Tuesday, August 4, 2015

About Walker's personal finances: yipes!

Update: Walker's financial statements show him with kids' college debt in six figures, plus a usurious, 27.4% credit card interest rate - - and while that's all interesting I'm also intrigued that he reported a book advance of only $45,000 - - while Marco Rubio's was $800,000.

And Rubio's deal appears to have more solid royalties; did he have a more intimidating agent that Walker?

In April, it was reported that Walker had a negative net worth of -$72,500.

No wonder Walker once waxed enviously about making some real money in the private sector.

Anytime...

Update: No reported gifts, reimbursements and travel expenses for himself and/or family?

All that campaign related-travel and lodging, say, to Israel recently, and across the US...to phase Koch soirees, for example, or to see Sheldon Adelson in Vegas, and nothing to report. Really?


Walker unfamiliar with climate change & the word 'most'

This line in a story about Walker's instant opposition to President Obama's market-based climate change/cleaner air plan caught my eye:
Asked at a New Hampshire town hall event in July whether he believes climate change is a man-made issue, Walker said he thinks most scientists would say there has "not been a noticeable change" in the last 15-20 years.
Really? 

Most scientists would say there has "not been a noticeable change in 15-20 years?"

Or is it some, or a few?

Before we go any further to evidence that undercuts him, cut the guy some slack.

Walker's been cooped up in scores of airplane rides, RV trips across Iowa heading for all 99 of its counties and so many hours of campaign strategy and training sessions that he's missed much of the climate news of late - - California is nearly out of surface water while the land and forests is burning after years of drought, the normally cool Northwest is sizzling and glaciers are melting from Greenland to Alaska:

BARROW, Alaska — 
Here, as close to the top of the world as you can get in America, the signs are serious indeed: The Arctic Ocean is melting faster than at any time on record. This February, the sea ice that stretches from North America to Russia reached its lowest-known winter extent and began melting 15 days earlier than usual. 
That continued a three-decade trend that has seen the ocean’s ice lose about 65 percent of its mass and about half of its reach during the summer. In 20 or 30 more years, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly devoid of ice in the summer, climate scientists believe.
Here's some illustrative scientific evidence:

(The maps above compare the Arctic ice minimum extents from 2012 (top) and 1984 (bottom). In 1984 the sea ice extent was roughly the average of the minimum from 1979 to 2000, and so was a typical year. The minimum sea ice extent in 2012 was roughly half of that average.( 

And while it is not known if Walker studied oceanography or meteorology or logic before he dropped out of Marquette University in 1990 two credits short of junior status and 34 credits short of graduation - - he refuses to disclose his transcript - - Walker does claim some expertise in women's neuroscience as it relates to reproduction, and you can't expect him to be an expert in everything.

So let's look at what experts are saying about their climate data so Walker can dump his misleading talking points and verbal chaff and correct himself.

Where better to start than the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources - - the agency which Walker has remade with a "chamber of commerce mentality" and stripped of many of its scientists in the budget he just signed.


Its website is still noting that there are indeed present-tense impacts of climate change and "Human activities that increase heat–trapping ("green house") gases are the main cause."

So look for more heads to roll at the agency, and since the Walker DNR deleted most of what the Doyle administration left on the agency's climate change pages, don't be surprised if this current language about climate change and Wisconsin gets edited or deleted because it lists what "scientists agree" about:

