Jack-in-the-pulpit. Knowles-Nelson helps protect lands and ecosystems in Wisconsin.

DNR Secretary Preston Cole Urges Lawmakers To Fund Stewardship Program

There are still a myriad of lands and ecosystems that need protection in Wisconsin, Cole says.

Danielle Kaeding of Wisconsin Public Radio reports that at a briefing for legislators about the governor’s budget, Wisconsin’s DNR secretary, Preston Cole, spoke in favor of Governor Evers’ proposal to reauthorize the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program for another 10 years at an increased $70 million per year.

“This will allow Wisconsin to continue its proud legacy of conserving our natural resources and promoting a sustainable economic growth pattern,” stated Secretary Cole.

Some legislators questioned the funding level and the amount of land in state ownership, but Secretary Cole pointed out that many important areas still need protection, with “the state [setting] a goal to acquire around 2.2 million acres of land.” Advocates of the program have argued that Knowles-Nelson is vital to support the state’s “$24 billion forest economy and $7.8 billion outdoor recreation economy.”

To contact legislators about Knowles-Nelson, head over to our Take Action page.

Featured image by Courtney Celley with USFWS Midwest Region, 2015.

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