Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Friday, October 04, 2013
State DNR refuses federal directive to close some popular parks
The state Department of Natural Resources on Wednesday refused a directive from the National Park Service to close a host of popular state properties because of the federal government shutdown. The park service ordered state officials to close the northern unit of the Kettle Moraine, Devil's Lake, and Interstate state parks and the state-owned portion of the Horicon Marsh, but state authorities rebuffed the request because the lion's share of the funding came from state, not federal coffers. Even though federal lands such as the Apostle Islands National Lakeshorehave been shuttered, the DNR issued a statement saying all state parks, trails and other recreational properties were open and not affected by the federal government's budget problems. The agency also reopened a boat launch Wednesdayat Wyalusing State Park on the Mississippi River. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service closed the launch on Tuesday because it was on federal land. But in a sign of defiance, the DNR removed the barricades at the landing, saying it had the legal authority to operate the launch under a 1961 agreement with the federal government. On Tuesday, vast swaths of land were closed by the federal government because of the budget stalemate. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service closed all its properties, including the Upper Mississippi National Wildlife Refuge and the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge. The agency said that fishing and hunting on those lands were prohibited. The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest also was closed. But the status of hunting and fishing on the 1.5 million acres was unclear. DNR officials gave no indication they would try to stop the public from using the forests. On Wednesday, state and federal authorities came to loggerheads over access to state land when the Park Service directed the DNR to close properties in which the state and the federal government had a cooperative financial agreement. The federal agency provided the DNR $701,000 for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, according to the DNR. The DNR said the majority of money for the parks comes from the state and that it would usestate funds to continue operations. On Tuesday, the Fish and Wildlife Service announced it was closing the federal portion of the sprawling Horicon Marsh, which attracts thousands of visitors during the fall bird migration. The federal Interior Department has also closed the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, which includes the St. Croix and Namekegon rivers in northwestern Wisconsin. As the shutdown took effect, federal authorities notified the DNR to authorize the closing of Devil's Lake State Park near Baraboo, Interstate State Park near St. Croix and the northern unit of Kettle Moraine State Forest north of Milwaukee, because they shared in the funding. A U.S. Forest Service memo says that law enforcement and fire protection services will continueon federal lands...more
This is Wisconsin, but what is happening in your state? Are they in lock-step with the federales or have they grown a pair?