Climate Change and Wisconsin´s Great Lakes
Earth´s climate is changing. Human activities that increase heat–trapping ("green house") gases are the main cause. 
Earth´s average temperature has increased 1.4 °F since 1850 and the eight warmest years on record have occurred since 1998. 
Increasing temperatures have led to changes in rainfall patterns and snow and ice cover. These changes could have severe effects on the Great Lakes and the plants, wildlife and people who depend on them. While no one can predict exactly what climate change will mean for our Great Lakes, scientists agree that the following changes are likely if climate change patterns continue.
  • Increased summer and winter temperatures will cause increased evaporation, lower lake water levels and warmer water, resulting in reduced habitat for cold water species and a loss of critical wetland areas.
  • Decreased winter ice cover will also contribute to increased evaporation and lower lake water levels which could have severe economic consequences for our valuable shipping industry, lakeshore recreation, and coastal businesses.
  • Changes in rain and snowfall patterns (including more frequent and severe storms) could change water flow in streams and rivers and increase stream bank erosion and runoff pollution.
  • The good news is that we can all work to slow climate change and lessen its effects. To find out more about climate change and how we can all help, please visit the following links.
Now look to that series of pesky United Nations reports put together by thousands of experts worldwide over the last few years, according to the Washington Post last year:
“Continued emission of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts,” concluded the report by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),which draws on contributions from thousands of scientists from around the world...
A succession of IPCC reports since the 1990s have drawn an ever-clearer connection between human activity and climate change. But Sunday’s “synthesis report” makes the case more emphatically than before, asserting that the warming trend seen on land and in the oceans since the 1950s is “unequivocal” and that it is “extremely likely” — a term that the IPCC uses to denote a 95 percent or greater probability — that humans are the main cause.
“Human influence on the climate system is clear,” the panel states in a 40-page summary intended for policymakers.
The Post article deals with the notion that the rate of change is pausing, as so-called skeptics like Walker ("skeptics" being less harsh than "deniers," I suppose} have suggested: 
In late 2013, when the first report of this round of the IPCC’s work came out, skeptics trained their attention on the contention that in recent years the rate of global warming has seemingly “paused” or slowed down. 
But the latest document is fairly dismissive of that idea, acknowledging that, while the rate of warming in the past 15 years has indeed been somewhat smaller than the rate since 1951, “trends based on short records are very sensitive to the beginning and end dates and do not in general reflect long-term climate trends.” 
Although it is too early to say, claims about a possible slowing of global warming may be swept aside by new data: According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, all-time monthly temperature records were broken four times in 2014 — in May, June, August and September — raising the possibility that 2014 may set a record as the hottest year ever. 
Also read that the so-called skeptics, an deologically-conervative group, have been found to base their beliefs on misinformation:
An extremely partial list of leading conservatives holding up the “pause” as a reason to doubt climate science models includes The Wall Street Journaleditors and their faithfulskeptical contributorsFox NewsMichael Barone; the Heritage Foundation; the American Enterprise Institute; the Cato Institute; National Review … and that’s not even descending to the level of the Daily CallerWashington Free Beacon, and so on. 
The importance of the global-warming pause, conservatives explained, was that we needed to get the science right. “One lesson of the IPCC report is that now is the time for policy caution. Let's see if the nonwarming trend continues, in which case the climate models will need remodeling,” explained the Journal’s editors. 
But fortunately we now have an answer. A new paper released today by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration finds that the apparent slowdown in warming was an artifact of mis-measurement. The Earth is not warming at a slower rate. It’s warming at the same fast pace as it did the previous decade
So let's look at what NASA had to say: 
Consensus: 97% of climate scientists agree
And there is this from NOAA: 
  • During June, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.58°F (0.88°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest for June in the 1880–2015 record, surpassing the previous record set last year in 2014 by 0.22°F (0.12°C).
  • The June globally-averaged land surface temperature was 2.27°F (1.26°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest for June in the 1880–2015 record, surpassing the previous record set in 2012 by 0.11°F (0.06°C). 
  • The June globally-averaged sea surface temperature was 1.33°F (0.74°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest for June in the 1880–2015 record, surpassing the previous record set last year in 2014 by 0.11°F (0.06°C)

Monday, August 3, 2015

At NH debate, Walker in talking point overdrive

[Updated] This is what happened when the tapes upstairs in Walker's head get garbled and Wisconsin's polluter-in-chief - - including air and water, despite what he tells the NH forum audience  - - turns bon mots into word salad.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker discounted President Barack Obama's plan to cut carbon emissions from power plants, saying at a forum with other GOP candidates for president that it would blow a hole in the economy.  
"It would be like a buzzsaw to the nation's economy," he said at the Voters First Presidential Forum in Manchester, N.H. "States like mine and many of the other governors here would be devastated by that.  
"I'm an Eagle Scout. We were taught long ago that your campsite should be cleaner when you leave than when you find it, so I want to balance the sustainable environment with a sustainable economy. But the two have to go hand in hand. I want clean air, clean land, clean water, but I want an economy that my children and grandchildren some day can grow in as well, so the two have to go hand in hand."
For the record, Walker has been a disaster for the Wisconsin environment.

