knowles-nelson in the news
Oneida County to Debate Pelican River Forest
On May 16, 2023 there will be an important opportunity to speak up in-person for conservation in Wisconsin
Republicans block Knowles-Nelson funds for Pelican River Forest preserve
Conservation groups hope to keep the project alive and are searching for new avenues after legislators on the state’s powerful finance committee blocked a key funding request.
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.
Pelican River Forest controversy draws attention to future of conservation in Wisconsin
The conservation community is concerned for the future of the Pelican River Forest after the Joint Finance Committee voted along party lines to reject a $4 million Knowles Nelson grant.
Wisconsin Republicans clear out projects stalled by secretive ‘pocket veto’
The legislature’s Joint Finance Committee is under fire for ruthlessly denying funding for several requests, including the largest land conservation project in state history.
Legislature’s finance committee rejects funding for Wisconsin’s largest land conservation effort
Twelve committee members brushed aside public opinion and concern for Wisconsin’s environment in order to cast their votes against land and water conservation.
DNR secretary says agency will examine internal review process under state’s land purchase program
The Wisconsin DNR pledged to get local governments more involved in the process of land conservation.
Anonymous Objections Stalling Land-Conservation Projects
Land trusts are forced to alter their land conservation strategies to avoid project delays.
More people seek outdoor recreation in Wisconsin as state funding for conservation declines
People spent a lot of time outside during the pandemic and that trend appears to be continuing, but the state’s financial support of outdoor recreation has been on a long decline.
Gov. Evers seeks to make conservation project approval process easier
Proposed changes to the Stewardship Program would decrease the Legislature’s power to anonymously halt conservation projects like the Pelican River Forest.
‘There’s no transparency’: Secretive ‘pocket veto’ scuttles Wisconsin projects
A review of past budget documents by Wisconsin Watch revealed the practice of secret vetoes under both Republican and Democratic control.
Sokaogon Chippewa Community passes resolution in support of Pelican River Forest conservation project
While the Oneida County Board discusses a resolution opposing the Pelican River Forest project, another local government passed a resolution in support of it.
Oneida County Pelican River Forest committee holds first meeting
The committee is charged with reviewing and possibly amending the county’s resolution in opposition to the Pelican River Forest project.
Wisconsin’s largest land conservation project in state history faces roadblocks
The future of the Pelican River Forest is uncertain as leaders debate the project’s economic and environmental impact.
Natural Resources Board member wants to see more money to manage public lands
Board member Greg Kazmierski fears funding for land management has not kept up with the need.
Oneida County Board wants more information before making a decision regarding the Pelican River Forest project
A resolution opposing the project is full of inaccuracies. An ad hoc committee will spend the next two months researching the project before returning to the full board with its recommendation.
Gov. Evers’ budget seeks to end the practice of anonymous objections to land conservation projects
Anonymous objectors can hold up popular land conservation projects in Wisconsin. Tony Evers’ budget will seek to end the practice.
Sen. Smith: Insider tactic endangers historic public land purchase
A member of the Joint Finance Committee has objected to the Pelican River Forest project and the committee has not yet scheduled a hearing.
Sen. Wirch: GOP obstruction threatens prime opportunity for state land investment
Funding for the Pelican River Forest is held up indefinitely until the Joint Finance Committee holds a hearing.
Editorial | Republicans shouldn’t abandon their historic commitment to conservation
Polling shows that nine out of 10 Wisconsinites support the Knowles-Nelson stewardship initiative.
Anonymous legislative objection holds up massive Northwoods conservation effort
The future of the Pelican River Forest is unclear after an anonymous objection by a lawmaker on the state’s Joint Finance Committee.
Largest land conservation effort in state history threatened as lawmakers object to funding
Lawmakers on the state’s finance committee are objecting to what would be the largest land conservation effort in Wisconsin history, threatening to halt the project altogether.
Pelican River Forest in limbo after lawmaker anonymously objects to funding
The 70,000 acres of woods, wetlands, and rivers meant to be a crown jewel of conservation in Wisconsin are now in limbo because of an anonymous lawmaker on the state’s Joint Finance Committee.
