Sunday, March 22, 2009

Unprecedented Legislative Support for DNR Secretary Appointment Bill Has Overwhelming Conservationists Backing

Poynette: Today, the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, the state’s largest conservation organization, comprised of 164 hunting, fishing, trapping and forestry organizations, extends its deepest appreciation to the 68 state senators and representatives that have cosponsored Assembly Bill 138 which restores the appointment authority of the DNR Secretary back to the Natural Resources Board. The Board appointment authority was initially established by the Legislature in 1928 under the leadership of Aldo Leopold and other conservation leaders with the strong political backing of hunters, anglers and trappers. The concept of a Board appointed Secretary is to promote professionally based natural resources management with broad public input over direct political influence in natural resource decision-making.

“The sportsmen and women in this state overwhelmingly support the restoration of the appointment authority of the DNR Secretary to the Board,” indicated Lil Pipping, (Elkhart Lake), Federation President. “When this measure is brought up before the Wisconsin Conservation Congress it receives 90% approval from the state’s sportsmen and women.”

“Wisconsin’s hunters, anglers and trappers would like to thank each and everyone of the sixty-eight legislative cosponsors of the restoration bill,” stated Ralph Fritsch, (Kaukauna), WWF Wildlife Committee Chair. “A special thank you and appreciation is due to the bipartisan efforts of the lead cosponsors of the bill: Representatives Spencer Black (Madison), Dean Kaufert (Neenah) and Mary Hubler (Rice Lake) and Senators Bob Wirch (Kenosha) and Rob Cowles (Green Bay).
“In the thirty-eight years of observing and working with the Legislature, I can not remember a majority of both houses of the legislature endorsing a substantive piece of legislation of this nature,” provided George Meyer, WWF Executive Director. “This incredible legislative support is a reflection of the deep seated feelings, tenacity and hard work of Wisconsin’s sportsmen and women on this issue, it is really a visceral issue to Wisconsin hunters, anglers and trappers.”

The Wisconsin Wildlife Federation is dedicated to conservation education and the advancement of sound conservation policies on a state and national level. The WWF is the state affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation. For further information, please contact George Meyer, Executive Director, Wisconsin Wildlife Federation at 608-516-5545.

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