The Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program, which funds conservation projects throughout our state, is at risk.
Assembly Bill 338 proposes to cut 78% from the Knowles-Nelson grants to counties for land acquisition and 43% from the Knowles-Nelson grants to non-profit conservation organizations, such as Driftless Area Land Conservancy, for land or easement acquisition.
The proposal takes money from the stewardship program and requires the DNR to purchase land that the state already owns . . .
Over the years Driftless Area Land Conservancy protected 9 properties and over 1,500 acres utilizing State Stewardship Funding, including our Erickson Conservation Area in Argyle Wisconsin.
Close to 90% of Wisconsin residents support investing in Stewardship to protect our land, water, and wildlife habitat. A strong, well-funded Stewardship Program continues to be important because:
• A lack of public access is cited repeatedly as a significant threat to our state’s sporting heritage.
• Wisconsin ranks last among our neighbors Minnesota and Michigan in state-owned public land and our tourism industry also trails these neighboring states.
• With Wisconsin’s population is projected to grow 15% in the next twenty years, so will the demand for public recreation opportunities in all corners of the state.
• Available timber is a major concern in some areas of the state, as is fragmentation of forestland. The Stewardship Program helps to ensure that large blocks of timber remain in sustainable production, keeping raw material available for pulp and saw mills.
• It protects wildlife habitat, parks and open space near you.
WHAT YOU CAN DO?
Please contact your legislators and urge them not to sign on as co-sponsors and to vote against the bill (if it comes up for vote either in committee or on the floor). You make water, land, and wildlife conservation possible. Thank you!