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Legislation Seeks to Reinstate Stewardship Provisions

Included in the nearly 100 policy items inserted into the recently enacted state budget bill were changes made to the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program, which was reauthorized last session.

These changes include repealing the requirements that the DNR create and provide a directory of all publicly accessible Stewardship lands and that the DNR create a list of all properties purchased with Stewardship funds where public access has been restricted or prohibited. A third provision revises the necessary number of votes to approve a Stewardship purchase by the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee.

I have signed on as a co-sponsor of legislation seeking to restore these provisions. I was disappointed that the Majority Democrats and Governor Doyle made these changes after last session’s agreement with conservation and sportsmen's groups on reauthorizing the Stewardship program. I support the Stewardship Program and believe that information on land purchased using these taxpayer dollars should be available to citizens.