Friday, December 2, 2016

Look for higher fees, business billboards at WI state parks

The 'chamber of commerce mentality' Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources which agency Secretary, former developer and McDonald's manager Cathy Stepp - - 
Wisconsin DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp proudly shows off her first deer, taken opening weekend last year. In the upcoming TV Special "Deer Hunt Wisconsin 2012, Stepp urges male hunters to take more girls and women hunting. "The secret's out," she says. "Hunting is a lot of fun, so don't keep it to yourselves."  photo courtesy of Wisconsin DNR

- - Scott Walker and their fee-happy, fake-friends-of-the-working-family GOP legislative allies have foisted on our formerly progressive state are looking to a) again raise state parks fees and, b) raise more money to replace the tax dollars they stripped from the DNR budget by, c) selling signage space so sponsoring corporations can welcome you to your favorite state park or trail.

Imagine setting up camp or heading off into the north woods with a billboard greeting or sendoff from the good folks who want to sell you triple-decker bacon burgers, gasoline, weedkiller, or ED pills.

For which the donating corporations would get a tax write-off, or as it's called over in accounting - - a win-win.

On, Wisconsin - - continuing downward:

WI DNR reorg. closes that 'chamber of commerce' loop, Part 5

This is all particularly relevant now that Stepp wants to change the rules and allow big water users and other permit applicants to self-regulate by writing their own permits, thus dictating the terms of their operations as well as any post-permitting enforcement even if the public's land and water is at stake.
Little wonder, then, that the golf course the Kohler Co. is planning to build on a nature preserve adjoining Kohler Andrae State Park along Lake Michigan south of Sheboygan includes incorporating between four and 19 acres of parkland, and that the proposal is being reviewed by the DNR without a formal permit application by the company.
And when I read this line in the Wisconsin State Journal's account of today's DNR reorganization which hands out deregulatory and privatization favors to big ag, feedlot operators, forest insiders and others, I said, out loud, "case closed."
"From what we've seen we have been very supportive of the plan," Lucas Vebber, director of environmental and energy policy for Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. 
And it dovetails with Stepp having said at her presentation this morning, I'm told - - that she had "run the organization" from her first day on the job "with as much private sector business perspectives as we could infuse into government.”

After all, she had waxed sentimentally about the good old days when she could move around her McDonald burger-flippers a lot more easily than civil servants and union members she was stuck with at DNR:

As reported by The Wisconsin State Journal:

Stepp recalled her days as a McDonald’s restaurant manager as she talked about how state employment rules have hobbled the DNR. Stepp said she could quickly mobilize her fast-food employees when a busload of customers arrived unexpectedly, but the DNR can’t react that nimbly to retirements.
Earlier posts about the DNR's reorganization were posted on Nov. 30th - -  here,  herehere, and here

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Billboards? More like concessions for food, trails and camping. And don't forget, the Governor now has the power to sell off whatever land he wants.