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Former DNR Secretaries Oppose Splitting Agency
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 01/12/2017

As talk resumes about the possibility of dividing the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources into two separate agencies, a small group of people most familiar with the inner workings of the organization feel the move would be a bad idea. Five former DNR secretaries and a past deputy secretary signed a letter this week calling on lawmakers and Gov. Scott Walker to reject the concept.

"It is our experience from administering the agency that the issues that the DNR deals with on a daily basis require constant interaction between the Department's 25+ Bureaus," the memo said. "Breaking up the DNR would create the need for additional salaried executives and other personnel for a new agency as well as higher executive pay in departments that would have hundreds of additional employees to manage."

The letter was signed by Tony Earl (1975-1980), Bruce Braun (1980-1992) George Meyer (1993-2001), Darrell Bazzell (2001-2003), Scott Hassett (2003-2007), and Matt Frank (2007-2011).

Rep. Adam Jarchow has been talking about drafting legislation to split the DNR since last year. The Balsam Lake Republican feels that one division of the agency could focus on growing and promoting Wisconsin's sporting heritage, while the other office would concentrate on protecting the environment and natural resources.

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