WITU Reacts to the recently proposed State Budget

The current proposed Wisconsin Budget would 1.) cut all stewardship funding, 2.) eliminate over ½ of the Wisconsin DNR’s 33 science positions, and 3.) render the Natural Resources Board only an “advisory” committee.


Wisconsin TU is strongly opposed to all three of these proposals.  Stewardship funding is used to acquire streambank and fishing access, and that access is what makes TU’s restoration work – and the hundreds of thousands of non-State dollars we leverage in the process -- possible.  Access to fishing opportunities is incredibly good for Wisconsin , leading to the injection of BILLIONS of dollars in to our economy, and supporting over 20,000 jobs (ASA 2013 “Sportfishing in America ” report).


Likewise, science positions within the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources ensure that sound management decisions are made, so that robust fisheries continue to exist, and continue to attract fisherman from both in and out of State.  TU strongly supports science-based management, and works with WDNR Fisheries biologists to ensure that our projects have good results, so that future generations will have improved angling opportunities.


Finally, the Natural Resources Board ensures that Wisconsin ’s anglers and hunters have an active voice in setting rules and policies which govern our outdoor resources.  Rendering those voices “advisory” is simply a bad decision.  The NRB creates a barrier between outdoor resources management and special interests, and should be maintained for the good of Wisconsin , its outdoors resources, and the huge economy that they create.

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We need to tell our legislators that stewardship, science, and the NRB are good for Wisconsin, good for its economy, and good for Wisconsin jobs. Contact your legislators, and the members of the Committee on Joint Finance and ask them to restore stewardship funding, science position funding, and the authority of the NRB in the budget bill.


You can do this in three ways:

1. Click here to send an automated, pre-formatted e-mail to your specific legislators (all you have to do is fill in some basic information).

2. Please send e-mails or call all members of the Wisconsin Joint Committee on Finance. The members are:


Senator Alberta Darling -- Sen.Darling@legis.wisconsin.gov 608-266-5830

Senator Luther Olsen  -- Sen.Olsen@legis.wisconsin.gov 608-266-0751

Senator Sheila Harsdorf  -- Sen.Harsdorf@legis.wisconsin.gov 608-266-7745

Senator Leah Vukmir  --  Sen.Vukmir@legis.wisconsin.gov 608-266-2512

Senator Thomas Tiffany  --  Sen.Tiffany@legis.wi.gov 608-266-2509

Senator Howard Marklein  --  Sen.Marklein@legis.wi.gov 608-266-0703

Senator Lena Taylor  -- Sen.Taylor@legis.wisconsin.gov 608-266-5810

Senator Jon Erpenbach -- Sen.Erpenbach@legis.wisconsin.gov 608-266-6670



Rep. John Nygren -- Rep.Nygren@legis.wisconsin.gov 608-266-2343

Rep. Dale Kooyenga -- Rep.Kooyenga@legis.wisconsin.gov 608-266-9180

Rep. Amy Loudenbeck -- Rep.Loudenbeck@legis.wisconsin.gov 608-266-9967

Rep. Dean Knudson  --  Rep.Knudson@legis.wisconsin.gov 608-266-1526

Rep. Michael Schraa  --  Rep.Schraa@legis.wisconsin.gov 608-267-7990

Rep. Mary Czaja  --  Rep.Czaja@legis.wisconsin.gov 608-266-7694

Rep. Chris Taylor -- Rep.Taylor@legis.wisconsin.gov 608-266-5342

Rep. Howard Hintz  --  Rep.Hintz@legis.wisconsin.gov 608-266-2254


3.  Please post about this on social media – Facebook, Twitter, etc., -- and help build a network of people telling their legislators why restoring stewardship funding, science position funding, and restoring the power of the NRB is good for Wisconsin.


In all communications, remember to be polite, be concise, and keep in mind that you represent over 5,000 other Wisconsin TU members.  Remember to thank your legislators for their service, and time listening to your concerns.




I am very concerned that the stewardship fund is paying doubel digit interest on some of these bonds. I am also concerned that some of these properties have no egress, no waterways to work up, no road access, they are completely landlocked by private ownership. What talking points are there for those us that are concerned about these issues as well?

Hello John,

I'm passing on your comments to our Legislative Committee for consideration.  The Council is very much in favor of Public Access, as is the National orgization.  So much so that Chapters are not allowed to do restoration work on private property without permission from the Council.  Could you give some specific examples of the public lands that you're describing?  I'd be interested in learning more.  You can reach me at mikek.trout@yahoo.com.

Thank you for being a part of the discussion.