Show me where he has left the environment better than how he found it?

Does slashing the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources budget and laying off scientists so his "chamber of commerce" senior management appointees can continue their laissez-faire 'regulation' of renegade human septic waste spreaders, cow manure overflow runoffs, frac sand spills and wetland fillings sound like dedication to a "sustainable environment?"

Show us the proof.

What a crock.

Read all about Walker's real impact on the environment, and more, in a summary documentation of Walker's history, here:

*  Documents released by a Federal Court of Appeals in Chicago showed that Walker helped coordinate the donation of $700,000 from an iron mining company to a third-party, so-called independent group which he wanted to coordinate sympathetic messaging for his successful 2012 recall campaign and re-election. 

The iron mining company helped write a new iron mining law for Wisconsin that eased its ability to dig a massive open-pit iron mine in a water-rich range of hills in NW Wisconsin close to Lake Superior and very close to a Native American reservation where wild rice is grown on estuaries.


Walker had campaigned for the new mining bill and signed it into law. The mining plan has been suspended because the site contains even more water and wetlands than the company says it initially knew about, though a drop in iron ore prices, opposition from the nearby Ojibwa reservation, environmental and conservation-minded organizations were obstacles the mining plan could not overcome.


* One of Walker's very first actions as Governor spoke volumes about his approach to environmental protection. He got the Legislature to approve a special bill to suspend before completion an ongoing environmental review by the Department of Natural Resources so that one of his 2010 campaign donors - - a car dealer and developer - - could build a retail project for Bass Pro Shops, a destination fishing and outdoors retailer on a site that included a wetland close to Lambeau Field in Green Bay. 


Bass Pro Shops pulled out of the project when it became controversial, but once the wetland filling permission was granted by the Legislature and signed into law by Walker, Cabela's, another large outdoors merchandiser, built on the site.

* In the years that followed his inauguration, Walker installed what he called "a chamber-of-commerce mentality" atop the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, traditionally a science-based regulatory agency driven by citizen participation. Basically, Walker remade the DNR into something of a reconfigured Department of Commerce, of sorts, with a new business service division and pro-corporate attitude.


Through new laws, budgets and industry-friendly appointments, Walker cut the DNR staff, reduced citizen participation and policy oversight, and enabled relaxed agency pollution and reduced investigation and enforcement. The DNR is now selling 10,000 acres of public land and, with all state funds except for campaign and permit fees removed from parks operations in Walker's budget, the DNR may sell naming rights for the parks to corporate interests.


A summary posting, here.

More proof that in Wisconsin, Walker has trumped local control

Observers of Act 10, statewide mining and shoreline deregulation, narrowed, cookie-cutter voting hours  and other post-Walker GOP dictates and mandates (one posting among many, here) know full well that he and his party are in love with their Big Government power, so this Journal Sentinel headline is something of an understatement:
Scott Walker touts local power, but doesn't always defer to local government
But it is interesting that the story and headline are on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel home page right now along with this:
35 local principals sign letter to Gov. Walker, legislature over less funding, local control

Koch-Boy Walker pranked again

Seems that Walker had a bad day in New Hampshire, what with unexpectedly pointed questions and a visual sequel to Ian Murphy's rather infamous David Koch/prank phone call punking the WI Governor, as The Washington Post posted and Tweeted:
Pretty sure Scott Walker doesn't realize what the front of this sign says:

Scott Walker, the air pollution Governor

Making sure his fresh encouragement of Wisconsin's already dirty air - - especially in Milwaukee - - matches the Wisconsin waters already constantly polluted by his enabling, "chamber of commerce" Department of Natural Resources.

