“Our lawmakers need to hear from you that you strongly support renewal of the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund for another 10 years,” writes Dean Paynter in an opinion piece for the Gazette Xtra.
Paynter, a member of the Rock Trail Coalition Ice Age Trail Advocacy Committee, notes that “the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the value of the natural world as families found hiking, biking, fishing and other outdoor activities to be valuable remedies for cabin fever.” Many Knowles-Nelson projects, including fishing piers, sections of the Ice Age Trail, and the Peace Trail from Janesville to Beloit, were packed.
But “in recent years, demand for Stewardship grants has far exceeded available funds. The Peace Trail… has been awaiting pavement for years, but so far has not gotten enough Stewardship funds to complete the project.” For this reason, Paynter supports Governor Evers’ proposal to fund Stewardship at an increased $70 million per year for 10 years.
Paynter also reminds readers that two influential conservationists, Aldo Leopold and Gaylord Nelson, were from Wisconsin, and helped create a proud legacy of stewardship in our state.
“The Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program is about what Wisconsin is about—the love of nature and the great outdoors,” Paynter concludes. “Let us give it the resources it needs and keep it going for another ten years.”
To contact your legislators on behalf of Knowles-Nelson, visit our Take Action page.
Featured image by Joshua Mayer, 2014.