3 minute read

From The Secretary

PRESTON D. COLE

Although summer may be short, it’s always an exciting season with lots of activities. Here at the DNR, we are quite busy and have lots of good news to share.

This past August, we were again at the Wisconsin State Fair celebrating all things outdoors with our “OutWiGo” themed exhibit focused on recreation across the state. It was great to see so many of you stop by for a visit, and we hope to see you again next year.

Meanwhile, Gov. Tony Evers recently announced more than $4.5 million in funding for conservation projects across Wisconsin with significant importance to several communities, conservation and natural resource protection and the state’s multibilliondollar outdoor recreation economy.

The initial projects that led to the investments were submitted to the Joint Committee on Finance by the DNR to be partially funded through the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program but had yet to receive funding. The governor’s investment, funded by the state's allocation of the American Rescue Plan Act, is supporting projects led by the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust, Milwaukee Public Schools Outdoor Spaces and Caroline Lake Preserve (Ashland County), plus land acquisition in the Town of Nashville (Forest County) and Sand Creek (Bayfield County).

Gov. Evers also announced the Wisconsin PFAS Action Council released its 2022 PFAS Action Plan Progress Report. As part of the Year of Clean Drinking Water, Gov. Evers created the council in 2019. Comprised of nearly 20 state agencies and the University of Wisconsin System, the council is charged with developing a state action plan to respond to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in Wisconsin. The 2022 PFAS Action Plan Progress Report provides updates on PFAS action under the Evers administration and recommendations for continued future action.

This summer, the Wisconsin Groundwater Coordinating Council also shared key recommendations for protecting and preserving vital groundwater resources in its 2022 annual report to the Wisconsin State Legislature. The recommendations focus on setting new and revised health-based groundwater standards and evaluating and addressing drinking water contamination from nitrates and PFAS chemicals.

Both reports are available on the DNR website at dnr.wi.gov.

Wisconsin has a long and proud history of groundwater protection. Wisconsin’s groundwater law, adopted in 1983, is held up as one of the nation’s model environmental laws in part because of its robust, science-based process for protecting the quality of our groundwater and public health.

As I have said many times before, Wisconsin truly has something special. The DNR remains steadfast in its commitment to protecting the great people of Wisconsin and our natural resources.

As the leaves begin to change and a new season approaches, this issue has an array of ideas for you to enjoy the autumn colors and learn more about our state’s wonderful offerings. I encourage you to find your adventure this fall and go wild in Wisconsin!