Walker (cough, cough) '16.

After approving WI budget cuts comes GOP brain drain fretting

[Updated] It's been a zany political summer - - Donald Trump is leading in GOP presidential polling and Scott Walker is running second or third despite a secret email system - - the "dark side," Team Walker's phrase - - and relatively little state-inspired job growth  - - but along comes an op-ed in the Monday Journal Sentinel which suggest deep political sunstroke across Walker's home base.

The op-ed author is Duey Stroebel, a Walkerite GOP State Senator from Saukville; to combat the state's acknowledged brain drain, Stroebel is pitching a higher education aid program "to retain the state's best and brightest..." 


Well, great - - who would be against that?.

But let's remember that Wisconsin Republicans will not take up student debt relief, and Walker used his veto without complaint from his party to kill an existing higher education aid plan - - The Wisconsin Covenant.

But The Wisconsin Covenant had to go - - just like everything from climate change actions and renewable energy goals proposed by former Democratic Governor Jim Doyle to the Amtrak extension, rail construction and train assembly jobs for which he'd won federal funding because a top GOP goal since Walker's 2011 win is to strip away any possible Doyle legacy.

The FOX TV affiliate in Green Bay put it this way in February:
The Wisconsin Covenant was created eight years ago, when then-Governor Jim Doyle proposed a new program to help more kids get into college and to help those kids pay for it...
The promise was simple: 8th graders signed a pledge promising to keep a "B" average through high school, do 30 hours of community service and stay out of trouble. In return, the state would guarantee those kids a spot in a Wisconsin college and some level of financial aid... 
Today, there's not much left. On the 9th floor of an office building near the State Capitol, you'll find the one man responsible for keeping the state's promise: Garth Beyer. 
FOX 11 Investigates sat down with Beyer and his boss, John Reinemann...
When asked why the program is being phased out, Reinemann replied, "Well, Governor Walker, in his veto message in his 2011 budget, indicated that he was trying to economize on state spending. He wanted to prioritize resources to programs that were effective."
But let's take a look at the bigger picture that is making Wisconsin less appealing to students, young workers and families.

Stroebel has been a reflexive backer of conservative GOP policies, and Walker, beginning with Act 10 that stripped away the career appeal and middle-class stability of many public sector professions, including teaching, which has helped keep college graduates in Wisconsin.

In fact, Stroebel returned to the Legislature after a brief absence due to a failed run for Congress and pledged loyalty to whatever Walker wanted:

Stroebel said he would seek to advance the policies of Gov. Scott Walker such as tax cuts and public funding of private voucher schools. 
"We must make Wisconsin's tax climate more competitive, eliminate the statewide cap on school choice, continue reforms to welfare eligibility, (and) fight back against the destructive elements of Obamacare," Stroebel said in a statement.... 
Stroebel said he would also seek to overhaul the state's elections agency, the Government Accountability Board, oppose the Common Core academic standards and champion what is known as right-to-work legislation, which prohibits workers from being required to pay union dues.
True to his word, Stroebel favored Walker's full, $300 million cut to the UW budget - - a reduction so Draconian and damaging to university towns that his party later rolled back by $50 million.

The Walker budget for which Stroebel voted (only one of Stroebel's GOP Senate colleagues, Rob Cowles, bucked Walker and voted "no) also:


* Ended UW faculty tenure as it had been traditionally known - - a disincentive for younger faculty to remain in graduate schools here, or to be recruited or to remain in Wisconsin.

* Boosted highway spending while disregarding transit, and even ended a program requiring that new state road projects include sidewalks or bike paths, though there is plenty of evidence around that young people want access to alternatives to cars they cannot afford or choose not to drive.

* Created a new brain drain through ideologically-targeted layoffs among Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources scientists, and even raised state park admission and camping fees while reducing the acreage Wisconsin could purchase for conservation and recreation.

