Walker Says That Debate Over Stewardship Program Isn’t Over


Governor Scott Walker says the final size of Wisconsin’s Stewardship land conservation program may not be set in stone just yet.

GOP members on the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee are recommending a major cut in the bonding program, and want some state land to be sold. Walker won’t criticize his fellow Republicans, but won’t promise that the debate is over.

“I understand the frustration they had the feeling that state government in the past had maybe taken on too much land, particularly land that wasn’t open to access particularly to people who are interested in hunting, fishing and trapping. But part of what we did was take the moneys that were set aside for the Stewardship fund and try and put additional requirements or provisions in to make sure that it was accessible to the public. I think you can do that without reducing the amount in the fund. But that’s an ongoing issue we’ll discuss.”

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Walker says he doesn’t think he can add more money back into Stewardship, if the budget cuts reach his desk. But he says the state Senate and Assembly get a crack at the budget first. Sen. Frank Lasee (R-De Pere) today blasted the program, arguing Wisconsin owns enough land to start another state.