Cathy Step says "thanks" in an agency online Weekly News site.
I, too, support the work of DNR employees, but look closely at the wording. It includes the mandatory sops to business under Scott Walker - - such as "your forest is providing sustainable wood products to fuel Wisconsin’s huge forest industry," - - and ironic references to air quality monitoring and landfill engineering work well done by DNR workers , when Walker is proposing to end state mandates and funding for recycling (get ready, landfill operators!) and Stepp has ended electronic distribution of early-stage alerts about unhealthy air.
And this phrase must really grate across the agency, in Madison neighborhoods and public employee households statewide: "There is no doubt this has been a tumultuous time in our economy and state government..."
Full text below:
Thanks to DNR employeesIn less than three short months since I had the privilege to take over as Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, I have gained a deep sense admiration for the work our DNR staff does.
I am proud of the dedicated men and women who have committed their careers to our great state. There is no doubt this has been a tumultuous time in our economy and state government, but I wish people could see what I see. Throughout controversy, DNR employees have stayed focused on their duties and responsibilities, and they have never lost sight of the fact that the work they do is critical to the well-being of us all.
DNR employees do more than manage permits, count deer and stock fish. They respond to threats to public safety—fires, floods, tornadoes and spills. They provide a line of protection for our air, land and water.
At this moment, DNR employees are monitoring air quality in southeast Wisconsin, rehabbing lakes, designing and implementing plans to restore impaired streams, and sprucing up our park campgrounds and bike trails for spirit-restoring summer recreation. They are working with local officials to make sure your drinking water is safe, your landfill is engineered well, and your forest is providing sustainable wood products to fuel Wisconsin’s huge forest industry.
Some will work tonight and throughout the weekend staffing customer service telephones, teaching recreational safety to your children, or meeting with local organizations to help with projects. And DNR conservation wardens, most working alone, will be out in the field performing one of the most dangerous law enforcement jobs in the nation.
Bottom line, your DNR employees are working in every county of the state in the finest traditions of public service to assure the sustainability of our resources for recreation and business and to protect and enhance our environment and public safety. Their work is vital to our quality of life.
As taxpayers and license buyers, I want you to know DNR has the utmost respect for each tax and user dollar we receive and that we are keenly aware your dollars fund our work. I pledge we will strive to invest your dollars efficiently, to produce the high level of customer service you expect, and continue to work hard for you.
So next time you turn on the tap to get a drink of water, boat that lunker fish or marvel at a turkey call in the distance, I hope your mind will flash on the men and women of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
Cathy Stepp, Secretary