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Scott Walker's myriad attacks on middle and working class Wisconsinites, unions, educators, voters rights, and government employees have been discussed at length, and are reason enough to recall him. Add the gross corruption, perp walks, and arrests of Walker aides which have even been featured in mainstream corporate media, and we begin to get a picture of a politician who is unfit to hold high office.

However, even without these egregious moves of self-aggrandizement and sycophancy to the likes of the Koch Brothers, Scott Walker's retrograde assaults on environmental programs, renewable energy, and sustainable transportation in the public good demonstrate that he is a clear and present danger to the state's citizenry, and an affront to the state's proud tradition of environmental leadership and clean, progressive politics. Rather, we shall see that Scott Walker's anti-environmental policies hew to the basest and most corrupt elements, which are another strain of Wisconsin's history that has been largely sent down the memory hole.

Follow me below the filigree for the sordid details...

Wisconsin historically has had a great tradition of progressivism and forward thinking, from populist progressives  such as Bob Lafollette, and workers rights, such as being one of the first states to allow collective bargaining among state employees in the late 1950s. Wisconsin also pioneered many programs that have helped regular people, even well into the 1990s and even under Republicans such as Tommy Thompson, who conceived and implemented Badgercare, the successful health insurance program for low and moderate income parents and their children, which is one of the programs Walker and his radical right-wing cronies in the state legislature want to drastically cut.

Similarly, Wisconsin has incubated more than its share of environmental leaders as well. The environment of the Wisconsin Dells region awed John Muir in his formative years and set him on the path to be a pioneer in wilderness preservation and to found the Sierra Club. In the 1930s and 1940s, the field of ecology took a great leap forward through the seminal works of Aldo Leopold, who popularized the concept of a land ethic through his Sand County Almanac, and the idea that an ecosystem is more than the sum of its parts,and was the first to document the importance of biodiversity. Other contemporaries of Leopold, included John Curtis, who pioneered the science of restoration ecology, creating as part of his research the first restored prairie,

the Curtis Prairie, in the 1930s, employing CCC and WPA labor
as well as the seminal Vegetation of Wisconsin, the most exhaustive and detailed study of plant communities and the effects of human activities on them to date.

Wisconsin's most famous historical political figures have also been strong environmental advocates and have thrown their support behind programs such as this and the Wisconsin Idea as the university for research laboratory for policymaking in the public interest (another program under assault by Scott Walker with

$46.1 million in cuts this year and another $19.7 million in 2012-13.

Read more: http://host.madison.com/...

). These giants included Gaylord Nelson,   governor and Senator representing Wisconsin from the late 1950s until 1980, who was the main founder of Earth Day, and William Proxmire, a good government advocate for frugality who would make the "Austerity Republicans" and corporatist blue dogs blush with their hypocrisy. He famously won campaigns with only a few hundred dollars in campaign funds, and fought the financial industry and oil subsidies, and for an end to genocide.

However, there is a dark side to Wisconsin. Racism, cronyism, classism...The German-American Bund was a pro-nazi, anti-labor, German nationalist organization that had it's greatest strength outside the New York area, one of whose leaders, Joseph Froboese, was from Milwaukee. My grandfather on my mothers side, from Dodge County, WI, detested them. Later came Joe McCarthy, the famous dissembling senator whose namesake, McCarthyism, became synonymous with unsubstantiated witch hunts made up out of whole cloth. McCarthy was a lackluster, do nothing Senator who was part of Truman's famous "Do Nothing Congress", and introduced little substantive legislation. He did, however, vote for the Taft-Hartley Act as any good rightwing Republican would, and in the vein of our current governor, prone to ridiculous statements and exaggerations. Some whoppers from McCarthy grossly overstated the number and quality of the combat missions he flew, and attributed a wound he received partying crossing the Equator to combat injuries. Sounds suspiciously like a lot of today's Republican hack politicians.