* Defined the mandated state hourly minimum wage of $7.25 which Walker refuses to raise as a "living wage," providing no real safety net for young people working one or two minimum-wage positions - - or are between jobs, or not yet in the job for which they have trained - - while many other states and cities offer higher, more attractive and humane minimums.

Note how far below a true hourly living wage is $7.25 in Wisconsin, data show. 

How many negative messages for young people and families and their future in Wisconsin could one document contain?

Stroebel has also lined up with the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce to back the repeal of a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources air pollution rule and supported limitations on early voting hours, as his right-wing and partisan record indicates.


One tweaking of a scholarship program, while a nice idea, will do little to stem a brain drain for which Stroebel and his party bear much responsibility.



550+ million ways Walker has hurt Wisconsin

$550 million is the amount of federal health-care dollars Walker has rejected, with the total estimated to balloon to $2.5 billion.

Why? They are Obamacare dollars. Enough said - - and if anyone missed out on an organ transplant or crucial drug therapy or what others call 'routine' surgery, too bad, so sad, said the Governor and legislators with Cadillac health care provided and subsidized by taxpayers.

Add that to $800 million in Amtrak expansion funding he rejected - - and all the jobs and social benefits sacrificed to ideology through those funding refusals - - and you wonder why he cares so little for out state and its residents.

And, again, look to Minnesota for sanity and cheaper health insurance.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

NW land owner looking for another iron mine speculator

Who wants to throw away the kind of money GTac wasted on unproductive wetlands exploration and mapping that 'discovered' too much water in the surrounding Penokee Hills and Bad River watershed - - not to mention big money spent on political grease?

What mining operation wants a ten-year losing fight with the US EPA, the US Army Corps of Engineers and the Bad River Ojibwe?


On Recordsgate, MJS editor slams offenders. Now what?

[Updated, 3:20 p.m.] Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editor George Stanley called out Scott Walker, Robin Vos and other GOP elected politicians in a tough, naming-names online "Editors' note" column Saturday - - not in the bigger Sunday hard copy edition, regrettably - - about what I am calling here Recordsgate:
Now we know who tried to gut open records law — and failed
...it was Gov. Scott Walker and staff who added language exempting "deliberative process" documents from public records. This would have allowed elected representatives — and bureaucrats — to bury records revealing lobbying, opinions, analyses, recommendations, negotiations, suggestions and other notes that precede a decision. 
...it was Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and staff who sought language that would have granted lawmakers broad new privileges to hide most legislative documents, even when sued, and to ban their staffs from discussing issues even after leaving their jobs...
When the public roared against limiting records access, Gov. Walker said it "didn't come from us."
He is still refusing to release some records revealing the history of his unpopular proposed changes to the mission of the University of Wisconsin, which he blamed on a drafting error. He is using the same language he tried and failed to insert into state law, saying he doesn't have to release records made during deliberation of the proposed changes. 
This reminds me of somewhat of The New England Patriots Deflategate: An investigation found that damage had been done behind the scenes to the integrity of the game for  self-serving, unfair advantage.

The NFL followed through with Tom Brady's four-game suspension, a hefty team fine and loss of a draft pick.

In other words, there were findings, then there were consequences, with lessons taught, we presume.

I know this is not a perfect analogy, certainly, as Recordsgate rattled institutions and procedures and citizens far wider than did a professional playoff football game played on a secretly-tiled field.

Is anything forthcoming by the newspaper, such as a withdrawal of prior endorsements, or at least a declaration that the Open Records saboteurs - - especially the nationally-ambitions Walker who "is still refusing to release some records" - - are now on something akin to 'earn it back endorsement probation?'

Update: And thanks to a commenter who encourages the paper to follow-up strongly on the GOP/Walker/Boss Vos self-serving and partisan attack on the Governmental Accountability Board, since the attack is also undermining fair and open government.

Walker is running for President, and Vos is believed to have his eye on the Wisconsin Governor's mansion should Walker vacate it.

Will the newspaper say, at least for now, that Walker and Vos have caused their bar for support to be raised, and that neither rate the paper's editorial endorsement right now, nor would get it if elections were to be held, say, two Tuesdays from today and the paper were to make endorsements?

