Thursday, March 5, 2015

Walker Has Jumped the Sturgeon

Walker has Jumped the Sturgeon

We should have seen this coming. Well, some of us knew it the minute we saw that Walker didn’t know how to hold a fishing rod, and needed shooting lessons to go hunting. If you didn’t know it after seeing that priceless “Governor’s Fishing Opener 2012” photo, you knew it was coming when tax revenues dwindled and obligations to large donors increased.  The cuts had to come from somewhere.  Why not go for a two-fer, and eliminate a bunch of science-y jobs you don’t understand, don’t care about, and are inconvenient for large fossil fuel donors?

The DNR is full of scientists who grew up hunting, fishing, boating, or otherwise recreating in Wisconsin and then found a way to turn this into a living. It just so happens that the work they do benefits those of us who love the state’s great outdoors.  Perhaps some other lucky state will get the benefits of their knowledge? We can hope so. We won’t know for some time what these cuts mean to the small businesses that are kept alive by people being able to hunt, fish, or recreate in the areas where projects took place. Estimates put the direct cuts to DNR positions at 66.  Their knowledge and the research lost, however, are irreplaceable.  

Cuts include:

  • River Revitalization Foundation (all of it)
  • Ice Age Trail Alliance (all of it)
  • Walleye Production Grants  (all of it)
  • Gathering Waters/Natural Resources Foundation (all of it—especially stupid because these funds leveraged private funds to conserve/protect land)
  • Florence Wild Rivers Interpretive Center (all of it)
  • County Forest Association Membership Dues (all of it-- helped small municipalities cover their dues payments)
  • Education/Professional Development Aids (all of it)
  • River Alliance of Wisconsin (all of it)
  • ATV Safety Program (all of it—hey, nobody ever gets killed on these things, right?)
  • Wisconsin Lakes (all of it)
  • Ag nonpoint grants (all of it—these helped reduce massive amounts of pollutant runoff from agricultural land)
  • RU Recycling Support (almost 2/3 reduction in assistance to local communities’ recycling programs)
  • Forestry & Parks Road Aids (all of it)
  • Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center (all of it)

Of course, these cuts don’t even BEGIN to make up for the giant budget hole Walker’s dug for himself.  And also of course, he wasn’t finished yet.  The bigger prize was wresting control from the good people who, in a non-partisan manner, have tried to preserve the environment for future generations by stripping the citizen-governed Natural Resources Board of its authority. It’s now a powerless “advisory panel”, something Tommy Thompson tried to do but was stopped because back then the Republicans were not yet a wholly owned subsidiary of energy companies and other major donors. A few even seemed to understand that you couldn’t continue proud hunting, fishing and other outdoor hobbies without things to hunt or fish!

For more on the panoply of anti-science, anti-economic common sense measures Walker is proposing, look at what he’s proposing to do to the Downer Woods on UW-Milwaukee’s campus (Downer Woods article). Look at the extreme cuts to the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center in order to further stymie UW-Madison and guarantee that we won’t even be able to compete for Federal grants that require a state match. (Bioenergy Defunding) For a guy who used to pretend to be trying to create jobs, he’s clearly abandoned that message entirely. 

Few things attract more diverse streams of funding and talented people than a robust technology and research industry.  Few things raise the quality of life in a community more than natural, open spaces. Walker’s found more effective ways to scare off talent and potential new talent than any of his predecessors. The only jobs boom Walker should prepare for is one for realtors, as people clamor to leave for places that value science, the environment, and livable wage job growth.


  1. First they came for the Teachers, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Teacher.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Walleyes, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a…


    Did Walker just cut Walleye production!?!!?!?

    Time for Sportsmen for Walker to filet that lying sack of garbage!!!

    1. "Sportsmen for Walker" don't care about the outdoors and the lakes. All they care about is GUNS!

  2. Unfortunately there are still signs up "Sportsmen for Walker". How freaking stupid are these people? As I have told these people time after time over the past four years, if you support him you are definitely not a sportsmen. The jackass in the governors office (well not really in the office but running around the country and never here) will never support hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, or any other outdoor activity including breathing. If you are an outdoorsman and support him, you are either an absolute moron or the kind of outdoorsman who chooses to watch Nugent hunt inside fences on TV instead of stepping a foot outside.

  3. In 2011 he wore his very shiny black Harley boots with chains on them. He must have borrowed these used work boots from someone who actually works.

  4. This reminds me of the time Tommy Thompson and Dick Matty - his tourism director at the time - posed with paddles in a canoe facing backwards. Tommy was in front on what would normally be the back seat with about 8 inches to put his legs in.

  5. Walker appointed a college drop out like himself to head the DNR. A woman who has experience at McDonald's and Stein Optical. Guess the many talented people at the DNR with knowledge about the DNR he was not able to manipulate. Just more Walker cronyism.

  6. I hope those dedicated professionals at DNR can outlast these shortsighted bungling fools like Cathy Stepp. She pretends to care for the employees at DNR, but it is insulting from this hollow political hack.

  7. This just in from Minnesota. Walker will prevent this by making sure there is no monitoring of pollution.

    "There Are No Swimmable Lakes Left in Southwestern Minnesota
    There's an 1,800-square-mile area covering the far southwestern corner of Minnesota where no lakes and only a few streams are clean enough to go swimming or fishing.

    The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says polluted runoff from farms coupled with cows trampling shorelines caused the problem, and it will be a difficult one to fix because farmers aren't required to follow most clean water regulations.

    See also:
    More Farming Across Southeast MN Will Lead to Huge Increase in Polluted Water, Study Says

    "In a huge chunk of the state that is largely agricultural land, agriculture is the source of these circumstances," says Glenn Skuta with the MPCA. "It's complicated because agricultural practices are basically exempt from a lot of our water laws,

  8. "Anybody else see anything wrong with this picture"

    Yes. Governor nimrod is hold a spinning rod upside down.

    Only a N00b stupid fuck career politician and nonsportsman could pose in a picture a come out looking like a total asshole.

    1. A nimrod is "a great hunter" according to the dictionary.

  9. According to the dictionary, Scott Walker is an Asshole.

  10. My bad, I meant to say limprod like Rush Limpbaugh, who takes boner pills.