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Gov. Evers Proposes investments in conservation, state parks, and outdoor recreation

Gov. Evers’ 2023-25 biennial budget proposal makes several key investments, including for the conservation and preservation of public lands through the state’s Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program.

Governor Tony Evers has been traveling around the state promoting his budget proposal, and in particular, the importance of supporting conservation and outdoor recreation in Wisconsin.

“Our park system and public lands are the gems of our state, and no matter where you go in Wisconsin, you’re never very far from a state park or trail,” said Gov. Evers. “That’s because conservation and outdoor recreation are core to who we are as a people and a state, and my budget makes targeted investments to ensure our natural resources are available to be enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for generations yet to come.”

According to Wispolitics, Governor Evers’ 2023-25 biennial budget proposal includes several initiatives that support land conservation, sustain Wisconsin’s parks and public lands, and promote the state’s $8.7 billion outdoor recreation industry. The budget addresses several key barriers to securing project funding through the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program:

  • Repealing the requirement that all projects north of Highway 64 be subject to legislative review.
  • Increasing the threshold that triggers legislative review of Stewardship Program grants and acquisitions from $250,000 to $500,000.
  • Requiring that members of the Legislature who object to a proposed Stewardship Program project approval, be named and the nature of the objection be announced publicly. 

Additionally, his budget proposal calls for increasing funding and staff for the state park system and support for park building projects and facility upgrades, as well as expanding the Office of Outdoor Recreation.

Featured image by Richard Hurd, 2012.

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