The Des Moines Register recently editorialized that Donald Trump should drop out of the Republican presidential race. His attack on John McCain was the tipping point.

Huffington Post took a different tack, saying it would cover the Trump campaign only as entertainment, not politics.

Both actions sent messages made stronger through follow-up.

In other words, what is the newspaper's best response to a coordinated political attack using state power on Wisconsin's foundational democratic processes? 

An attack which the newspaper says Gov. Walker is continuing.

I'm realistic enough to know the Journal Sentinel will not go as far as did Iowa's biggest newspaper, or Huffington Post, but will the Journal Sentinel take its strong and justified words of today and back up them up with something to show that there are consequences when elected officials use state power for partisan and personal advantage and are caught red-handed doing so by the state's largest newspaper doing its job on behalf of its readers and the public?

If Stanley's broadside wraps up the paper's justified condemnation in this matter the words will roll off the elected officials' political backs and die in a news cycle now measured in minutes, if not seconds.

WashPost column rates 'mediocre' Walker 3rd among GOP hopefuls

Pretty strong rating for a "mediocre" Walker from "The Fix" - - ahead of several other Republicans in a top ten list, including #5 Kasich (the favorite Midwestern governor among many national media for his occasional humanity) and #4 Trump - - but behind the two Floridians,  #2 Rubio and his purported mentor, #1 Bush:
3. Walker: The Wisconsin governor has withstood the Trump Bump in Iowa and still looks like a favorite to win the first-in-the-nation caucuses there in February. Among the Republicans I spoke with, real doubts remain about how ready Walker is for the big stage and how talented he is as a candidate. I think his performance thus far has been mediocre, with occasional moments of good to very good. Is that enough?

Nonstop candidate since '88 trashes rivals as outdated

Counting his failed run for Marquette student body President, Walker is now in his 15th campaign - - but still thinks he's a fresh face.

Well - - "fresh," as in "rude," OK.

For the record, when Walker was getting his feet wet in the electoral process at Marquette, these guys were running for President, says Wikipedia:


Saturday, August 1, 2015

Charles Koch rips 'crony capitalism'

Not The Onion.

Funnier.

Headline corrected. Charles Koch, not David.

Two thoughts on Walker's continuing uncertainty about Obama's Christianity

When I read this smug, cringe-worthy and odiously disrespectful story and headline about our sorry excuse for a Governor - - Walker is still unsure whether Obama is Christian - - my first thought was, "I apologize for Walker, Mr. President."

My second thought flashed back to the comment I'm sure one old friend would have made:

"Oh, so Walker took two ass**** pills today!"

If Trump had said it with his signature dismissiveness and bluster, the outrage would be swift and universal. Same for Cruz, had he said it with that sneer, or Christie, in anger.

But Walker gets away with saying and doing the most repulsive things because he never raises his voice and media have let him peddle that preacher's son persona, despite all the obvious contradictions.

Tom Tiffany's 'small' government winners and losers

[Updated] The GOP State Senator from Hazelhurst - - friend to iron mines and frac sand mines and foe of town and local resource and planning controls who has admitted that he recommended successfully the slashing of more than a dozen DNR science positions in the just-approved state budget -- has a July 31 e-update that highlights his winners and losers:

It seems that small government means plenty of budget cuts and the end of certain services to certain users:
"More flexibility has been established for road projects with the repeal of the state's "Complete Streets" statute. Communities will no longer be forced to build bike and pedestrian paths if they believe them to be too costly or unnecessary..."
But then, again, Tiffany loves seeing resources go to favored constituencies:


DNR Lands For Sale
The Department of Natural Resources is offering five state-owned parcels of land for public sale beginning July 16, 2015.

In June 2014, the Natural Resources Board approved 22 department-owned properties totaling approximately 1,400 acres for public sale. Of these 22 parcels, 15 were land-locked with no legal access from a road and marketed to adjoining landowners. The remaining seven parcels are accessible by a town road, and the first five of these properties are posted for bid through the Wisconsin Surplus Online Auction. The bidding process for these five parcels will close Aug. 12, 2015 at 10 a.m.

