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Frederick Prehn Should Resign from the Natural Resources Board


(MADISON)—Today, Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) issued the following statement regarding the service of Wisconsin Natural Resources Board Chair Dr. Frederick Prehn, and demanding his immediate resignation:

“Today, I attended the Natural Resources Board meeting in Milwaukee to talk with Dr. Prehn. He refused to talk with me and told me to leave even though NRB policy states, ‘The public is welcome to attend any Natural Resources Board meeting.’

“Dr. Prehn was confirmed by the State Senate, and serves in his role as a board member with the consent of the Senate. It is cowardly that the Natural Resources Board Chair refuses to return phone calls regarding his service to the people of our state and would ask a public attendee of a board meeting to leave. His appointment to the Natural Resources Board expired months ago, but he refuses to step down so that he can undemocratically control the administration of wolf hunts in Wisconsin and prohibit the Department of Natural Resources from taking steps to address pollution from PFAS.

“Dr. Prehn was appointed to the NRB by former Governor Scott Walker for a 6-year term which concluded on May 1st, but he argues that a 1964 Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling provides that office holders may remain past the end of their terms if the State Senate does not confirm their replacement. The State Senate has deliberately stalled Governor Tony Evers' appointments, with some designated cabinet secretaries having performed their duties for years without confirmation. The Republican leaders have refused to hold a confirmation vote on Governor Evers' appointment to replace Dr. Prehn.

“Dr. Prehn and the Republican leadership of the Wisconsin State Senate are disregarding the will of the people of our state who elected Tony Evers as governor in 2018 to fulfill all the duties of that office, including making appointments to boards across our state government. It is an utterly cynical ploy to deny the consent of the governed so that radical right wing Republicans can set the terms for the upcoming wolf hunt and other crucial environmental decisions to be made by the Natural Resources Board.

“This behavior is completely unacceptable from any public official. Dr. Prehn should resign immediately. Any problems with the future wolf hunt lie squarely at his feet.”