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As Temperatures Drop, Conservation Supporters "Turn Up the Heat" at Capitol

January 30, 2008

Madison, WI – Despite the downturn in temperatures, a big crowd is expected at the state capitol today, with more than 500 supporters gathering to push for conservation priorities currently before lawmakers.

Anne Sayers with the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters says people from around the state are looking for action on key parts of the "conservation agenda" agreed to by more than 50 conservation, sporting, and environmental groups, including action on global warming and Great Lakes protection.

"It's hunters, it's fisherman, it's teachers, it's moms, and it's students. It's every walk of life coming together in one room to send a really strong message to legislators, that citizen priorities should be legislative priorities."

Sayers says another priority is the Hunter, Angler, Trapper Bill of Rights, which includes putting the natural resource board rather than the governor in charge of appointing the secretary of the Department of Natural Resources.

"We're looking to restore conservation integrity in Wisconsin, so that good democratic process is ruling how we make natural resource decisions. Science and good process, rather than politics."

Sayers says people from all walks of life will be at the capitol to turn up the heat for state climate change protections, the Great Lakes Compact, and the Hunter, Angler, Trapper Bill of Rights, which she says would take politics out of DNR decisions.

"The DNR secretary would be appointed by the Natural Resources Board. A citizen group would choose the secretary, as opposed to that job being a political appointee of the governor."

She says lawmakers deserve credit for increasing the Land Stewardship Fund, which was a part of a statewide "conservation agenda."

Rob Ferrett/Eric Mack, Public News Service - WI