The parcels available for purchase are located in Vilas, Sawyer and Lincoln counties, and range from five to 80 acres. Four of the five properties are forested, while one parcel has been used for agriculture purposes in the past. These parcels are part of the department's ongoing sale of surplus state-owned lands.

Land titles may transfer to the successful bidders subject to certain restrictions, including county snowmobile easements, DNR access easements, or "no development" requirements on certain portions of the property. Each parcel will be sold "as is," and it is the bidder's responsibility to determine the condition of the property and its suitability for any private use. Specific property information, along with maps and photographs can be found on the Wisconsin Surplus Online Auction website.

This land sale program is being carried out by the Department in compliance with Wisconsin Act 20 which requires that the Natural Resources Board offer for sale at least 10,000 acres located outside of project boundaries by June 30, 2017. The sale of select department-owned lands will help resolve key boundary and access issues, realign land ownership with conservation partners and private citizens for more efficient management, and allow the department to work closely with partner and stakeholder organizations to meet common property and conservation goals.

The department's land sale policy was shaped by public comments received at five informational meetings held throughout the state in October 2013 and by comments received through the public policy page of the DNR website. The Natural Resources Board approved the final policy in December 2013.

Shooting Ranges Receive DNR Grants
Seven public and three private shooting ranges will receive a combined total of $803,822.25 in grant funding this year through the Shooting Range Grant Program. The recipients were notified on July 3, 2015.
Seven public shooting ranges located in Barron, Chippewa, Columbia, Dunn, Florence, Portage and Vilas counties will receive grants totaling $646,450.25. One of the seven is a new range that will be developed in Columbia County. Three private shooting ranges were given grants for a total of $157,372. These existing private ranges are located in Marathon, St. Croix and Sauk counties.
The shooting range grant program began in 2013. Shooting range grants are available to counties, cities, villages, townships, other governmental agencies or units, clubs or organizations, businesses or corporations and education institutions. Currently, grants are awarded every two years and recipients must pay a portion of the total project costs. 
Eligible project types include archery ranges, backstops and berms, target holders, restroom facilities, shooting benches, baffles, trenches, signs, gun racks, platforms, protective fencing and other items the DNR deems essential for a project. Most projects include improving the range to make it compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, increasing safety aspects and developing shooting lanes for a variety of firearms. Indoor ranges may be eligible as well, including classroom, storage and restroom facilities.
Listed below are the grant recipients:
Public Shooting Range Grant Recipients
  • Barron County Maple Plains shooting range renovations
    Grand award $150,000
    Grantee share $50,000
  • Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
    Chippewa County-Cornell shooting range improvements and expansion
    Grant award $45,000
    Grantee share $22,270
  • Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
    Columbia County-Mud Lake shooting range development
    Grant award $375,000
    Grantee share $125,000
  • Dunn County
    Dunn County Land Conservation Division - Colfax shooting range renovations
    Grant award $6,000
    Grantee share $6,000
  • Florence County
    Florence County shooting range-Florence County forest rifle range improvements
    Grant award $31,177
    Grantee share $10,393
  • Portage County
    Dewey shooting range
    Dewey shooting range renovations
    Grant award $26,662
    Grantee share $8,888
  • Vilas County
    Boulder Junction shooting range renovations (phase 2)
    Grant award $12,611.25
    Grantee share $4,203.75
Private Shooting Range Grant Recipients
  • Marathon County
    Wausau Skeet and Trap Club-Wausau Skeet and Trap Club middle field skeet and trap house reconstruction
    Grant share $ 8,050
    Grantee share $ 8,050
  • St. Croix County
    Hudson Rod, Gun and Archery Club site range improvements (phase 2)
    Grant share $114,000
    Grantee share $114,000
  • Sauk County
    Sauk Prairie Trap and Skeet Club renovations
    Grant award $35,322
    Grantee share $35,32