Worse, however, than McCarthy was the rise of powerful, corrupting right wing business interests in Wisconsin, without which Scott Walker would have not been possible. Meet the the big bucks behind the John Birch Society which at the time was rightly ridiculed as full of crackpot, right wing conspiracy theory nuttery.. Harry Bradley, whose Allen-Bradley company discriminated against women and minorities for decades, fought unionization and was one of the last large Wisconsin-based corporations to integrate, was, along with John Welch and Fred Koch (father of the current notorious Koch brothers), a charter founder and financier of the John Birch society in the late 1950s. Upon Harry Bradley's death in 1965, the family fortune was utilized to create the rightwing Bradley Foundation (worth over $600 million), whose contributions to reactionary politics equal those of the higher profile foundations of the Scaifes and the Koch Brothers. The rivers of cash from Bradley have funded Walker commercials, and rightwing think tanks and media efforts on behalf of Walker and other regressives in Wisconsin. These groups have included the MacIver institute and the Wisconsin Policy Research institute. The Bradley Foundation, along with the Kochs, is also a ALEC, the right wing corporatist policymaking group for state and local government, and wellspring for much of Scott Walker's toxic proposals (many of these have been duplicated by the reactionary governors of Florida, Michigan and Ohio).

In fact, the Bradley Foundation took Walker under its wing. 60 years of right wing policymaking culminated in Michael Grebe, executive director of the foundation, serving as Scott Walkers campaign and transition team chairman.

Such incestuous relationships have led to the basest of corruption, and appointment of political hacks to direct government agencies such as the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) within the Walker administration. This has formed the basis of crass policymaking not on the basis of science, or the public interest, but on the basis of ignorant or uninformed interest groups, and most of all for the benefit of deep pocket campaign contributors and cronies. The appointment of Cathy Stepp as WDNR secretary is an excellent case in point. Stepp is a former Republican state senator and real estate developer with no background in science or environmental law, or managing a large agency, and her deputy director similarly has no environmental experience, being director of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Builders Association.

Accomplishments of Cathy Stepp's DNR and the reactionary legislation hatched by Scott Walker and his ALEC cronies in the state legislature have included gutting of wetlands regulation to favor a major campaign contributor who wanted to build a Bass Pro Shop. The optics of this were so bad that Bass Pro pulled out of the project. The legislature, however is persistent in continuing to gut wetlands protection by eliminating special resource protection status for certain wetlands, and forcing cost-benefit analysis, which is nearly always biased towards development and resource extraction.

Stepp promised to make the DNR "more customer friendly", as if it were a for profit business. Fitting in the vein of so-called customer service, and pandering to ignorant, but vocal constituencies, Stepp appointed James Kroll, aka Dr. Deer a Texas specialist in enlarging and fattening up deer herds, jettisoning over 70 years of homegrown studies and experience in local deer biology going back to Aldo Leopold. All in order to satisfy a constituency of slob hunters who were complaining that the deer herd was too small and they were not bagging enough deer (Here in SE Wisconsin where I live I see deer on a daily basis, so I fail to see the problem). Additional pandering took the form of praising Federal progress towards removing gray wolves from the endangered species list. and to study the effects of natural predators (which are very scarce) on the deer herd, to assuage farmers over-reacting about wolf livestock kills and slob hunters complaining about too few deer.

However, the real hunters are concerned with the give-aways of habitat. Stepp proposed selling off public lands, which has hacked off the bowhunting community, and is in agreement with the reactionaries in the state legislature who have now suspended further designation of protections for ecologically sensitive or scientifically important waters of the state. With these blatant disregards for biodiversity, single-species and anthropocentric land management such as managing the state like a deer hunting preserve, and with statements such as this

And in a post on a conservative blog last year, Stepp said the people who work at the DNR tend to be "anti-development, anti-transportation, and pro-garter snakes, karner blue butterflies, etc." In the same post, she called agency employees "unelected bureaucrats" who tend to "come up with some pretty outrageous stuff that those of us in the real world have to contend with."

Read more: http://www.journaltimes.com/...

