Wednesday, February 11, 2015

As WI sells public land, consider Walker 'managing' US Park System

This blog has covered Scott Walker's ideological destruction of Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources, his dismissal of agency science, and the direct threat to popular park land along Lake Michigan by a powerful Walker/GOP donor.

That donor, the industrialist and golf course developer Herb Kohler, wants a lease from the DNR to for 33 acres in Kohler-Andrea State Park, south of Sheboygan in the Town of Wilson.

At $1/yr. for 99 years.

To build into a Kohler-owned adjoining nature preserve that he'd cut and fill for another of his high-end 18-hole courses, with an access road, clubhouse and other facilities.

A few weeks ago I also wrote about state park land in central Wisconsin which a developer wants from the DNR to expand a ski resort.

Walker has the authority to sell any state asset, and the developer he's installed atop the DNR is happy with her new authority to sell 10,000 of DNR land while Walker's just-proposed budget freezes until 2028 any new land purchases to protect habitat, wetlands and other acreage for public purposes.

In light of greater publicity about the proposed ski resort and its impact on public land, and also considering Walker's special-interest driven push for the Presidency, imagine for a moment what he could do to the National Park System and National Forests where developers have always tried to extract self-serving access, ownership and other private benefits. How about a post-2016:, Walker-era 'improvements,' like:

Sandhill crane hunts, mini-ranches and condos in Yellowstone National Park?

Redwoods Forest charcoal briquettes by the bag?

Grand Canyon burgers and ATV rentals?

The Sequoia National Forest Motocross track?

Everglades jet boat racing?

In Wisconsin, Walker is dismantling the legacies of Aldo Leopold, John Muir and Gaylord Nelson.

Imagine what he'd do with Teddy Roosevelt's.


Anonymous said...

The amazing DNR just approved filling wetlands around La Crosse so that railroad tracks could be built to haul oil tanker cars with no environmental impact study despite public outcry against the proposal. Yet they're doing an extensive study about the environmental damage expanding the Rib Mt. ski complex might cause. The DNR approved the rail expansion in a flash but said it might take 2 years to do the study at Rib Mt. Obviously the speed of DNR action is correlated to how much money the player was willing to pay. When will the public wise up and realize that Walker is the most corrupt leader this state has ever experienced and that he cares not for them nor Wisconsin and that he is a pimp exploiting us for his own political and personal gain. He will never be president but he will ride off into a cushy conservative special interest job leaving Wisconsin in ashes. Even CRAZY Robin Vos will not want to be governor after Walker leaves the state in ruins!

old baldy said...

James: Please look into the proposed bill by Sanfillipo that would eliminate PILT (payment in lieu of taxes) to local gov't and school districts for state owned property. This will have a terrible effect on those local units with large public holding. Door county would be one for sure. Thanks

Anonymous said...

The font choice for this page is atrocious.

Matt Binetti said...

Thanks for writing this.

James Rowen said...

To anon. 1:o4. I have used this font for years. Never a complaint. What would you prefer?

Anonymous said...

Don't forget about the 66 DNR position being cut, of which all of the DNR educator positions are on the chopping block. This includes park educators, of which there use to be almost 20 and currently number only 10. 10 full-time educators with over 67 state parks, forests and recreation areas! This too will be contracted out similar to how Walker was trying to give his supporters McKenzie Education contract who had no educational experience or even outdoor skills teaching experience. State Parks are FOR SALE