State Assembly Backs Independent DNR Chair | Wis.Community

State Assembly Backs Independent DNR Chair

The Wisconsin State Aseembly , rather than the governor.  This bill would put the selection of the DNR secretary back in the hands of the board, where it was before former Governor Tommy Thompson made it an appointed position. You may see how your assembly person voted at the . The governor's appointment of the position has given the impression, real or imaginary, that the DNR secretary is beholden to the governor.  In this particular administration it looks more real than imaginary, particularly because the recent appointees to the position have not been career wildlife experts as they often were in the past, but come from non-wildlife backgrounds.

This may set the legislature on a collision course with Governor Jim Doyle, who has alternately been for and then against this reform.  The bill still needs to be passed by the state senate, and then signed by the governor.  It is not clear whether Doyle will sign the bill, and if he decides to veto it, it is certainly not clear that there are enough votes to override his veto (although the 61 votes in the assembly seem tantalizingly close to the 66 required). 

Many people in the conservation community in the state are concerned that Republicans are making noises for the umpteenth time about splitting the DNR into separate sections for environmental issues versus hunting and wildlife management. Many of us think they are basically the same issues, and that attempting to split the agency will only make it difficult for the DNR to do anything effective (which I suspect is the motivation behind the scheme).


September 23, 2009 - 1:33pm