Aldo Leopold, John Curtis, and Gaylord Nelson are spinning in their graves. Further affronts to the land ethic (or lack thereof) of Scott Walker and his ALEC-Koch-Bradley sycophants in the state Legislature have included a 30 percent cut in the state stewardship fund and redirection of monies away from land preservation and towards development. Other shenanigans include relaxation of clean water testing requirements for municipal water supplies, as if the Milwaukee cryptosporidium outbreak never happened, and rollbacks of phosphorus and shoreland protection regulations that had recently passed, a sop to developers and factory farmers. Unfortunately this may come back and bite Wisconsins economy in the butt, as property values and tourism drop when lakes become algae clogged due to the runoff. Finally, the relaxation of regulations for water protection are also paving the way for a huge open pit mine in the Penokee range in far northern Wisconsin that stands to threaten outstanding resource waters in the state.  All to reward another out of state campaign contributor, Cline Industries, aka Gogebic Taconite.

The foolishness of the land non-ethic of Scotty, and his legislative miscreants in this vein, as disgusting as they may be, pale in comparison to the absolute and total fealty to out of state fossil fuel interests. At least the cutbacks on environmental preservation activities, as sickening as they are, actually save the state money (in the short term). The energy policies alone show that Scott Walker's campaign slogan "Believe in Wisconsin Again" is so much hogwash. He believes so much in Wisconsin that he thinks shipping over 9 billion dollars out of state each year for fossil fuels, and canceling the state office of energy independence and over 398 MW of major wind energy projects in Wisconsin and up to 1.8 billion of investment in the state is a great idea. Walker is the poster child for why the initials GOP for the Republican Party stand for Greed, Oil and Power. Every energy policy and transportation initiative of Scott Walker is all about increasing or maintaining massive consumption of fossil fuels in Wisconsin, be it coal, or oil from the Koch Brothers, who supply as much as 40 percent of Wisconsin's gasoline from dirty Alberta Tar Sands oil.

Scott Walker's energy policies are so egregious and based on waste that even the right wing Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorialized against him. His wind regulation was so extreme that even the 1250 foot  consensus set back for large wind farms that was hammered out by the public service commission and passed in committee on a bipartisan basis was not good enough. Walker wanted an 1800 foot set back, the most restrictive in the nation. This resulted in cancellation of four major wind energy projects, a benefit to his cronies in the coal industry, not to mention the Kochs. Of further interest on the crony capitalist front, Walker's budget included the selling off of state owned power plants and abdicating the responsibility of cleaning them up, and ensuring that a local power plant in Madison would never be fueled using local biomass feedstock. Walker has also slashed Focus on Energy, a conservation and efficiency retrofitting program and state funding for recycling by 40 percent.

Common sense, sustainable programs such as this one which address the fact that over 70 percent of electric power generation in Wisconsin are from out of state sources such as dirty coal, and all transportation fuels come from out of state, don't even register on the Walker radar screen, and have been thoroughly rolled back.

Last but not least, Scott Walker's hypocrisy on government spending and frugality, and dedication to fossil fuels is laid bare by his profligate choice of state vehicle. In his campaign, Walker mentioned that he drove his old 1998 Saturn and packed a brown bag lunch to cut costs, but upon taking office leased an $46,000 gas guzzling 2011 GMC Yukon that cost tax payers over $2,000 for the first month it was driven. While Walker complained that he needed a larger vehicle in which his family of four could fit, that was disingenous. Nearly all vehicles can comfortably fit a family of 4, including many fuel efficient ones. To Scott Walker, economies are certainly built around waste and exploitation of resources.

Walker's dedication to waste and fossil fuels have also extended to his retrograde transportation policies, which again are focused around consuming more fossil fuels at any cost, despite average US figures showing that annual gasoline costs are exceeding over $4000 per family, getting uncomfortably close to 10 percent of the median family income in the US. Yet Walker and the myopic Koch-heads in the state legislature persist with the highways or no way  transportation policies, which include a major $4 billion expansion of I-90 between Madison and Illinois state line, and gutting or destruction of each and every public transportation program, existing or proposed.

