Two Great Lakes…over 15,000 inland lakes…thousands of acres of forests…the nation’s greatest river. These are a small but significant snapshot of Wisconsin’s fantastic natural resources where Wisconsin families camp, fish and hunt. Family businesses related to tourism, recreation and hunting and fishing can be found nearby, while goods are transported through our forests and over our rivers. From the Horicon Marsh to the Apostle Islands and everything in between, Wisconsin is truly a natural marvel whose resources must be effectively managed and protected.
Managing and protecting our resources is no easy task. It requires people who understand their value and the need to use them in a sustainable manner. Wisconsin can have both economic growth and clean environment as long we make decisions based on fact and objective science, not politics and rhetoric.
My Core Values to Preserve Our Sporting Heritage
Our state needs a commitment to accessibility of land and waterways for sportsmen and women of all ages to hunt, fish and trap. Our policy leaders must use simplicity in the drafting of hunting and fishing regulations so law-abiding citizens can hunt, fish and trap without fear of breaking the law. As Governor, I will be a steward of the trust between sportsmen and the Department of Natural Resources that manages our fish and game.
Changing the Culture at the DNR – Restoring Trust and Accountability
Under the Doyle Administration, the DNR has become adversarial to the citizens of our state. As Governor, I will make sure the DNR treats Wisconsinites as customers, not criminals. The DNR works for us, not the other way around. To this end, I will require the DNR to:
Effectively manage game, fish and habitat based on proven science to provide a sustainable abundance of these renewable resources for all of Wisconsin’s citizens.
Allow increased access to state lands for forest management and all of Wisconsin’s citizens,
Implement simplified and understandable regulations,
Implement a fair and common sense permitting process, requiring all permits to be processed in a reasonable and predictable period of time, and
Discount the permitting fee for permits not processed in a reasonable amount of time.
Use a balanced and science-based approach to protect our lakes, rivers and streams from invasive species.
Whitetail Deer Trustee for Better Deer Herd Management
We must establish a healthy deer herd for us to hunt now and more importantly for future generations of hunters. First, I will appoint a Whitetail Deer Trustee, an outside independent expert to revise our deer counting system. Second, policymakers in Madison must recognize that our Chronic Wasting Disease efforts aren’t working and shift to a strategy that makes sense for our hunters. Third, our state should return to traditional hunts – enough with T-Zones and Earn-a-Buck – making Wisconsin the best place in the nation to hunt white tailed deer again. Finally, Wisconsin must be allowed to manage its own wolf population free of outside interference.
Wisconsin needs a responsive Natural Resources Board that represents the diverse interests of the people of our state, not narrow special interests. As governor, I will appoint active and qualified board members who will balance the concerns of, sportsmen and women, shooters, conservationists, job creators, and farmers. I will look for Board Members who will eliminate frivolous barriers to job growth and take a cooperative rather than heavy-handed approach to the people of Wisconsin.
Making Your Voice Heard
To ensure the DNR governs in the people’s best interests, I will require them to listen to you. Specifically, I will create Governor Advisory Groups consisting of everyday sportsmen, conservationists, business owners and rank-and-file DNR employees to advise me on new and existing regulations and practices. By making all voices heard, we can focus the DNR on the common sense solutions that will protect our natural resources while restoring our position as a top state for sportsmen and women and job growth.
Accountability and Transparency
The DNR is a billion dollar agency. Facing a $2.5 billion budget deficit, I will direct the DNR secretary to examine it from the ground up to find savings.
I will also require increased transparency and accountability by requiring annual audits of our fish and wildlife accounts to ensure that we are prioritizing expenditures an getting maximum value for our sportsmen and women. I will require the same stringent review of all DNR expenses to ensure we are making the best use of our taxpayers’ and license buyers’ money.