Environmentalists are concerned about Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s plans to do away with the magazine produced by the state Department of Natural Resources.
The Wisconsin State-Journal reports the closure is part of the governor’s 2017-19 budget plan. Spokespeople for Walker say the DNR should be more narrowly focused and not be in the publishing business.
However, two former DNR secretaries said eliminating the bimonthly magazine would undermine volunteer conservation groups and public understanding of DNR programs. The magazine's former editor alleges that Walker's proposal also fits a pattern of suppressing articles on climate science on endangered species that began after Republican took over state government.
Finally, there are doubts about the financial savings of such a cancelation. The bimonthly magazine is supported almost entirely by its 88,000 subscribers, so its cancelation wouldn't free up money for taxpayers. Walker counters, however, that it would help those who buy conservation patron licenses (about 40,000 people each year). Each costs $165, allows the owner to hunt and fish, and includes a subscription to Wisconsin Natural Resources. About $6 from each license went to the magazine in 2015.