This wrongheaded transportation policy has resulted in the following actions which have set back sustainable transportation in Wisconsin for years. The Sierra Club  summarizes them concisely here. They include a 10% cut to state funding of public transportation in Wisconsin, cancellation of local authorities to create "regional transportation authorities" (RTA's), refusal and cancellation of the $810 million Federal grant to build high speed rail from Madison to Milwaukee, as well as improving the Chicago-Milwaukee leg of the same route, and effectively wiping out the approved and funded KRM (Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee) commuter rail line by rescinding its bonding authority.  This now dead commuter rail line would have tied into the highly successful Metra commuter rail system serving Chicago, which has even been praised by arch-conservatives such as Paul Weyrich.

Nearly four years ago, I wrote a diary about Wisconsin's anti train bias. Little did I know it would get even worse. The lack of an RTA in Wisconsin led to the loss of commuter rail service to Chicago from Walworth County, where I live, while the fact that RTA existed just across the state line in Illinois  saved most of the commuter rail lines there. Of course, the reactionary right depends on an ahistorical perspective, strangling rail transit.

Few people know that Wisconsin was once on the cutting edge of rail transport and technology. Milwaukee once boasted over 270 miles of electrified light rail, which was eliminated during the transportation holocaust of the 1930s-1960s when the road, oil and gas, and rubber tire lobbies, aided by corporate welfare from the government, colluded in their destruction. Milwaukee also boasted the headquarters of the Milwaukee Road and their main shops, which built and maintained rail cars for the legendary Hiawathas, which ran the ALCO F7, one of the two fastest steam locomotives in the world which regularly exceeded 100 mph and pushed 125 mph top speeds.
These powerful locomotives, and their diesel powered immediate successors from the late 1930s through the mid '50s, traveling through Milwaukee propelled the Hiawathas through their 400 mile trip from Chicago to St Paul, Minnesota in as little as 6 hours and 15 minutes. The current Empire Builder travels the identical route and stops and now takes 8 hours and 16 minutes.

Basically, the proposed and approved Madison-Milwaukee link would have once again made an attempt to begin restoring a system that was once the worlds finest and fastest. Of course such things don't matter to do nothing, can't do Republicans like Scott Walker. What is even worse is that rejecting the federally funded high speed rail link from Madison to Milwaukee will cost Wisconsin taxpayers over 99 million dollars as a result of canceled contracts, and expenses related to improvements on the Milwaukee-Chicago leg of the rail line, that was to have been covered under the 810 million dollar Federal grant that was to have also built the Milwaukee-Madison line. Additionally, the Talgo plant in Milwaukee that was to have built and maintained the rolling stock is to close in less than three years, costing the state 60 jobs. The maintenance and operating costs to the state of Wisconsin of the Madison-Milwaukee segment of the high speed rail were to be under $1 million; these could have been covered for 50 years or more for the cost to the state of rejecting the Federal grant and not building the railroad. The operating costs were what Walker used in justifying the cancellation of the rail service. So much for Walker's fiscal responsibility.

Lastly, Scott Walker's "believe in Wisconsin Again" has led to more outsourcing and bad policy with regards to transportation, and again Koch was involved, if only tangentially.  This involved William Gardner, the executive of Wisconsin and Southern Railroad which happens to be the only railroad based in Wisconsin, specializing in short freight runs serving smaller to mid sized Wisconsin towns. He was convicted of breaking campaign finance laws and it was even too much for corrupt Scott Walker, who returned over $43,000 in campaign contributions. Now comes a sale of the Wisconsin and Southern to Watco, a Kansas based firm who has boasted that their largest customer is Koch Industries, of the notorious Koch brothers. State representatives have asked that the sale be blocked pending an investigation into the irregularities and to protect the taxpayers' interest in the 60 million spent by the state to build infrastructure for the Wisconsin and Southern.

