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Bragging Rights? WI Legislative Conservation Scorecard Shows Higher Numbers

July 21, 2008

Madison, WI – Wisconsin legislators have earned their "green stripes," with the highest marks ever from the League of Conservation Voters (LCV). The tallies are based on their votes on energy, conservation, water quality and environmental issues. As Jennifer Giegerich, LCV's capital liaison, puts it, better grades translate into better air, land and water quality for Wisconsin.

"Several conservation priorities, such as reauthorizing the Stewardship Fund and the historic agreement to protect the Great Lakes, were passed - so it was a really good session, from that perspective."

Out of the 132 Wisconsin lawmakers, Giegerich adds, 30 attained "perfect" (100 percent) scores, earning them the designation of "Conservation Champions."

"It's a real testament to the fact that legislators know that voters care very much about conservation issues in Wisconsin."

Critics of a scorecard tally argue that it's too simple a method to reach conclusions; that tracking votes overlooks important, related issues that also factor into lawmakers' decisions.

The LCV is hosting a series of events across the state, beginning Wednesday in Green Bay, to talk about how environmental issues affect the economy, including recreation and public health. More information and an event schedule can be accessed online, at www.conservationvoters.org.

Jim Mishler/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - WI