR with a politically motivated directive to grant a half million dollars to an astro-turf front group with strong ties to ultra-conservatives, but no track record providing training or education to hunters or fisherman. Not only did the United Sportsmen mislead the DNR and the public about their failure to obtain federal 501(C)3 status, it has now been revealed that the president of United Sportsmen, the principle representative of the proposed grant recipient, was previously cited and convicted of violating state game laws.
I believe the Department acted within its authority to disallow this grant, as it is now clear that this organization does not have the capacity to build a credible program to train and recruit sportsmen and sportswomen. It is now up to the legislature to develop new guidelines for awarding these funds and to allow an open, transparent process to invite proposals from the many long-standing Wisconsin conservation organizations that could do this work. We have a long, proud conservation tradition in Wisconsin and I know I share a desire with legislators of both parties that we honor that tradition and not discredit it.”