To conclude, Walker's MO is to outsource everything to the highest bidder, environment be damned. Weekly there is another horror show emanating from the corrupt bought and paid for tools in the Greed, Oil and Power dominated state legislature and the governor's mansion at the expense of the environment and the 99 percent of Wisconsinites who are non-wealthy and/or non-connected to large out of state corporations. This torrent of anti-environment, anti sustainability and anti-worker initiatives from Walker is impossible to contain within one diary; it would fill dozens of pages.

If you want a concise summary of Scott Walker's assault on the environment, here is a quickie from the Wisconsin Sierra Club.

And, to keep up with the daily and weekly transgressions of the Walker Regime, with excellent well-sourced discussions, look to the Scott Walker Watch.

Disclaimer: I work in the field of ecological restoration and sustainable landscaping. Walker's assault on the environment has hammered my bottom line through rolling back environmental protection and by breaking the state economy. I have had multiple clients cut back on the work they want me to do. It is an existential threat to my livelihood.

Originally posted to Badger State Progressive on Mon Jan 09, 2012 at 05:58 PM PST.

Also republished by American Legislative Transparency Project.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The recall is much bigger than what a lot (18+ / 0-)

    Of people think. Most associate it with collective bargaining or union busting.

    For me, it is as much about the environment as well.  We have such a rich outdoor history here that has not made as much headlines as some of the other recall reasons.  

    Great diary.  Thank you for posting!!!!!

  •  Bookmarked, thank you! n/t (8+ / 0-)

    I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night, alive as you and me.

    by plankbob on Mon Jan 09, 2012 at 07:02:42 PM PST

  •  Hoping really hard since I don't do prayer anymore (7+ / 0-)

    ..that Wisconsinites kick this turd to the curb at the very least.

    Jail would be better.

    It's incredible to me that after Ian Murphy's "Koch-Call" that the SOB hasn't been tarred and feathered and run out on a rail already.

    Effective activism requires Activists -- Effecting radical change demands Radicals

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Mon Jan 09, 2012 at 07:07:03 PM PST

  •  Yes! This is MY fight! (14+ / 0-)

    Like the diarist, I am personally and professionally connected to these issues.

    In addition to the marquee names in Conservation that are Wisconsin's legacy (Leopold, Muir, Nelson), we have a corp of dedicated and professional public servants who work everyday to see that the natural beauty and riches of wild Wisconsin pass on to the next generation untarnished.

    Its tough to do this work in the current political environment but I am proud to report that these foot soldiers are resolute.  I find some comfort in this.

    Union thugs my ass...(facepalm)...

  •  Yes, I am especially interested in prairie (12+ / 0-)

    restoration and hiking. I was at a park called Pope Farm Park that had a ramp made out of concrete with the letters CCC and 1938. It was from the FDR's civilian conservation corp.

    I googled the name of the park to find out more information about it, because it is in the middle of farms, but also right next to a newer housing development and I wondered how they got a park there. I found this: (link at the bottom)

    In 1999, my grandfather, Art Pope, sold most of his farm to the town of Middleton so it could be turned into a farm park. My father, Mel Pope, worked with the town of Middleton to convert 105 acres from farmland into a beautiful park that accomplishes the goals they set forth when planning its design:

     

    Here is the information about the ramp with the date 1938, although you have to scroll down, I am not sure how to just imbed the part I want to show you.

    Who was the C.C.C.?                        Figure 1   #24

    The Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) was one of the attempts by President Franklin Roosevelt to meet the needs of our country during the great depression.  Congress enacted it on March 31, 1933.  The CCC provided work for unmarried men between the ages of 18 and 28.  There were approximately 200 men per camp.  Each camp had a technical staff, and in this case the Soil Conservation Service (SCS) provided it.  The young men who built this erosion control structure were from the Mt. Horeb camp.

    Farmers receiving CCC assistance were cooperators with the project.  They, along with SCS technicians, developed control plans for their properties, and the CCC provided the manpower.  The CCC was dissolved in 1942 when the men found work in the U.S. Army and industries in World War II.

    That is from this link:
    http://www.bradleypope.com/...

