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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.

A member of the Natural Resources Board wants to be sure the state spends enough money to maintain its public lands and wildlife habitats. Board member Greg Kazmierski told Wisconsin Public Radio that he’s concerned there’s not enough funding for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to manage wildlife habitats.

Kazmierski drafted a resolution for the board to support adequate funding from the Legislature’s budget-writing committee for habitat management and the state’s public lands and facilities.

“We can’t let this get too far ahead to the point that we have a wildlife desert out there because we haven’t been keeping up with the habitat management,” Kazmierski said.

The Natural Resources Board is expected to vote on the resolution at their April 12 meeting.

Over the last decade, DNR has increased the amount of funding for habitat management from $7.1 million in 2011 to at least $11.2 million in 2022. DNR Assistant Deputy Secretary Steven Little noted that funding allocated for habitat and for wildlife management occurs outside the Stewardship Program.

Since 1989, more than 879,000 acres of land has been purchased through the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program by the DNR. The program was created to buy land and preserve natural areas and wildlife habitat, protect water quality and fisheries, and expand outdoor recreation opportunities.

Featured image by Michael Janke, 2016.

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