Tent camping at Yellowstone Lake. Lack of funding for the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program will increase maintenance backlogs at such sites.

Joint Finance Committee rejects governor’s proposed $70 million funding plan, agreeing to $32 million

Lower funding level will make it more difficult for Wisconsin DNR to tackle backlog of maintenance projects.

Molly Beck in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that “Republican lawmakers who control the state budget-writing process voted to renew the state’s land stewardship program for another four years instead of 10 as Gov. Tony Evers proposed.”

The Republican-led Joint Finance Committee also rejected the governor’s proposed $70 million in funding per year for Knowles-Nelson, instead approving $32 million per year.

Part of Governor Evers’ proposed increase would have helped the Wisconsin DNR tackle a maintenance backlog by providing more funding for property development projects. Since it was created in 1989, the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program “has helped pay for everything from developing bicycle trails and electrifying campsites to blockbuster deals such as the $35.1 million Wild Rivers Legacy Forest involving more than 64,000 acres in Florence, Forest and Marinette counties.”

The Joint Finance Committee also shot down the majority of Governor Evers’ action items to help address “forever chemical” contamination in waterways across Wisconsin.

Featured image by Erin English, 2011.

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