Now in control, there's nothing stopping Republicans. After reading the story below, I was beginning to think this was it for Wisconsin. I still feel sick. JS:
The state Department of Natural Resources is closing in on a major reorganization that could send duties to other agencies and streamline regulatory work, including an experimental plan to allow some businesses to draft their own environmental permits.Oh it gets worse...they're like the bully at the beach kicking down everybody's sandcastles:
Officials said the goal is to increase efficiency ... "We can't nibble around the edges," Deputy Secretary Kurt Thiede told employees last week. "...we are going to focus and be brave enough to say we are going to give certain things up."
...a GOP-led Legislature has been critical of an agency that it thinks has tilted too far toward protection ... Lawmakers have cut the agency's funding and ... limit DNR powers in recent years ... The parks system is expected to undergo significant changes, in part, because the Legislature cut funding last year that will require it to rely on user fees for support.
You won't even believe the following statement by DNR Sec. Cathy Stepp:
Stepp, who was appointed secretary in 2011 by Republican Gov. Scott Walker, spoke at a forum in Florida in January 2015 and expressed frustration in trying to spark a cultural shift with employees who hold strong environmental convictions ... Stepp, a former home builder, recalled at one agency listening session how an employee told her that the "deer and the butterflies and clean air and clean water, that those were our customers. And I said, 'Well, the last time I checked, they don't pay taxes and they don't sign our paychecks.'"
If you haven't gotten that empty, sinking feeling in your gut yet..oh, Wisconsin Manufacturing and Commerce likes the plan:
"DNR should be commended for their efforts to ... allow them to continue to align DNR's resources to our state's needs," Lucas Vebber, director of environmental and energy policy for WMC.Or the needs of the special interest donors:
In some cases, the DNR is contemplating turning over the brunt of permit writing to businesses. Most notable: Highly technical air pollution permits that regulate emissions at utilities, paper mills and chemical plants. Officials say the true expertise resides with the engineers and technical staff of the companies.On a federal level it's been just a brutal, lead by our own political pirates, including Paul Ryan (search "Roll Call" on this blog for a complete list). Republicans now want taxpayers to pay for shooting ranges on state and federal land:
HUNTING, FISHING ON FEDERAL LAND: The House passed (HR 2406) that would authorize federally funded shooting ranges on state and federal lands, limit Environmental Protection Agency regulation of ammunition and fishing lures as toxic substances and open all National Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service land to hunting, fishing and other public recreation.
Voting yes: Democrat Ron Kind, Republicans James Sensenbrenner, Glenn Grothman, Shawn Duffy, Reid Ribble. Voting no: Mark Pocan and Gwen Moore.
Democrats tried to save us all from lead pollution but…
LEAD CONTAMINATION FROM FISHING TACKLE: The House defeated a Democratic bid to require research into the extent to which lead from fishing tackle is contaminating ponds and streams used for recreation … manufacturers would conduct research into their products and make their findings available for public review. A yes vote was to require industry research into lead contamination from fishing tackle.Minnesota is pushing this:
Voting yes: Pocan, Kind, Moore. Voting no: Sensenbrenner, Grothman, Duffy, Ribble
Found in most fishing jigs and sinkers, this metal is poisoning wildlife such as loons and eagles.
There are alternatives to traditional lead tackle. Anglers can now use sinkers and jigs made from non-poisonous materials such as tin, bismuth, steel, and tungsten-nickel alloy — and they can find them at established sporting goods retailers and on the Internet.