Friday, January 6, 2017

Conservative N. WI paper takes credit for DNR's climate change scrub

The Lakeland Times newspaper says it complained to Wisconsin DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp that the agency's webpages were endorsing the "dramatic...hypothesis" of human-caused climate change, and shortly thereafter, the information was gone.
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
This is how policy, science and public information dissemination is being handled in Scott Walker's Wisconsin through his intentionally-degraded "chamber of commerce mentality" DNR.

Five months ago, the US EPA posted a fact sheet about climate change and its consequences in Wisconsin, including impacts on rainfall, temperature, agriculture, forest land, fish, wildlife, water, recreation, air quality and health.

I posted the first story about the deletions on December 22nd, but no one until today had offered a detailed explanation for the timing of changes other than an agency spokesman having said the scrubbing was a routine updating.

Here is the newspaper's story, and it also includes information from Stepp that the DNR has severed its partnership with UW scientists who had collaborated on the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts.

After Times' questions, DNR web page catches up to policy
Climate-change flap illustrates tension inside natural resources agency
After questioning from The Lakeland Times, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has changed its climate-change web page to reflect a policy of neutrality on its causes and effects, rather than embracing the dramatic manmade hypothesis the web page has touted since the Doyle administration...
But how about the rest of the agency's policies and programs, which have real-life economic consequences?
There are increasing signs that, when she discovers advocacy inside the organization, Stepp is indeed removing the biases and steering the course away from bureaucratic activism, and it appears to be more significant than mere cosmetic changes on the website.
The climate change guide for teachers, for example, has been removed from the agency's teacher pages on its website, and Stepp says the agency's partnership with WICCI has come to an end.


Anonymous said...

Something else they could take credit for?

12/3/2010 10:03:00 AM
Secret cable to Walker: Cut off the head of the snake - now

"Please, Mr. Walker, among all the busy tasks you will undertake upon your inauguration, please - once and for all - take action to split the DNR into as many pieces as you possibly can. Two will do, if that's all we can get."

"Mr. Walker, at least in his conversations with this newspaper, has been lukewarm to the idea. He believes he can reform the agency by appointing a strong secretary.

"I believe you can fix (the DNR) by having leaders who are appointed by a strong governor and hold people accountable," he said. "I think if you have an accountable administration that holds the DNR secretary accountable, I think you can (accomplish reform)."

With all due respect, that's a pipe dream. The DNR is run by a cadre of seasoned bureaucrats who have spent decades building their power base, both among entrenched special interests and on the Natural Resources Board, which stands ready to thwart any new DNR chief it disagrees with.

These bureaucrats are the new bosses, and they have built an internal culture of deception that is too big to be managed; the DNR represents a systemic failure that no one person can repair - it must be transformed; it must be destroyed.

Reformers have been disappointed by Republicans too many times."

Anonymous said...

It is way past time to call for Stepp's resignation. She is not competent to run an agency that oversees resources owned by all of us. Year after year the DNR budget has been cut under her watch. Year after year environmental laws and their enforcement have taken a beating. In six years she has not been able to convince the legislature that preserving the very air we breath, the water we drink and the land that supports the crops and animals we eat is a worthwhile investment of our tax money.

If you are reading this, think long and hard about what it will mean to lose those things that make Wisconsin worth living in and then call for Cathy Stepp to resign. She has failed everyone but the greedy, self-serving corporations that want to steal resources that have belonged to us since Wisconsin became a state.

Booshed again said...

>>>In six years she has not been able to convince the legislature that preserving the very air we breath, the water we drink and the land that supports the crops and animals we eat is a worthwhile investment of our tax money.<<<

This is not an accident.


Anonymous said...

Not an accident but out of step with what the people of Wisconsin seem to want.