DNR’s Latest Master Plan 

Meeting 300 miles from affected location —

“It just happened that the Lower Wisconsin Riverway Master Plan was ready for presentation to the board at the August meeting that was already scheduled for Ashland,” Dick said. “There have been similar reverse situations before where an NRB meeting was scheduled for Madison and items on the agenda were of concern for residents in other parts of the state.”

Via Concerns about the Lower Wisconsin River? Take them to Ashland @ madison.com.

Plain Talk: State of environmental protection would upset Gaylord Nelson

A recent story in the Wisconsin State Journal described how the current leadership of the DNR is hurriedly putting together a reorganization of the department that many fear will reduce the department’s ability to keep tabs on potential polluters. That is coming on top of several laws passed in the state Legislature’s most recent session that will harm our state’s waters.

And that’s on top of a gradual reduction in DNR staff, including educators and foresters, and decimation of the department’s Science Bureau. And that’s still on top of the Walker administration’s directive to the DNR to sell off some of the land preserved by the Knowles-Nelson fund.

Via Plain Talk: State of environmental protection would upset Gaylord Nelson @ madison.com.

DNR pondered punishing public records compliance 

Political appointees of the Department of Natural Resources discussed disciplining an employee after she provided public records to a Sheboygan County citizens group fighting plans by the Kohler Co. for a golf course on the shore of Lake Michigan, emails show.

In the view of at least one top official then serving at the DNR, the employee took the extra step of compiling information the group had requested, presumably in a more understandable form, rather than turning over raw data.

The case highlights the sensitivity of open records cases involving the DNR — an agency that under Gov. Scott Walker has come under fire from environmentalists and conservationists for a more pro-business tilt. Walker says the agency enforces all regulations but has sought to rein in what he says is the agency’s overreaching nature.

Environmentalists have sued the DNR twice since December over the length of time they must wait for records they have requested.

Also, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Feb. 5 that the DNR screens and shepherds records requests deemed politically sensitive.

Via DNR officials discussed disciplining worker who released records @ JSOnline.

DNR Reorg

WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

“Wisconsin families deserve an agency that’s going to look out for the air we breathe, that’s going look out for the water we drink, the places we recreate. And instead, what this is moving us closer to is an agency that looks out for the big corporate polluters,” said Kerry Schumann, executive director of the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters.

DNR: Harassment, Sex Toys, Insults

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources disciplined several employees last year for alleged infractions including sexual harassment, running a sex toy business on state time and posting insulting remarks about the public online, agency records show. The records also indicate a ranger was fired for trying to use his badge to…

For Sale

Cathy Stepp tells panel DNR may sell naming rights to state parks http://t.co/8J77J53vZ3 pic.twitter.com/79gcbcNYA4 — Wis. State Journal (@WiStateJournal) March 4, 2015

Wolves boast about support for sheep

It’s a public invitation to a scenic spot along The Mississippi River – – which is being kept unspoiled by local citizen action that has barred destructive frac sand mining that Walker and his de-regulation allies are pushing pell-mell across Western Wisconsin, in the Legislature and at his chamber-of-commerce-led DNR, too. Via DNR touts WI…

The Deer Czar’s Rules

Many times Secretary Cathy Stepp repeated, “The rules have changed, but the tradition remains.” Hunters whom I’ve spoken with wonder if all we’ll have years from now is the fond memory of what used to be Wisconsin’s very equal deer hunting tradition. Many things are changing. New rules could hasten the loss of our populist…

Nothing to see here

Reports Lundstrom, “the first reports of the spill were announced on Sept. 16, the DNR was saying area residents should not worry about groundwater contamination because the spill had been contained with berms. Eight days later, area residents received a letter from the county Health Department saying they should have their well water tested and…