Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Another day in WI, another day of crazy water giveaway proposals

Among the items on today's giveaway list to get a 'hearing' by GOP legislators in thrall to developers and other big water users: giving the Joint Finance on Committee, with its 12-4 GOP gerrymandered long-term lockdown, the authority to decide what constitutes a waterway with special characteristics that need to be protected from encroachment.
That power currently rests with the Department of Natural Resources, and yes, Walker and his legislative allies have cut science staffers and other positions there, but giving this technical and crucial authority over waters that belong to everyone (see Article IX, Wisconsin State Constitution), to elected officials who remain in office through fund-raising is another level of madness.

Remember when Glenn Grothman played scientist, back in the day?

Does Wisconsin always have to be the capital of Nutty Nation?

Do we have to keep showing disinterest in the public interest, and our best waters?

This was and could still be the state of John Muir, Aldo Leopold and the forward-thinking, bi-partisan team of ex-Governors Gaylord Nelson and Warren Knowles who partnered to create the state's forest-and wetland-purchase Stewardship Fund, also under attack.


Anonymous said...

Can anyone believe that they want to pass a law that takes away the authority of the DNR to designate special natural resource areas and give it to the Joint Finance Committee. The JFC 2ouldn't know a special natural resource unless someone attached a financial value to it........and then they would sell it to the highest bidder rather than preserve it for future generations.

my5cents said...

Our natural resources have nothing in common with finance. I sure do hope those voters who are voting these people into office are learning from their mistake and do a turn around in the next election cycle beginning with the Legislature and then the Senate. We are, unfortunately stuck with Walker for three more years, but not with all of the others. Time for a change in our state government.

None of this surprises me. Walker dumps everything he can onto others to take care of with certain exceptions. What do they have against the DNR anyway. It is called the Department of Natural Resources, not the Financial Department of Natural Resources, for a reason.

Anonymous said...

One thing not often mentioned that even if DNR personnel are committed to protecting wetlands as much as they can, it's impossible. DNR wetland cannot keep up with all the previous changes, now this? This is a huge massive bill, it would take months just to figure out what to do and the Bureau Chief (Pam Biersach) has stated that no matter what, vacancies will not be filled except for central office administrative positions....no field staff period.

So terrible regulations and no staff to enforce even that. The environment especially water is so screwed. Congratulations voters of Wiscosin, you are reaping what you voted for. People do not generally see or realize the implications of this power and resource grab.
It truly is open season on wetlands.

Anonymous said...


It doesn't call for the Joint Finance committee to designate ASNARI, it calls for the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules to do it. Doesn't make it better but just a friendly correction.

James Rowen said...

Was there a change? The newspaper story linked in the posting says "The bill would limit the kinds of water bodies to which that designation can be given, and those designations would be approved by the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee rather than the DNR board.?