Tuesday, July 8, 2014

WI DNR To Sell 10,000 Acres - - Nice Round Number - - Of Our Land

[Further updated at 11:05 a.m. Tuesday from 10:55 p.m. Monday The update includes the history of the DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp pushing for larger agency land sales since Walker put her "chamber of commerce mentality at the helm in 2011.]

 The GOP-led Wisconsin Legislature and Governor Walker are gearing up for The Mother of All Garage Sales - - at least 10,000 acres - - with price tags you may never see. And not necessarily sold to the highest bidder [Sic].

Public sale through mandatory open, competitive bidding? Well, the DNR says on its website that procedure is in the "may occur" category.

Really - - that's such an old-fashioned business model. And DNR boss and virtual-Commerce-Secretary Cathy Stepp has been pushing for more land sales as part the Walker administration's shrink- government ideology since 2011:

(Actually, the 'owner' is a trustee for we, the people.)
And not 5,000 acres, or 9,000 or 14,000, or 15,839.5, or acreage as needed based on a long-range plan - - just 10,000 acres, minimum - - an easily remembered round number.

Heck - - Put a dollar $ign in front of it and you've got yourself a modest, modern day, post-Citizens United-era campaign or Governor's Defense Fund donation.

These days, Bucky keeps it simple!

And inserted into the budget, along with permissions allowing "Wrong-Way Walker," his trusty team at the DOA and key GOP budget-drafting committee leaders to sell any state asset without all that pesky paperwork, cumbersome advertising and time-wasting, stupid competitive bidding.

All those above-board, transparent business practices are so yesterday, just like old-timey campaign coordination legal barriers and fairness firewalls.

Or email networks set up on home Internet routers instead of equipment sneaked into public offices.

And where are these 10,000 acres? Is there a big project or two or three with public purposes on the table, since the land is already the people's property, acquired with their/our money?

Oh, it's here and there and everywhere and nowhere special - - wherever DNR top brass with their specialized chamber-of-commerce mentality have spied surplus trees to log, or wetlands to fill (despite long-standing Wisconsin judicial and constitutional protections to the contrary), or trails or crop-land to dump for pennies on your dollar.

What's the rush?

They say it's to raise cash to pay down some of the lands' original acquisition costs, but in reality it's to make the ideological point that this environmentally-hostile, highway-hugging, wetlands-draining administration has absolutely no use for the land's original purpose:

To further fill out a land Stewardship program.

For a sort of wild parks' and open space access concept thought up by those bi-partisan, power mad socialist Governors Warren Knowles and Gaylord Nelson - - private sector buttinskis through and through - - who'd created the Stewardship fund, in concert with fellow-traveling legislators a long time ago, so that everyday Wisconsin citizens might enjoy more of the outdoors if they couldn't afford to buy their own 80 acres with cut trails, water rights and tall timber.


Common usages?

How yesterday is that?


Anonymous said...

The governator is obviously in a bind. His 2013-2015 budget is already in deep red ink and he's already borrowed or kicked the can down the road to the tune of doubling our long term debt. With tax revenues dwindling and a need for cash it's time for a liquidation sale. Some how the voters have to be shown how this man and his lap dog legislators have screwed over this state. Our economy is in the basement. Jobs have not developed with his scorched earth policies. Our environment is under attack and our schools are being sacrificed to privateers who want to profit off our kids but with no accountability. November cannot come soon enough.

CJ said...

Do you know about this? Are any of the lands listed for sale along the pipeline route?


CJ said...

More- http://www.o-wcommnews.com/2014/06/10/enbridges-canadian-tar-sands-oil-pipeline-through-wisconsin-to-be-bigger-than-keystone-xl/ [...To add insult to injury, Klein said, Enbridge does not pay any taxes in the counties or communities their pipeline traverses. Unlike other utility companies, the multibillion-dollar international company pays no fees or taxes for running their product (at the rate of 400,000 bpd) across the land, and they pay no property taxes. The county treasurer’s office confirmed last week that Enbridge is “exempt” from paying property taxes on its present site and will also be exempt from property taxes on any additional facilities they construct in the county.

While all eyes have been on TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline for the past two years, Enbridge has been quietly building a 5,000-mile network of new and expanded pipelines that will achieve the same goal as the Keystone, to carry rivers of toxic Canadian tar sands oil through the heartland of the United States and to refineries and ports in the Chicago area, the East coast, and the Gulf of Mexico for export to Europe and Asia. Enbridge Line 61 in Wisconsin is slated for expansion from 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 1.2 million bpd by the end of next year, while Keystone XL, which is facing increasing opposition, would carry 860,000 bpd....]

Anonymous said...

If these random parcels are along the pipeline route looks like the governor under the cover of the DNR is using secrecy and back room dark of night tactics to once again reward political favor with total disregard for the people he is deemed to serve.

Anonymous said...

Pipeline parcels are not the only concern. How many of these parcels will end up frac sand craters?