Elk Creek Bottoms property in Dunn County permanently protected
The purchase was partly funded by a $118,500 grant from the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program.
Fund and Fix Knowles-Nelson
Governor Evers can act today to fund stalled projects.
Pelican River Forest easement threatened with funding hold
Funding for the project was approved unanimously by the DNR’s Natural Resources Board, but is now on “hold” after an anonymous objection by a member of the Joint Finance Committee.
Wisconsin’s $8.7 Billion Outdoor Recreation Industry Sees Record Year
This growth of the outdoor recreation industry shows the importance of being outside and the impact to our economy.
Wisconsin DNR assists in downtown Beloit demolition project
Knowles-Nelson funds will be used to expand the downtown Riverwalk and demolish a building with environmental and stability concerns.
LETTER: Shades of Cedar Gorge: JFC thwarts conservation again
An anonymous legislator, without any public explanation, has blocked the largest land conservation project in state history.
Don’t let an anonymous lawmaker spoil Wisconsin preservation effort
More than a dozen times, key initiatives to protect invaluable natural areas have been blocked by legislators who ignore their own rules.
Conservation project sabotaged by anonymous legislator
The Pelican River Forest would be the largest land conservation deal in Wisconsin history.
Spend some of state’s surplus cash to save nature
Revisiting the political maneuvering that nearly scuttled the Cedar Gorge Clay Bluffs Nature Preserve offers guidance on how the Wisconsin state government should spend some of its enormous cash surplus.
What the November 2022 elections mean for Knowles-Nelson
Evers’ veto is secure, but some uncertainty remains for Stewardship funding
Wisconsin Natural Resources Board approves largest land conservation effort in state history
A conservation easement of more than 56,000 acres would result in the largest project to date to receive approval.
Ozaukee Washington Land Trust Purchases Cedar Gorge Clay Bluffs Property
The purchase of the property was finalized days after Gov. Evers awarded $2.3 million through the American Rescue Plan Act to fund the project.
Forest County will soon have 160 more acres of public land
Governor Evers allocated funds through the American Rescue Plan after a grant through the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program was stalled by an anonymous objection.
Gov. Evers funds major conservation projects, including Cedar Gorge-Clay Bluffs
Funding through the American Rescue Plan will support five conservation projects that were awarded Knowles-Nelson grants.
Ozaukee County Natural Resources Committee May Provide Bridge Loan for Cedar Gorge Clay Bluffs
County officials are preparing for the September acquisition of the Cedar Gorge Clay Bluffs Nature Preserve in Port Washington.
New grant key in race to buy Cedar Gorge Clay Bluffs
Ozaukee County is likely to receive $450,000 in federal funds to purchase the property that is being eyed by an anonymous developer.
Conservation efforts along Lake Michigan, including Cedar Gorge Clay Bluffs, seek to prevent erosion
250 miles of Lake Michigan, Superior, and Huron shoreline are listed as at high risk erosion.
Sturgeon Bay Celebrates Opening of West Waterfront Promenade
Residents celebrate the grand opening of a new promenade in the iconic Sturgeon Bay.
Dysfunctional State Government is Top of Mind for Concerned Citizens
The Cedar Gorge Clay Bluffs project is creating ripple effects throughout the conservation community.
Landmark Conservancy’s Telemark Forest Preserve Funded by Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program
218 acres in the Northwoods will be forever protected after a $203,000 grant.
Ozaukee County Board Votes Against Giving $1 Million to Cedar Gorge Clay Bluffs Project
A motion to allocate $1 million of American Rescue Plan Act funds failed to pass, falling three votes short of the two-thirds majority needed.
Rep. Amy Loudenbeck recognized by Ice Age Trail Alliance
The Ice Age Trail Alliance awarded its prestigious Henry S. Reuss Award to Rep. Loudenbeck for her work on the Joint Finance Committee in support of the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program.
Pheasants Forever Preserves 185 Acres in Bloomer with Knowles-Nelson Funding
The Wisconsin DNR will manage the public conservancy, which sits next to the McCann Creek State Fishery Area.
