To the Editor:
The Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program, which helps fund land acquisition in Wisconsin, is one of the best investments in Wisconsin.
Republican Knowles and Democrat Nelson created this bi-partisan supported fund. It helps leverage millions of dollars in private and federal funding for parks, recreational areas and wildlife habitat.
Wisconsin needs to step up with land preservation.
Only 17 percent of Wisconsin land is protected in some form. We lag significantly behind our neighbors: Michigan protects 28 percent of its land and MN protects 23 percent.
Yet, some state senators quoted in the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal have been exaggerating the cost of the program, which is only a small 2 percent fraction of the state debt.
In Walworth County, where I live, the fund has been invaluable in securing our most recent park, White River County Park, providing matching funds for the purchase.
Our county’s park plan calls for another park and we will likely depend on the Stewardship Fund to help with the acquisition.
Whatever county you live in, this fund has been and will be invaluable for providing green space for residents. Please contact your state representative and senator and urge them to renew the Stewardship Fund for another 10 years.