Scott Walker and Wisconsin Republican legislators have already declared that they want to make the state park system more costly for users. Now they're revealing their plan to allow more of our state forests to be cut down.
Currently, there are 296,775 acres designated for intensive timber harvesting in the Brule River, Black River, Coulee, Peshtigo River, Northern Highland American Legion and Flambeau River state forests.
State forests have other categories not earmarked for the most aggressive type of logging, but the changes sought by lawmakers would lump in other land for heavier cutting.
The changes could mean adding more logging on nearly 37,500 acres.Yet another proposal from the Republicans without discussion or public input. Another case of making significant changes without any deliberation.
The proposal was one of several amendments to a funding package for forestry programs the 2015-'17 budget that was approved, 12-4, by the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee on May 7. The measure must still go to the GOP-controlled Assembly and Senate and Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
Democrats on the panel objected to the changes, which they didn't see until the amendments were introduced at the meeting.
"You are going to do it without allowing the public to weigh in and you are going to do it without letting us hear from the industries that are impacted," said Rep. Chris Taylor (D-Madison.)
"This is not the right way to make law."