Thursday, January 11, 2018

DNR urging easy transfer of park land for golf course

For Wisconsin's intentionally-underfunded and vulnerable state parks, the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board's January 24th meeting promises to be consequential.

Yesterday I noted that the Board, (NRB), which oversees many Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources operations, will be considering a DNR plan to raise fees at some of the most popular state parks.

Today I'm also learning that at the same meeting the DNR will ask the Board to approve changes in the way a state park's master plan can be amended.

The move is laden with jargon and bureaucratic language, but it appears designed to let the proposed controversial Kohler golf course south of Sheboygan change traffic patterns into and even acquire public land within the adjoining, popular Kohler Andrae State Park along the Lake Michigan shoreline, according to preservationists organized as Friends of the Black River Forest.
"There should be no change of rules which enables a private company to use our State Park land. For something as serious as changing rules which will allow all of our State Park lands to sell off, the public deserves an open hearing with more notice and information. It is our land," the group says on its Facebook page.
When do we discover that state parks' naming rights will be sold to businesses to make up for the loss of state operating funds Walker and GOP legislators stripped from everyday park operations? 

How soon will you drive into Buddy's Big Bacon Burger Park? Take a hike on the Acme Insecticide Walking Trail?

If Kohler can tear up his woodland-and-wetland-and artifact-rich nature preserve

and have state land next door it wants - - and, by the way, this move to have the Board further goose along a private business project that senior DNR management, the Governor, his Department of Administration and a compliant City of Sheboygan are all green-lighting - - further signals the project is a done deal, a fait accompli rapidly heading for a pro-developer/Walker donor win.

And, I suppose, to the courts, too.

So where does this march of Walker's 'chamber of commerce mentality' DNR and the state GOP's pollution policies stop?

Here is the Board agenda, and the item, #2.B.6, which would make it easier for a state park's master plan - - read:Kohler Andrae State Park - - to be amended for private advantage, as well as information about how to register to speak and/or send comments on the issue. 
The public is welcome to attend a Wisconsin Natural Resources Board (NRB) meeting. The NRB also provides opportunities for citizens to testify and to submit written comment about issues that come before the NRB. See complete information on public participation at Board meetings.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As a DNR staffer, who spent years working on this, I can tell you that this was a done deal at the outset.