  •  We were at another state park last weekend and (14+ / 0-)

    there was a plaque in honor of a DNR worker, who had either retired or passed away. It said "From your fellow employees". I saw that and thought, "He must be rolling over in his grave, poor man".

    Know that most Wisconsin residents love our county, state and city parks and they are so beautifully kept up in most areas.  People from other states may not realize that Wisconsin has the most beautiful, extensive park system. Just completely lovely and so well managed.

    Hope the DNR is able to keep their spirits up during this rough phase. Hang in there, us citizens are on your side.

  •  Excellent diary! (11+ / 0-)

    From one whose roots are in Dodge County to another, thank you.

    We give away our environment and we won't get it back for another hundred years. If ever.

    We fight this fight not only for ourselves, but for our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren yet unborn.

    Thanks, NoMoreLies.

    Mere passive citizenship is not enough. Men must be aggressive for what is right if government is to be saved from men who are aggressive for what is wrong. - Robert M. LaFollette

    by stcroix cheesehead on Mon Jan 09, 2012 at 07:52:10 PM PST

  •  What a disaster he is (5+ / 0-)

    Thanks for posting this diary, and full speed ahead to a successful recall. A real estate developer in charge of the WDNR, what a blatant slap in the face to all of the people at the DNR who are really trying to support Wisconsin's natural resources.

    The hoax is a hoax.

    by joanil on Mon Jan 09, 2012 at 08:35:42 PM PST

  •  tipped and rec'd... love the prairie! nt (6+ / 0-)
  •  Thanks for reading Noise... (4+ / 0-)

    Before I came in from the extremely warm winter day to wrap up this diary, I was out burning a prairie restoration for a client. Amazing that there is no snow, making for an unusually good burn with temperatures in the mid 40s...I usually wrap up fall burn season in late November/early December, and spring burn season typically doesn't start until March...

    Trickle Down Economics 101: They get the golden parachute, we get the golden shower.

    by NoMoreLies on Mon Jan 09, 2012 at 08:49:43 PM PST

    •  Reminds me of one of my son's awesome news stories (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NoMoreLies

      He was busy getting a crew ready for a prairie burn late one afternoon and a news reporter drove by as he was standing there blowing bubbles. Yes, blowing bubbles.

      My guess is that the reporter figured she was watching one of those lazy groups of public workers standing around and wasting taxpayer money. This was a St. Paul Pioneer Press reporter, working for a newspaper that's not exactly known for promoting progressive ideas.

      She was in for a surprise. My son is very knowlegable and is able to explain things in ways that even a right wing reporter would understand.

      He was blowing bubbles to get accurate measurements of the light and variable afternoon breezes in order to establish a safe burn.

      His picture was on the front page the next day. Awesome!

      The headline wasn't about lazy overpaid stupid public workers. It was about professionalism, safety, native plants, and the value of stewardship of the environment. Astonishingly, the article included a discussion of how my son was saving money for the City of St Paul. The crew were volunteers. And as a supervisor, this was after hours and he was off the clock.

      So this moment of some idiot goofing off by blowing bubbles at the side of the road became a piece about no-cost environmental restoration and stewardship.

      Sometimes good things just happen.

      "All people are born alike - except Republicans and Democrats" - Groucho Marx

      by GrumpyOldGeek on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 12:43:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wreck list! (5+ / 0-)

    Thank you. I am exhausted, however, and need to hit the sack shortly. I might not respond to comments until tomorrow.

    Looking forward to a strong environmentalist candidate to challenge Walker and to stop the trend of Wisconsin becoming a third world style resource extraction economy!

    Trickle Down Economics 101: They get the golden parachute, we get the golden shower.

    by NoMoreLies on Mon Jan 09, 2012 at 09:08:27 PM PST

  •  We need more diaries like this... (4+ / 0-)

    there is precious little writing on the environment here, and it should be the top priority, giving the destruction occurring everywhere due to fracking, drilling, cutting regulations...etc.

