Scott Walker……. A Legacy of Natural Resource Destruction…….Letter To The Editor….

by Free Speech on March 23, 2015

Lodi, WI~

Lodi Valley News serving Lodi, WI & the Lake Wisconsin area with local information since Earth Day 2008.

 

Wisconsin has a long and proud legacy of protecting our state’s natural resources.  After all, some of the nation’s greatest conservationists were Wisconsinites—John Muir, Aldo Leopold and Gaylord Nelson among them.  Sadly, we’re currently seeing an all-out assault on our conservation tradition by Governor Walker and the Legislature.  Here are just a few examples:

  • The first “environmental” bill passed by Governor Walker in 2012 dismantled protection of our state’s wetlands—those important ecosystems that protect our water resources.
  • Two years ago, Governor Walker and the Legislature provided Gogebic Taconite, an out-of-state mining company, the legal means to bypass strict state environmental laws to develop the largest iron ore mine in the country in northern Wisconsin.  Ironically, the company has recently pulled out of Wisconsin.
  • The Legislature passed and Governor Walker signed a bill that disallowed local control of mining regulations for the frac sand mines in Central Wisconsin, thereby giving carte blanche to companies involved in this destructive and polluting industry.
  • In the last state budget, Walker and the Legislature eroded the most important conservation program in the state—the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund that has protected 500,000 acres of recreational and sensitive lands for public since 1989.  Not only was funding greatly reduced, but also DNR was “obligated” to sell 10,000 acres of OUR public lands!
  • Governor Walker’s proposed budget this spring would completely defund the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund for 13 years, thereby halting the acquisition of ALL conservation lands by DNR, land trusts like Ice Age Trail Alliance, and other conservation groups.
  • Furthermore, Walker’s proposed budget would eliminate many key DNR and UW Extension staff and County Land Conservationists, thereby gutting important natural resources research and education positions.
  • The Governor has proposed making the Natural Resources Board an “advisory” board, thereby stripping this important board of any oversight of DNR policy.

 

These and other actions undermine Wisconsin’s strong conservation tradition.  Conserving our vital lands, waters and wetlands  is NOT a political nor partisan issue. The health and well-being of all citizens is dependent upon clean water, clean air and healthy landscapes.  Our state parks and public lands provide unique recreational and aesthetic experiences for everyone.  We should stand united to insist that our state’s public natural resources be protected.  I encourage citizens to speak out against this war on our natural resources.

 

Charlie Luthin

540 N. Main Street

Lodi  WI 53555

608-358-7120

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