Thursday, August 24, 2017

Walker, GOP Legislature continue assault on DNR, public waters

Not content with stripping out scientists, and climate change information, and management of water in the public interest from the DNR, see: Foxconn, and groundwater privatization, etc. - - Walker and his special-interest legislative bellhops have opened a new line of attack on the agency and its ability to focus on public water rights:

Further bury what used to be the DNR's highly-respected Water Division into a jargon-laden, vaguely-titled nothing-to-do-with water "Division of External Services" that becomes a 'one-stop' business-friendly operation.

Like what the Department of Commerce used to be before Walker changed that to a partisan campaign donor favor bank, a/k/a/ Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

But now Wisconsin business needs even more special, should we say, official internal services to speed businesses external needs, given Foxconn, a looming new metals mining bill, intentional CAFO regulation disregard, faster deforestation, easier sand mine expansion, wetlands sacrifice, and more.

This latest DNR reorganization is par for the course as Walker shifts and downgrades again the agency according to the 'chamber of commerce mentality' he's made its mission since taking office - - just more blatant.

Two suggestions:

*  Keep your eye on this DNR webpage about Wisconsin's waters belong to all the people of the state, per the constitution, blah blah blah 'external services.' How long before this increasingly irrelevant and inaccurate page goes the way of the DNR's climate change site?

*  And for context, you might read what former Water Division administrator Todd Ambs wrote about what had been and where things were already headed two years ago as Walker drained meaning from the DNR's mission.

It was a noble effort, the Water Division in the state Department of Natural Resources. But like many noble conservation efforts in this state, it has been eliminated.

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