MADISON (WRN) - Former state Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch is moving forward with his proposal to split the state DNR into 2 agencies. The Republican from West Salem says he’ll introduce a bill within 2 weeks that he first made public a few weeks ago. It would let hunting, fishing, and conservation issues be run by an appointee of the Natural Resources Board. And environmental issues would have their own agency with a secretary appointed by the governor. On Friday, Democratic Governor Jim Doyle vetoed a measure that would have let the Natural Resources Board appoint the DNR secretary, with confirmation by the Senate. Marc Schultz, who heads the La Crosse County Conservation Alliance, said the veto eliminates any chance of a, “independent DNR secretary” who makes decisions on science and not special interest politics. But Huebsch said the Senate’s confirmation of a secretary would assure that politics would always be a part of natural resource decisions. And because environmental matters cost money, he said elected officials must hold natural resource officials accountable in that regard.
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