Yesterday, April 22nd, was a day known as Earth Day. Earth Day, ironically enough, was started in 1970 by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson. In fact Wisconsin was once know for producing some of the most famous and most quoted naturalists and “conservationists” the world has ever seen. John Muir and Aldo Leopold are just two examples of these forward thinking individuals that influenced generations to come.
But in 2015 Wisconsin John Muir and Aldo Leopold have apparently been pushed aside in favor of Ted Nugent and the Koch Brothers. Why do I say this? Yesterday, apparently in “celebration” of Earth Day, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources decided to issue 57 scientists and staff lay off notifications. While cutting the last vestiges of science from the industry/trophy hunter pandering DNR should be upsetting on any day, to do it on Earth Day sends a particularly offensive and disgusting message to anyone that cares about wildlife or our wild lands. While jet setting all over the world with the hopes of taking the Koch-fueled modern incarnation of fascism to the national level, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has made it abundantly clear that our wildlife and wild lands are for sale to anyone that supports him monetarily. Walker even stooped so low as to consider appointing the lobbyist for the very mining company that funneled $700,000 through dark money channels to his campaign to the “number two” position in the Wisconsin DNR. When that pesky thing known as “the law” got in the way, Walker shuffled the lobbyist to the Public Service Commission where he could do almost as much damage to consumers and the environment.
Records show that Walker’s staff was considering Gogebic Taconite lobbyist and spokesman Bob Seitz for the post of deputy secretary of the Department of Natural Resources. He was being considered for the post just before Gogebic announced it was closing its office in northern Wisconsin and stepping away from a proposed $1.5 billion iron ore mine in Ashland and Iron counties.
Seitz ended up getting a different appointment from Walker, with the Public Service Commission.
Remember my warnings about the “foxes in the henhouse?” Walker doesn’t even attempt to hide it anymore.
Walker was also apparently not content stacking the state Natural Resources Board with people like his own campaign advisor and founder of an extremist killing cartel lobbying group, Greg Kazmierski. Walker wanted to completely gut the oversight power of the board. This proposal along with the gutting of the science arm of the DNR should be alarming to people across every facet of the political divide.
More Pandering to Bear Hounders
Surprisingly the bought and paid for Wisconsin Legislature did vote to remove from the current Walker budget the provision to weaken the oversight power of the Natural Resources Board. But the legislature, on Earth Day, also made sure to throw a bone to the bear hounders by further weakening the almost non-existant oversight of their sick “sport.”
The panel unanimously approved allowing people to participate in some aspects of bear hunting without a license.
Class A licenses are required to hunt bears and class B licenses are required to pursue bears. The committee voted to end class B licenses. People would not need licenses to bait bears, train dogs to track bears and assist hunters with tracking bears, provided they were not doing those activities with the purpose of shooting or killing bears.
In other words baiters, hounders, and the other sickos like them can now harass bears with dogs and condition them to human food with ZERO oversight at all. You need to purchase a permit to hike at state parks but hounders and baiters now do not need any type of license to torment our wildlife. It’s bad enough that as each day passes Wisconsin’s reputation for cruelty gets worse, now the pandering and anti-wildlife legislature wants to take away one of the few remaining oversights to monitor hounders and their sick “sport.” Landowners in the north better be prepared because these unethical monsters are going to be even more aggressive with their disdain for property boundaries and laws.
I Guess the Wolves Didn’t Eat all the Deer After all
One of the more ridiculous elements of Walker’s scorched Earth budget was the plan to eliminate funding for the removal of vehicle killed deer from the sides of state highways. While the anti-wolf factions continue to scream that “them thar wolfs is eatin’ all the deer” apparently plenty of deer in the state are finding their way onto roadways and into collisions with motor vehicles.
In each of the past two years, about 23,000 dead deer from the side of Wisconsin highways.
The state Department of Transportation reports that there were nearly 18,000 car-deer collisions in Wisconsin last year. Those accidents resulted in 407 people being injured and nine deaths.
Remind me again how many people wolves killed in Wisconsin last year? I suppose the anti-wolf factions will claim the deer threw themselves in front of vehicles to escape the packs of marauding wolves? But that is a story for another time. Apparently Walker felt perfectly fine with the fact that Wisconsin’s culture of death would be on full display for anyone and every one traveling on our roads. Nothing says “Welcome to Wisconsin” like the bloated and smashed bodies of vehicle killed deer being left on the side of the road through the length of the state. In another surprise the legislature decided to maintain state funding for the removal of vehicle killed deer.
As anti-wildlife as this legislature is even they seem to be realizing that Scott Walker is for Scott Walker and not looking out for the best interest of the state. Of course this is also the same legislature that rubber-stamped every other anti-wildlife, anti-worker, anti-woman, anti-poor, anti-everything proposal that that Walker and their ALEC puppet masters put before them for the past four years so don’t get your hopes up that common sense is returning to Wisconsin.
While the rest of the country celebrated Earth Day by at least pretending to care about the planet and it’s inhabitants, Scott Walker and the Wisconsin Legislature just had to make sure to show the rest of the nation that Wisconsin can be bigger assholes than all of them combined. We should be so proud.