Walker cancels controversial DNR grant, earning wildlife federation’s approvalThe Wisconsin Wildlife Federation is applauding Gov. Scott Walker for cancelling asporting grant to a politically connected lobbying group.
By: Rich Kremer, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
The Wisconsin Wildlife Federation is applauding Gov. Scott Walker for cancelling asporting grant to a politically connected lobbying group.
The $500,000 Sporting Heritage Grant, which was aimed at getting more people involved in hunting and fishing in the state, had been given to the United Sportsmen of Wisconsin Foundation. The grant had been added to the biennial budget but came under fire after it was found that United Sportsmen – the only group able to apply for the grant – focused mainly on lobbying and didn’t have much experience with hunter recruitment.
Last week, Walker ordered the Department of Natural Resources to cancel the grant. Wisconsin Wildlife Federation Director George Meyer supports the move; he suggests that the grant shouldn’t go to one group, but instead should go to numerous groups with real experience with young kids.
“These groups would each get a small part of that half-million dollars,” says Meyer. “We could really get some programs on the ground within the next year or 18 months.”
Also, Meyer says before they state gives out any money they should get all the sporting groups together to see if they can coordinate their efforts.
“We asked for the DNR, before they issue that money, to get all the groups in a room for once,” he says. “Each group can say, ‘This is what we’re doing.’”
The DNR hasn’t said whether it would re-offer the grant or if it has the legal authority to do so. Any changes to the Sporting Heritage Grant would have to come from lawmakers.