Gathering Waters Conservancy (GWC) is disappointed by the Joint Finance Committee’s decision to cut funding for the Knowles Nelson Stewardship Program by $63.5 million between now and 2020. But we're also grateful to each and every person who made their voices heard and reached out to their legislators to express their support of the program.
May 16, 2011
Wisconsin Farmland ALERT—State Budget Update
The Joint Committee on Finance is set to take up the Working Lands Initiative on Wednesday, May 18. This may be our last chance to preserve a strong farmland protection program in Wisconsin. We need direct contact with lawmakers and the governor. Contacting members of Joint Finance now is extremely important. By next Wednesday, it will be too late.
Several lawmakers are working on an amendment to keep most of the Working Lands Initiative intact. But opponents of farmland protection are working overtime to eliminate key parts of the program. Lawmakers need to hear from us. We represent the voices of citizens across the state, not special interests. Please contact lawmakers with these messages:
- We support efforts to save the Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easements program.
- We support honoring the state's commitments to the first 16 PACE applicants selected in 2010.
- We support efforts to adjust but keep conversion fees that are applied only when land is rezoned from farmland preservation zoning for development.
- Lawmakers need to know we will support them in their efforts to preserve a strong program. Click on the links below for contact information. All contacts are important, but those coming from constituents are especially so.
There are some key members of Joint Finance who can help steer us to victory. Contacting them is a high priority.
On the Senate side: Senator Sheila Harsdorf, R-River Falls; Senator Luther Olsen, R-Ripon, and Senator Joe Leibham, R-Sheboygan. Sen. Harsdorf in particular has emerged as a leader.
On the Assembly side: Representative Robin Vos, R-Burlington, co-chair of the Joint Committee on Finance; Rep. Representative Pat Strachota, R-West Bend, and Representative Dan Meyer, R-Eagle River.
Also, we need to reinforce our support for the work of Rep. Ed Brooks, R-Reedsburg; Rep. Keith Ripp, R-Lodi; Rep. Rep. Gary Tauchen , R-Bonduel; and Rep. Al Ott, R-Forest Junction. They have been working to forge a compromise amendment.