Knowles-Nelson Funding for Cedar Gorge Project in Port Washington Unlikely Due to Objection by Anonymous Legislator
A legislator on the Joint Finance Committee confirms that the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program grant for the Cedar Gorge Clay Bluffs Nature Preserve is unlikely to get a second look for approval.
Village of Sister Bay and Door County Land Trust Join Forces to Protect Pebble Beach
The Joint Finance Committee awarded a $392,000 Knowles-Nelson grant to the Village of Sister Bay to offset the purchase of the waterfront property.
Key funding for the purchase of Cedar Gorge Clay Bluffs is now in question
Ozaukee Washington Land Trust hopes to acquire the 131-acre the Cedar Gorge Clay Bluffs property, but funding through the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program is stalled by an anonymous lawmaker.
Conservation groups wary of bill to allow sale of Wisconsin public lands
Companion bills sponsored by a pair of northern Wisconsin Republicans would allow conservation lands acquired through state grants to be sold for private use.
Legislation would make it easier to sell off Wisconsin natural areas and parks
A bill recently introduced by Republican state lawmakers would loosen requirements for selling land bought with Knowles-Nelson funds.
Wisconsin Waterfowl Association recognizes Governor and Representative for conservation wins in state budget
The organization lauded work by Gov. Evers and Rep. Born to renew Knowles-Nelson and to approve an increase in the price of the state waterfowl stamp.
Legislation would undermine Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program
A bill introduced by Tomahawk Senator Mary Felzkowski would make it easier for for groups or governments to sell public lands acquired with Knowles-Nelson dollars.
Gathering Waters Comments on Land Sale Bill
The Wisconsin Legislature is considering a bill to allow the sale of Knowles-Nelson conservation lands.
Mississippi Valley Conservancy adds to Grant County protected area
The conservancy added the land to the Devil’s Backbone State Natural Area near the town of Glen Haven.
Hope for a failing planet
Conserving nature could curb climate change.
Land Trust Protects 364-acres in Dunn County
Land that was formerly slated to be the site of a nuclear power plant is now protected by Landmark Conservancy.
Community parks are important, but finding the money to fund them is not easy
Wisconsinites love our parks, but how these spaces are funded is not sustainable.
Mississippi Valley Conservancy acquires land for wildlife habitat
Mississippi Valley Conservancy recently purchased 44 acres, adding to a contiguous corridor of protected blufflands of more than 1,200 acres.
City of Schofield seeks Urban Green Space Grant for land acquisition
Knowles-Nelson grant would expand Lake Wausau city park.
The Conservation Fund Purchased 70,000 Acres of Forestland in Northern Wisconsin
The Pelican River Forest will link the Oneida County Forest and Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, straddling the divide between the Lake Superior and Mississippi River basins.
New Hudson-area mountain bike trail promises to be among largest in region
3.5 miles of new mountain bike trail at Willow River State Park was funded in part by the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program.
Ribbon-cutting Ceremony Celebrates New Amenities at Kenosha County Park
The Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program funded upgrades to Kenosha County Veterans Memorial Park.
A Tale of Extending A Recreational Trail In Southeastern Wisconsin
Advocates for a local network of recreational trails are promoting a major step forward for the planned extension of a trail in Racine County.
Door County Land Trust protecting high-quality forest in Gibraltar-Ephraim Swamp
Door County Land Trust announces the protection of ecologically rich forest and wetland habitat within the Gibraltar-Ephraim Swamp State Natural Area
Devil’s Lake State Park grows with 301-acre addition
The Nature Conservancy acquired 80 acres of forest adjacent to a 221-acre parcel recently added to Devil’s Lake State Park
Ice Age Trail Alliance seeks Knowles-Nelson funding
A stewardship grant would fund the purchase of 10 acres in Waupaca County to expand the Ice Age Trail.
Wisconsin extends land protection funding for four more years
Legislature and governor reauthorize program to help preserve natural areas, wildlife habitat, and recreation.
Stewardship reauthorization, waterfowl stamp increase highlight state budget
The 2021-2023 Wisconsin budget signed by Governor Evers includes a reauthorization of the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program for four years and a price increase for the state waterfowl stamp.
Budget Committee Approves Four-Year Renewal of Knowles Nelson Stewardship Program
A funding tool used to protect land, build trails, and manage forests is approved for renewal for four years in the next Wisconsin State Budget.
