Last week numerous articles appeared in the media about how the revenue being generated for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource’s “protection and management” program has declined rapidly in the past decade
From the article:
The state Department of Natural Resources program draws 25% of its money from such donations. Sources for those include people buying special license plates or checking a box on their state income tax forms.
Wildlife officials sid it’s unclear why donations are declining. They’re preparing a public education plan to better explain the importance of their work.
They just don’t get it do they? Why would people donate to a corrupt agency that panders to a tiny special interest while ignoring the rest of us? Funny how these articles never mention that a massive chunk of the money collected for this fund went to
bribe “reimburse” bear hounders for dogs allegedly killed by wolves while they were out tormenting bears and other wildlife. I and many others refused to purchase these license plates or donate for this very reason.
And now in an effort to “educate” the general public real-estate developer turned DNR Secretery Cathy Stepp posted this fluffy piece in the Capital Times:
Stepp somehow seems to live in an alternate universe where us “wildlife watchers” have not been paying attention to what has been occurring in the past two plus years:
Together, DNR staff, landowners, citizens, conservation organizations, government agencies and corporations have returned bald eagles, trumpeter swans, osprey and whooping cranes to our skies. They’ve built the nation’s largest State Natural Areas program to protect pristine remnant prairies, savannas, forests and wetlands for people to use and enjoy while preserving important cultural and ecological features.
These caretakers also have led the way in forging innovative partnerships that enable private landowners and industry to carry out their business while protecting rare orchids, endangered bats, freshwater mussels and more.
To keep these success stories coming, we need more hands on deck. Wisconsin’s rare plants and animals face serious threats including a warmer climate, more fragmentation of their habitats, and waves of aggressive invasive plants and animals. These challenges make locating and tracking, managing and protecting rare species even more important.
A real estate developer worried about “fragmentation of habitat?” Yeah, I buy that. The rest sounds all fluffy and grand until you see the real motive behind Stepp’s sudden concern:
By joining the community of caretakers, you’ll also have a great time and will help strengthen Wisconsin’s economy, environment, and way of life. Our rare plants, animals and State Natural Areas are part of the food webs and ecosystems that provide the foundation for our hunting and fishing traditions. They fuel a wildlife watching industry that brings $1.489 billion in direct spending to our communities and supports Wisconsin’s $13 billion tourism industry.
It all comes back to those “hunting traditions.” Stepp wants our money and even points out how much money wildlife watchers bring to the economy, yet she and her ilk continue to shut us out. She expects us to happily hand over our money and then have no say in what happens to our wildlife and wild lands. She works hand in hand with goons like Bob Welch and the bear hounders to undermine every remaining concept of “fair-chase” and “ethics,” but expects us to look the other way and continue to give money. Remember this is the same Cathy Stepp that wants to turn the Mackenzie Center into a shooting range to “recruit” hunters and trappers at the expense of educating children. This would essentially turn the Center into a giant camp devoted to teaching people how to kill and torment wildlife. No thank you.
So now that Stepp is desperate for money she is trying to “acknowledge” us while still ignoring our views. Far too little, far too late. You had your opportunity to reach out to us several times during the two plus years that you have been in office. Each time your agency blew us off and your Natural Resources Board ignored us.
By the way, anyone hear anything in the media about the 3,000 plus letters submitted to the board against hounding before the last hearing? I sure haven’t. Until the DNR shows that they are serious about listening to ALL of us rather than Bob Welch and the bear hounders they will not get one dime from me. As long as the DNR allows packs of vicious dogs to run rampant through our woods 24/7, 365, they will not get a dime from me. I hope the rest of you feel the same way. I have always been generous with where I give my money, and not one dime of it will go to this agency until they learn some ethics and stop being a front for the killing cartels in this state.