Not content sending heavily armed swat style storm troopers to take out a two week old fawn, the Wisconsin DNR wants to turn the state into a giant training facility for all forms of redneckery. Shooting ranges, ATV use, hounding and all other forms of reckless killing and destruction are the DNR’s new priority for implementation all over the state. The latest example of this comes from the DNR pushing to turn the former Badger Army Ammunition Plant into a giant shooting range and ATV facility. Last night the DNR held one of their “public hearings” about their plans for the location. From this article:
Members of the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board got an earful Wednesday about future plans for the Badger Army Ammunition Plant during a stop in Baraboo.
The meeting at the Clarion Hotel came a day after members of the board – which sets policy for the state Department of Natural Resources – toured the decommissioned weapons plant to learn about a series of options the DNR has proposed for Badger property it has acquired.
Many who attended the meeting spoke out against one of those options, which includes installation of a public shooting range and a looped trail for motorized recreational vehicles. They encouraged the board to adopt a plan that would only allow low-impact recreational uses, such as hunting, fishing and hiking.
The public uproar was so much that only three people spoke in favor of the DNR’s proposal. Take a guess who those three people/groups were:
Eugene Robkin, a Baraboo city alderman, told board members the economic benefit of keeping the property quiet and pristine “dwarfs any claimed benefit of an ATV trail and shooting range.”
Also dwarfed was the level of public support at the meeting for target shooting and recreational riding on the land, now called the Sauk Prairie Recreation Area. Only three of the nearly 30 public speakers who voiced their opinions supported a shooting range, ATV trail, or both.
Representatives of the Sauk Prairie Conservation Alliance, Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger, Sierra Club, Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, Baraboo Range Preservation Area, Sauk County Pheasants Forever, as well as Rep. Fred Clark, D-Sauk City, and Sen. John Erpenbach, D-Middleton, spoke against the ATV trail and shooting range and in support of low-impact recreational use.
Representatives of the NRA, Hunters Rights Coalition, and United Sportsmen of Wisconsin spoke in favor of the shooting range.
Of course. The Welchies. People look for answers to life’s questions in many different areas. Religious people turn to their holy texts to find some answers. Lawyers turn to State and Federal statutes and case history to find their answers. Where do Wisconsin wildlife advocates turn when they need answers about the DNR’s actions? This wildlife advocate turns to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board and looks at the list of clients for lobbyist Bob Welch. Sure enough the NRA (WI Force) and Hunters Rights Coalition (a front group for the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association) are clients of Bob Welch. If it is anti-wildlife, anti-heath, anti-environment, or anti anything progressive it is likely that Bob Welch is a lobbyist for it.
So what does this mean? Like the wolf killing season the public has spoken out in huge numbers against the DNR’s reckless proposal for Badger. Even the kill everything Wisconsin Wildlife Federation and a pheasant killing group are against this proposal. What does that say? But I doubt that matters much to the DNR. The DNR has made it very clear that they care nothing for what the general public wants. Keep a close eye on this, but I would bet that the Welchies are going to get their way here as well if history is any indication. The Wisconsin DNR does not work for you, Wisconsin citizens. They work for Bob Welch and his affiliated groups. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the bills supported and opposed by the Welch groups over the past couple of years on the GAB site.
Suder Stepping Down?
Speaking of Welch aligned puppets an interesting piece of news came out yesterday about Wisconsin’s most anti-wildlife legislator, Rep. Scott Suder (R-ALEC). According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the word is that Suder will be stepping down from his position as Assembly Majority Leader to take a position at the Public Service Commission. At first I questioned why Suder would give up the number two position in his party for this position, but then I looked at the list of the groups Bob Welch lobbies for and of course things all seemed to fall into place. Here are the responsibilities of the Public Service Commission:
The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) is an independent regulatory agency dedicated to serving the public interest. The agency is responsible for the regulation of Wisconsin public utilities, including those that are municipally-owned, since 1907.
Types of utilities regulated include electric, natural gas, water, combined water and sewer utilities and certain aspects of local telephone service. More than 1,100 utilities are under the agency’s jurisdiction. Most of these must obtain PSC approval before:
- Setting new rates
- Issuing stocks or bonds
- Undertaking major construction projects such as power plants, water wells, and transmission line
And guess who is a lobbyist for all of these utilities in one form or another? Is this a conspiracy theory? Yes, but judging from the past history of Suder and Welch you would have to be blind not to see the potential links here. One way or another something doesn’t seem right. Why would someone give up a high rank in state government? Fleeing a sinking ship maybe? All I can say is good riddance if this happens.