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the past and future of WI conservation

The Past & Future of Conservation Funding in Wisconsin

Jason Stein from Wisconsin Policy Forum joins to discuss funding for Wisconsin’s natural resources.

Then we talk to Laura Packard from Courage for America – an accountability campaign speaking out against MAGA extremists’ agenda. She is fresh off of their nationwide “Back Off Our Benefits” bus tour including a stop in La Crosse on April 15th.

Guests: Greg Bach, Jason Stein

Check out this episode on Spotify and Apple Podcasts!

This Land is Our Land

Wisconsin is a state that’s truly blessed with natural beauty. With two amazing lakes – Michigan and Superior – as well as the iconic Mississippi River, it’s no wonder that Wisconsinites take great pride in their environment. They love getting outdoors and enjoy activities like hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, and biking more than most other places. But it’s not just about recreation – these natural resources are also critical to the state’s economy. They attract visitors and generate tourism revenue, and they support industries like forestry and waterborne shipping. And with that natural beauty comes a lot of outdoor recreation, which has skyrocketed over the last two years. 

But Wisconsin’s natural heritage is facing some serious challenges these days. Climate change, development, invasive species, overcrowding in parks, and changing trends in outdoor recreation are all taking a toll. 

Unfortunately, keeping up with these new challenges is proving tough for conservation and parks programs. Part of the problem is funding – tax revenue for conservation and parks in Wisconsin has been shrinking for years. That means the state has to rely more on user fees and borrowing to keep public land purchases and ongoing operations going. But now even those sources of funding are under threat.
We interview Jason Stein, Research Director at Wisconsin Policy Forum, about his new report “This Land is Our Land: The Past and Future of Conservation Funding in Wisconsin” about what the report found when it comes to the assets needed for conservation and what approaches used in other states could Wisconsin consider.

Back Off Our Benefits Bus Tour

We interview Laura Packard, a cancer survivor who serves as Executive Director of Health Care Voter and as a Courage for America spokesperson, about the “Back Off Our Benefits” Bus tour. 

Courage for America is an accountability campaign speaking out against MAGA extremists’ agenda. They organized the13 city bus tour to speak out against the efforts to cut life-saving programs that Americans rely on—like Social Security, Medicare, SNAP, and veterans benefits.  They even stopped in La Crosse to urge Rep. Van Orden to promise his constituents they won’t cut these essential benefits. 

After you listen to the episode, read Laura’s op-ed in the Wisconsin Examiner, “Rep. Derrick Van Orden, stop playing politics with our livelihoods.”  

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