  •  Great read. Good luck with the recall, WI (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Polly Syllabic, ruleoflaw, NoMoreLies
  •  Republshed to ALEC Transparency Project (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckybadger1988, NoMoreLies

    This highlights the extreme damage that ALEC boilerplate legislation can do to just one state in just one year of tyranny by one right wing legislature. Now multiply this by 50 to get an idea of what we're up against.

    This attack on our democracy is real as you have pointed out. Real damage and harm is evident and measurable. Yet this represents only a fraction of the negative actions taken by Walker and his gangbangers.

    The solution involves exposing this reality to as many citizens as possible. Our laws are primarily written in secret by those who do not represent the interests of the people. The people are the victims of wealthy con artists. They got wealthy by fear-mongering and the old lie, cheat, and steal methods.

    You have included several direct links that highlight details about ALEC in Wisconsin, here and here, for example. The history of the so-called New Right is enlightening, too. The article that connects Walker with the John Birch Society is a must read. The evolution of this movement is one of my favorite subjects. It explains a lot.

    I urge everyone to read through this excellent diary post because you highlight the depth of the damage that ALEC and the Heritage Cabal can afflict on our people and our country when they attack only a few of our protections and safety nets. The larger picture is much, much, worse.

    There is absolutely nothing positive that any of the ALEC boilerplate legislation proposes. At least I haven't seen one. I've read most of the ones we know about.

    This is about WI, MI, ME, IN, OH, NH, AZ, and more. This is right now, not a future threat.

    As an aside, my son happens to work in the same field as you. He went to school in Wisconsin and works in Minnesota. He has worked to restore native flora and fauna along the Mississippi and other rivers, restored many, many MN state and local parks are recreation areas, and is instrumental in creating "outdoor classrooms" as a resource for educating the public about ecological and environmental issues. A real, hands-on, native environment carved out of a restored area in Como Park in St Paul. He is a ruthless killer of Buckthorn, too.

    The Republican legislature in Minnesota has been trying to damage the environment by defunding important programs. Wisconsin isn't alone. The people must win this fight.

    "All people are born alike - except Republicans and Democrats" - Groucho Marx

    by GrumpyOldGeek on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 10:56:17 AM PST

    •  Thanks Grumpy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GrumpyOldGeek

      Today I dd more prescribed burning, but it looks like the ridiculously unseasonable weather is coming to a screeching halt the day after tomorrow. 3 to 6 inches of snow is predicted, followed by average to below average temperatures in the teens and twenties.

      And, like your son, I have slaughtered a lot of buckthorn in my days. I just wish I was out doing more of it instead of sitting on my butt in this crappy economy. I'm slouching towards the half-century mark in age, but can outwork most young people in the field. I do both the labor and the brain work, but when environmental regulations get thrown out, so does the consulting work.

      Scott Walker has done more damage to Wisconsin than Al Quaeda.

      Trickle Down Economics 101: They get the golden parachute, we get the golden shower.

      by NoMoreLies on Tue Jan 10, 2012 at 07:02:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Actually Leopold was a conservationist (0+ / 0-)

    and he was part of the movement that defeated the preservationists. I've heard Walker is an SOB, and I know nothing of some DNR guy brought in from Texas. But calling people slob hunters just because they want wildlife management won't win you any converts among the large and often Democratic hunting community. Leopold wrote the book that is the basis for wildlife management.

    "Slip now and you'll fall the rest of your life" Derek Hersey 1957-1993

    by ban nock on Wed Jan 11, 2012 at 11:21:52 AM PST

    •  When I speak of slob hunters (0+ / 0-)

      I mean the type who wants to go out in the woods and get a guaranteed target animal to shoot at, and who wants nature managed only for their chosen target species. Or the type of hunter or fisherman who leaves trash behind or tears up natural areas with an Atv or snow machine. Leopold was smarter than that, and grew to realize that although game management was necessary and desirable in some cases. it has to be holistic and consider the needs of all species. And I am .of broadbrushing hunters at all, I am definitely for responsible hunting. Read the link to the bowhunter commentary on Scott Walkers DNR that I posted in the diary.

