Monday, May 4, 2015

Walker budget raises fees, strips funding from state parks

[Updated] Walker's proposed elimination of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources scientists and other program cuts to the agency have gotten a lot of attention, but what of his plan to remove all funding for state parks improvements, upkeep, and staffing - - while also raising entrance and overnight camping fees?

It's part of his systematic, ideological attack on the agency, downgrading it to a simple hunting-and-fishing licensing bureau - - with eased permissions to fill wetlands, dig sand mines or buy state lands for private ownership - - and if things at the DNR keep going the developers and polluters' way, everyday people with tourist dollars to spend will avoid chamber-of-commerce mentality Wisconsin and choose Minnesota, with its expanded public recreation and appreciation opportunities, as their vacation destination:
Governor’s budget proposal would help maintain vitality of state parks 
(Released March 20, 2015) More than 8 million people visit Minnesota state parks each year with nearly 1.3 million of them traveling from other states or countries. This year, Gov. Mark Dayton has recommended a much-needed boost in funding for Minnesota state parks and recreation areas to ensure that they remain well-maintained attractions. 
Walker foolishly failed the other day to detract from Minnesota's obvious advantages in the cross-border battle for jobs, revenues and good press, but cutting Wisconsin state parks' upkeep and expansion while Minnesota is upgrading its sites pretty much hands Minnesota another win.

Is this really what Wisconsinites and our tourism businesses expect and want for their iconic state parks, like Peninsula and Devil's Lake, as well as Kohler Andrae already threatened by golf course development adjacent to and even inside its boundaries?

noted the proposed state parks' budgets cuts a few months ago, but it's time to get back to the issue and raise hell about it as the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee takes it up Thursday.


my5cents said...

Increasing fees on parks and outdoor recreation is another tax increase on poor people who use those parks more than anyone else. They can't afford to take lavish vacations so going to the park to camp or fish is what they do to relax. When they can no longer afford the fees, the parks will suffer. It is the wrong way to go. Apparently this is Walker's way of showing how much he appreciates all the tourism Wisconsin gets. I don't get it and never will. That's exactly what Thompson did back in the 1990's. Gave back surpluses to the people and then had to turn around and raise fees on everything to make up for the losses. None of it makes any sense whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

5 Cents

It makes a lot of sense if your base is out-of-state multinational corporations and billionaires. Being able to cut the taxes on their business interests generates boatloads of money for your political ambitions. To understand everything Walker, one must realize that we are not who he is playing to.

The plan is to build teabaggin' credentials for 2016 and get millions and millions of dollars for the campaign from the koch brothers and others that would tear Wisconsin down for their own interests.

This is just a national version of how he destroyed Milwaukee and then used these failures to inflame racism and anger against Wisconsin's biggest city. He actually went to other parts of the state, pointed to his failures there, and said, “We don't want Wisconsin to become like Milwaukee”.

Anonymous said...

Of course, it goes without saying, but needs to be part of the dialog, that "divide-and-conquer" politics where Scott Walker undermines the public coffers'fiscal integrity while crashing the economy cannot promote him to higher-and-higher offices without remarkable amounts of propaganda.

Remember, the koch's can always find another tool and Wisconsin's media would just catapulp this shill into office even if we can defeat Walker at the polls. Without the disinformation of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the rightwing media echo chamber it leads, there is no Gov. Scott Walker.

my5cents said...

To Anon 9:24
You are so right. I tend to think people would do the right thing just because it is the right thing to do. However, I failed to take into consideration the fact that Walker only cares about himself and whatever he can do to make himself look good in the eyes of his masters and out of stater's. I also neglected to remember how much he lies to everyone everywhere. You are so right about how he helped destroy Milwaukee and then turns around and bad mouths it for being what he made it. I was thinking about how he was bragging up how much the state brought in in tourism dollars and not all of the other stuff. He doesn't expect to be here to live with the fallout from his budget cuts after next year, so why should he care.

Anonymous said...

5 cents

Not only does he not care about the mess he leaves behind in Wisconsin, with the help of media strategists and the media itself, he will use it to his advantage. It makes no sense, is entirely irrational, and would be an easy story to truthfully tell; but the media doesn't exist to tell the truth and across America, is hyper-concentrated (highly-concentrated in Wisconsin too).

Six multinational corporations control 90% of U.S. Media, so no one should be surprised that our politics are dominated by multinational corporate interests & billionaires:

Anonymous said...

No Walker talks to God and is the Second Coming of Christ stories in the media this weekend. WTF?!?!?!?!?!

There were bunches and bunches of them last weekend.

Anonymous said...

If God told Scott Walker to strip funding from state parks, then this is God's will and no human has any right to question it. We know, from the many media reports, that Scott Walker talks to God about EVERYTHING!

I am not sure why God told Scott Walker to have Timmy Russell steal from widows of men that gave their lives for their country, but Our Lord works in ways beyond our ability to understnad.

Since these cuts come directly from God, per the reports in my newspaper last weekend, then they are part of God's plan. It doesn't matter whether God is doing this to punish us or if God wants to see people not waste time being idle in a park.

I for one am just grateful that God is defunding our parks instead of flooding the earth with 40 days and 40 nights of nonstop rain. When you consider the alternatives, listening to the Will of God as Our Lord directly states it to Gov. Scott Walker is really not so bad after all.

Anonymous said...

Instead of funding state parks, Walker has proposed $220 million in funding for a new arena for the benefit of Milwaukee Bucks-owning billionaires.

His bill also will make the state responsible for managing a bar district separate from the arena as well, as the team's practice facility. No one is sure how much taxpayers will get snookered to build this bar district, and an arena. Whatever the amount, it would make a huge positive impact on state parks and conservation land. These two must be linked when fighting for state parks.