Knowles Nelson Stewardship Program photo of wetlands with tall green grasses and shallow water with a bright blue sky and white fluffy clouds

Opinion: Many reasons to re-authorize state’s stewardship program

The Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program has protected thousands of special places since 1989.

In an opinion column for The Cap Times, Senator Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield) shares his support of Knowles-Nelson funding and responds to the criticism that acquisition of land may compete with community interests and economic development efforts.

“Wisconsin’s natural beauty and the opportunities it provides for recreation and enjoyment can be easy to just get used to. But I’m not taking the natural resources that helped attract me to Wisconsin for granted. I want my kids to be able to enjoy them for their lifetimes, too.”

Kooyenga outlines the following priorities:

• Trail connections and the importance of the ability to acquire land and rights-of-way to expand trail networks.

• Land acquisition in portions of the state that have less land already set aside. Working-age families that live in urban areas value having low-cost outdoor recreation opportunities nearby.

• Land purchases that create environmental and economic synergies to reduce flooding risk and protect threatened species.

“I’m optimistic we will figure out a way forward that preserves the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program and continues our commitment to preserving the beauty of Wisconsin.”

Featured image by Joshua Mayer, 2016.

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