Monday, November 12, 2018

Walker's move of CAFO oversight to DATCP appears dead

You may remember that Walker had said he'd use the 2019-'21 budget to shift oversight of large animal feeding operations from the DNR he'd systematically - weakened to the state Department of Ag, Trade and Consumer Protection, where Big Dairy and related corporate interests rule the roost.

Well, there's not going to be a Walker 2019-'21 state budget so it appears that CAFO oversight will remain where it is, and should be, and can actually be made effective if science and experts are returned to a reinvigorated DNR.
Meanwhile, a refocused DATCP which helps small farmers in need instead of enabling the big ones to get bigger would be another important step by the incoming Evers administration.

I'd covered some of the CAFO-oversight-to-DATCP sues in this 2017 post.

Walker wants to further drain the DNR's mission - - just as he did by wiping out its science bureau and laying off agency scientists; 
*And removing climate science and materials from the agency mission 
*And replacing civil service oversight of the DNR's forestry division with an industry insider and further separating that workforce from the rest of the DNR staff by moving the forest division up north 
*And, through budget cuts and favoritism, laying the groundwork for corporate sponsorships at state parks 
*And directing state parkland transfers to private owners for projects like the proposed, high-end, wetland-filling-and-polluting, artifact-threatening, dune-damaging golf course adjacent to Kohler Andrae State Park south of Sheboygan.
Now instead of giving the DNR the staff it needs to carry out its traditional, constitutionally-protected water resource mission in the public interest, Walker is out to move the DNR's already-weakened, overtly business-friendly 'oversight' of industrial-scale cattle and dairy operations from the water specialists and institutional memory and past practices at the DNR to the more friendly business-related confines of the State Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, (DATCP).

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