Thursday, August 11, 2022

Play

A new report says Georgia should step up for mothers and infants, Oregon communities force a polluter to shut down, and we have an update on the FBI's probe of Trump allies, including Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa.

Play

Inflation could be at a turning point, House members debate the expansion of the IRS, and former President Donald Trump invokes the Fifth Amendment in a deposition over his business practices.

Play

Infrastructure funding is on its way, ranchers anticipate money from the Inflation Reduction Act, and rural America is becoming more diverse, but you wouldn't know it by looking at the leadership.

Calls Amplify for WI to Renew Outdoors Stewardship Funding

Play

Monday, January 25, 2021   

WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. -- Wisconsin residents have shown a renewed interest in outdoor activities during the pandemic, but conservation groups and some local governments say to keep public lands viable, a key program needs to be renewed.

Next month, Gov. Tony Evers unveils his proposed budget, and nature advocates hope it includes re-authorization of the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program, due to expire this summer.

The state fund was established in 1989 to buy natural landscapes and administer grants for trail construction and other outdoor improvements.

Matt Dallman, deputy state director for The Nature Conservancy, said it benefits residents all over Wisconsin.

"Natural resources and our natural environments in the state are important, whether they're in an urban setting or in a rural setting, important to our economy" Dallman asserted. "It's places where people get out, hike and ski."

Last year, the Department of Natural Resources reported a surge in visitations to outdoor sites, putting strain on operations and infrastructure. Advocates say that's why another 10 years of funding is needed.

During the pandemic, a bi-partisan poll commissioned by The Nature Conservancy found 76% of state residents supporting a renewal. It's unclear whether Republican leaders would back the move, if Evers recommends it. Some have raised concerns about debt obligations tied to the program.

Zach Vruwink, former mayor of Wisconsin Rapids, and other local leaders said the investments will pay off. He noted Wisconsin Rapids used more than $2 million in grants from the program for shoreline stabilization and recreational trail work along the Wisconsin River.

"The projects were completed, last year in 2020," Vruwink explained. "And now we're seeing great interest by the public to convene in those spaces, particularly during COVID."

He added visitors support "Main Street" businesses in smaller towns, which have a hard time attracting larger retailers.

Supporters of the stewardship program said it also can protect water quality, mitigate flood risks, and protect a variety of species.

The program is operating on a one-year extension, but the current funding is much lower than the previous recurring amount of $86 million.

Disclosure: The Nature Conservancy - Midwest Region contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Environment, Sustainable Agriculture, and Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Pictured in the center is Francine "Fran" Pace, one of 11 graduates of this summer's Youth Leadership Academy for Iowans with disabilities. (Photo courtesy of DD Council).

Health and Wellness

Nearly a dozen Iowa youths with disabilities are taking newly developed leadership skills out into the world. A summer academy wrapped up this month…


Environment

A coalition of community organizations teamed up in Oregon to force a chronic polluter out of business, and bring environmental justice to a nearby …

Health and Wellness

During National Health Center Week, health-care advocates are highlighting the work Community Health Centers are doing to improve access to care …


The Inflation Reduction Act would cap the price of insulin at $35 a month for people on Medicare. (Sherry Young/Adobestock)

Health and Wellness

Health advocates are hailing the new Inflation Reduction Act, saying it would be the biggest health-care reform since the Affordable Care Act…

Social Issues

As parts of Southern California suffer with triple-digit temperatures, state lawmakers are set to vote today on two bills to study and mitigate heat …

Nearly half of Hispanic or Latina women of reproductive age in Georgia are uninsured. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

While abortion care is in the headlines, a new report says accessing other health-care services is a challenge for many women in Georgia. Data from …

Environment

Hunters, landowners and wildlife managers are gathering in Montana to discuss the need for novel approaches to elk management. The 2022 Elk …

Environment

Next week, North Dakota landowners will get a chance to hear updates on a proposed underground pipeline for transporting and sequestering carbon …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021