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As I See It

A return to investment in our public lands

Scott Robert Shaw

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Wisconsin has a proud tradition of protecting its natural resources. Or at least it used to. According to the Wisconsin Policy Forum, Wisconsin ranks 49th among the states in spending on parks and recreation. It takes money to protect our clean water and natural resources, and to provide habitat for wildlife. The Knowles-Nelson program is Wisconsin’s chief effort, providing money for purchasing and protecting blufflands, like those in La Crosse. The program provides money for expanding trails and boat launches and campgrounds. The things we use that make living in Wisconsin fun. In his latest budget, Governor Evers proposes a major investment in the Knowles-Nelson program, a ten-year authorization investing at $70 million per year. That is a lot of money, but other states, including neighbors Minnesota and Michigan, spend more to invest in public lands. And even at $70 million a year, that is still less than the $86 million Wisconsin budgeted for the program more than a decade ago. Our legislators should support this long-term commitment to protecting our public lands. Knowles-Nelson is named for two former Wisconsin governors, one Republican, one Democrat. Supporting Wisconsin’s way of life should be something we can all agree on.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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