Conservationists Disappointed that Governor Doyle Breaks Promise

Governor Doyle Reverses Position on the Independent DNR Secretary

Conservationists are disappointed to learn that Governor Doyle has reversed his position regarding the appointment of the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources. In a letter to citizens dated March 3, 2009, Governor Doyle stated, “I believe that a system that has a strong board and a quality secretary appointed by the governor is the most effective.”

“I speak for a lot of Wisconsin conservationists, when I say that we are incredibly disappointed to hear of the Governor’s change of heart. Especially when this announcement comes just days after nearly 600 conservationists representing more than 80 organizations lobbied legislators in support of an Independent DNR Secretary,” says Anne Sayers, Program Director for the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters.

Prior to 1995, the Secretary of the DNR was selected by the Natural Resources Board. That came to an end in 1995 when the authority to appoint the Secretary was instead given to the Governor. Prior to the recent reversal, Governor Doyle had publicly supported an independent DNR Secretary since serving as Attorney General.

Restoring an independent DNR Secretary was selected as one of just four Conservation Priorities for the 2009-2010 legislative session by a coalition of more than 80 organizations with input from citizens in every corner of Wisconsin

“Following Conservation Lobby Day, we were heartened to see a bi-partisan group of more than 60 legislators express support for this policy. Like those legislators, citizens are anxious to restore integrity to natural resource decision making,” concludes Sayers.

The Conservation Priorities 2009-2010 and Conservation Lobby Day are endorsed by more than 80 Wisconsin organizations:

The Aldo Leopold Audubon Society
Alliance for Sustainability
Artha Sustainable Living Center, LLC
Apollo Alliance of Wisconsin
Association of Retired Conservationists
Baird Creek Preservation Foundation
Bayfield Regional Conservancy
Bluebird Restoration Association of Wisconsin
Brown County Chapter of the Izaak Walton League
Brown County Conservation Alliance
Centerville CARES
Citizen Action of Wisconsin
Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger (CSWAB)
Citizens for a Scenic Wisconsin
Citizens Utility Board of Wisconsin
Clean Water Action Council of N.E. Wisconsin, Inc.
Columbia County Land and Water Conservation Department
Concerned Citizens of Newport
Crawford Stewardship Project
Dane County Conservation League
Door County Environmental Council
ECOS Fox Valley
Fond du Lac County Audubon
Fox Valley Sierra Club
Friends of the Mead/McMillan Association, Inc.
Friends of Lincoln-Osceola-Garfield Greenway
Friends of the Mukwonago River
Friends of Tomorrow/Waupaca River
GrassRoots of Waukesha County
Greendale Environmental Group
Highway J Citizens Group, UA
Hoy Audubon Society
Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership, Inc.
League of Women Voters of Wisconsin
Madison Audubon Society & WI Audubon Council
Midwest Environmental Advocates, Inc.
Milwaukee County Conservation Coalition (MC3)
Milwaukee Riverkeeper
Northeast Wisconsin Audubon Society, Inc
Northeast Wisconsin Land Trust
Northwoods Land Trust, Inc.
Park Watch of Fond du Lac
Phantom Lakes Management District
Physicians for Social Responsibility-Wisconsin
Preserve Our Parks
Price County Waterways Association
Racine Dominican Eco-Justice Center
RENEW Wisconsin
River Alliance of Wisconsin
Rock River Coalition
Sauk County Land Conservation Department
Sheboygan Area Great Lakes Sport Fishermen
Sheboygan County Conservation Association
Sierra Club-John Muir Chapter
Sixteenth Street Community Health Center
Southeast Wisconsin Trout Unlimited
Sustain Central Wisconsin
Sustainable Eau Claire
The Kenosha/Racine Land Trust, Inc.
The Park People of Milwaukee County
The Wildlife Society, Wisconsin Chapter
Town and Country Resource Conservation and Development
Trout Unlimited, Wisconsin State Council
Valley Stewardship Network
Waukesha County Environmental Action League (WEAL)
Wild Ones Natural Landscapers Ltd
Wisconsin Association of Lakes
Wisconsin Association of Land Conservation Employees
Wisconsin Council of Sportfishing Organizations
Wisconsin Deer Hunters Association
Wisconsin Environment
Wisconsin Farmers Union
Wisconsin Interfaith Climate and Energy Campaign (WICEC)
Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association
Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters Institute
Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice (WNPJ)
Wisconsin Trappers Association, Inc.
Wisconsin Wetlands Association
Wisconsin Wildlife Federation

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