      Trickle Down Economics 101: They get the golden parachute, we get the golden shower.

      by NoMoreLies on Wed Jan 11, 2012 at 04:55:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Leopold in advocating and defining game (0+ / 0-)

        management called it, " the art of making land produce sustained annual crops of wild game for recreational use". It's the first sentence of the first chapter of his book Game Management. He was the founder and guiding light of wildlife management in the US. Our abundant wildlife and natural areas are the envy of the world.

        I guess when you say slob hunters are those who want "nature managed only for their chosen target species" you are coming extremely close to calling Leopold a slob hunter. Because he sure as shooting thought management to enhance populations of game for hunting was what his whole book was about. Game management not in some cases but all cases needed to make land produce wild game for recreational hunting.

        ATVs and snow machines and mountain bikes might not be my cup of tea, but I see nothing wrong with them where they are allowed, I'd add domestic dogs, groups of noisy hikers yakking loudly. I am accepting of all other user groups even when I might not participate of even appreciate what they do.

        "Slip now and you'll fall the rest of your life" Derek Hersey 1957-1993

        by ban nock on Wed Jan 11, 2012 at 05:36:33 PM PST

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        •  I am not totally opposed to mechanized (0+ / 0-)

          equipment, but to using it where inappropriate and not permitted,  and/or abusing it. There were instances recently in Wisconsin where snowmobilers chased deer to exhaustion just for kicks. They were convicted of animal abuse, justifiably.

          Furthermore, Leopolds' game management writings were done earlier in his life, and predated his later epiphanies about a holistic view of the ecosystem that he wrote about in Sand County Almanac. I am not ok with taking large swaths, or even the entire state, and managing it for one game species. That is just wrong, and not a whole lot different than turning the state into a cornfield, a soybean field, or one giant bluegrass lawn. There can be enough deer without having to manage for that one species alone, and if you manage for too many deer, the rest of the ecosystem loses critical species due to deer overpopulation. That has been documented for many years now.

          Trickle Down Economics 101: They get the golden parachute, we get the golden shower.

          by NoMoreLies on Wed Jan 11, 2012 at 06:35:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I also recommend you read this other diary: (0+ / 0-)

            Trickle Down Economics 101: They get the golden parachute, we get the golden shower.

            by NoMoreLies on Wed Jan 11, 2012 at 06:38:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Actually his Game Management was after he (0+ / 0-)

            had already formed all of his ideas about ecosystems, and nothing in his book in any way contradicts his not much later writings. It was published in 1933. Sand Country Almanac is a collection of writings first gathered together by Leopolds son after his death.

            No one, certainly not Leopold, advocates managing for one species only. Remember your state departments of wildlife have been doing this since Leopold set the whole thing up, they have a long institutional memory. What they do, and what Leopold advocated was pushing a habitat towards the whatever result you want, ideally a habitat with as closely resembling a normal wild habitat as possible such that the layperson can't even tell it's been managed.

            Your division of wildlife has been doing this for decades by controlling the age, sex, and number of species harvested. If there is an overpopulation of any species it simply means either your division of wildlife isn't doing it's job or the public is misinformed as to what overpopulation means.

            Leopold wrote two books, Game Management and another before that I haven't read. I'd recommend you read his books to understand his ideas.

            "Slip now and you'll fall the rest of your life" Derek Hersey 1957-1993

            by ban nock on Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 07:37:11 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Great comment (0+ / 0-)

              Thanks for the great discussion. What I meant to say is that the current DNR management wants to chuck the institutional knowledge of science-based wildlife management that has been gained for many years in favor of creating an even larger deer herd.  They are throwing out such management tools such as the Zone T and "earn a buck" which sought to bring the deer herd into balance with the rest of the environment. Read up on the "reforms" of Scott Walker's DNR. Not to mention the fact they want to sell off state hunting land.

              Trickle Down Economics 101: They get the golden parachute, we get the golden shower.

              by NoMoreLies on Fri Jan 13, 2012 at 03:50:43 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

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