State legislature eliminates proposed DNR programs from budget
Other environmental initiatives also reduced, including Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program.
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.
Party-Line Vote Approves $32M Annually For Statewide Public Lands Program
Gov. Evers proposal of $70M a year for 10 years reduced by Legislature’s state budget committee.
Wisconsin Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Podcast: Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund
Gathering Waters sits down with BHA to explore the benefits and challenges of Knowles-Nelson.
Waterfowl stamp price increase advances in budget process
This win for conservation was years in the making.
County Supervisors Support Knowles-Nelson Reauthorization
Door County’s support reflects millions of dollars to complete hundreds of projects through Knowles-Nelson.
Opinion: Many reasons to re-authorize state’s stewardship program
The Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program has protected thousands of special places since 1989.
Pandemic highlights need to bolster popular stewardship fund
Knowles-Nelson is important bipartisan tool to conserve Wisconsin’s natural heritage and support local economies.
Lawe Street Trestle Trail $700,000 grant approved after two years without state explanation on delay
City leaders “ecstatic” to finally receive promised Knowles-Nelson grant.
Letter to the Editor: Your Six-minute Call Can Help Protect Local Lands and Waters
Let your elected officials know how much you value the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program.
Fresh Take: Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program Up For Renewal
Gathering Waters and Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region join radio interview to discuss importance of Knowles-Nelson.
The Impact Of The Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program
Conservationists across the state joined “The Morning Show” on WPR to talk about the many benefits of Knowles-Nelson.
Five Wisconsin Counties Pass Resolutions in Support of Knowles-Nelson
Counties call on legislature to renew program, citing importance of Knowles-Nelson investment in their communities.
Conover-Phelps Bike Trail extending by two miles this summer
With help from Knowles-Nelson, Vilas County celebrates expansion of Great Headwaters Trail system.
Wisconsin Joins Trillion Tree Movement
Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program will be vital to acquire, protect working forests and public lands.
Who’s stopping Appleton from getting promised $700,000 Knowles-Nelson grant for Trail? It’s a mystery
City leaders, local lawmakers bewildered by objection from anonymous Joint Finance Committee member.
A Conservation Expert Reacts to Gov. Evers’ Plan to Plant 75 Million Trees By 2030
Ambitious plan to fight climate change, support recreation and the timber industry will be challenging without Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund.
Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program Creates More Green Space Across Wisconsin
Many projects would not exist without Stewardship funding.
Gov. Evers tours Spring Green Preserve, discusses need for Knowles-Nelson Stewardship funding renewal
Governor emphasized importance of public lands to prevent flooding, get people outside, fight climate change, and more.
Badger Bounceback sessions conclude with climate change focus on eve of Earth Day
Gov. Evers’s plan calls for reauthorization of the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship program for another decade at $70 million annually.
Stewardship Program is crucial to Ice Age Trail
Re-passage of Knowles-Nelson will help create more trail connections and increased visitation.
Longtime state stewardship program faces uncertain future
Knowles-Nelson grants in the Fox Valley have benefitted 170 projects totaling $18 million.
Groups, Counties Call for Renewal of Knowles Nelson Stewardship Program
Outdoor recreation in the Northwoods has been bolstered by Stewardship investment.
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.
Ice Age Trail Advocate Speaks up for Knowles-Nelson
Member of the Rock Trail Coalition Ice Age Trail Advocacy Committee stresses the importance of telling your lawmakers you support the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program.
With nowhere to go indoors, Wisconsin flocked to state parks in pandemic
Wisconsin’s natural resources are more popular than ever.
Opinion: Reader supports reauthorizing state’s conservation program
Funding for natural areas is crucial to supporting quality of life.
Fundraiser Launches for Devil’s Punchbowl
With help of Knowles-Nelson, Landmark Conservancy seeks to make geologic wonder safer for visitors.
Vilas County passes resolution supporting reauthorization of Knowles-Nelson
Board requests 25 years of continued Stewardship funding.
NBC in Rhinelander reports on popularity of Knowles-Nelson
Northwoods parks and trails created by Knowles-Nelson have been popular destinations during pandemic.