Posted by: Bob Payne | May 8, 2011

Wisconsin’s wildlife and natural resources in wrong hands

Beyond state borders, Wisconsin is well-known for its pro football franchise, cheese and motorcycles. For most of the 20th century, it also had a reputation as a national leader in conservation. “When you considered resource management among the 50 states, you had to name Wisconsin on the short list, definitely among the very best,” said Jim Martin, chairman of the Teddy Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and former Oregon fisheries director, speaking last March at the 75th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Milwaukee.
Martin, now retired, was speaking in the past tense. It’s hard to measure the quality of conservation programs. There is no Super Bowl, no Blue Ribbon competition among state agencies. Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources, though, was envied and rose to high regard for a simple reason, Martin said. “Your state instituted a system early on that kept most politics out of natural resources decisions,” Martin said. “Boy, is that a benefit.”

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