State land trusts applauded Governor Doyle and the Legislature for coming to agreement on legislation that will reauthorize the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund at $85 million a year through 2020, up from the current $60 million, calling the agreement a major bipartisan step forward in continuing to conserve the best of outdoor Wisconsin.
"We commend Governor Doyle and legislative leaders for recognizing the vital importance of investing in our nationally renowned forests, lakes and streams; conserving habitat while supporting our forestry, tourism and other industries," said Mary Jean Huston, state director of The Nature Conservancy.
“Future generations will look back and thank Governor Doyle and our legislative leaders for having the foresight to support and expand the Stewardship Fund,” said Vicki Elkin, Stewardship Campaign Director for Gathering Waters Conservancy. “We are in a tight race to protect Wisconsin’s last remaining wild places. The budget agreement reached will help ensure our success.”
The Stewardship Fund is a state program established in 1990 that protects natural areas, water quality, wildlife habitat, parks and recreational lands through voluntary agreements with willing landowners. More than 470,000 acres in 71 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties have been protected to date. The program provides public access for outdoor activities including hunting, fishing, hiking, canoeing, wildlife watching and biking.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.