Letter to Members RE DNR Alignment

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FWSP and WDNR management met in Eau Claire on December 5.  At this meeting we discussed the new alignment of WDNR.  Please find the following letter explaining FWSPs point of view.  If you have any questions or concerns about this letter, please let Bill Zager know.  FWSP will keep you informed as we get information on this and other topics that impact the Local Friends Groups, FWSP or the Bureau of Parks Recreation Management.

Dear Friends of Wisconsin State Parks-

Many of us have been hearing about the DNR alignment and have questions about how it will affect our parks and trails. Local friends groups provide thousands of volunteer hours and dollars to help support the mission and activities of the Wisconsin state parks, forests, trails, and recreation areas. The work local friend’s groups provide has never been more important, and will continue to be important moving forward. Our combined efforts have shown to be effective to help promote and expand recreation opportunities that enhance our parks, trails and communities.

Representatives of the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks (FWSP) met with state DNR leaders this week. FWSP feel the long term effects of the alignment will be positive. FWSP is dedicated to working alongside WI State Parks to create the best possible park system now and in the future. While we don’t have all the details, the key components of the alignment are listed below. In the coming weeks your property managers will be reaching out to your local friend’s group to discuss more details of the agency alignment.

  1. The Bureau of Parks and Recreation will now be called the Bureau of Park and Recreation Management.
  2. The Park and Recreation Management program will now manage all recreation management on all department lands including lands managed by the Fish, Wildlife, Natural Heritage Conservation, and Forestry programs.
  3. Habitat management will now be performed by Habitat Management experts in the Wildlife, Fisheries and Natural Heritage Conservation Programs on all department lands including Park and Recreation Management lands.
  4. Public health and safety has and will continue to be a top priority of the DNR and Parks and Recreation Management Program. Through an alignment transition process, over the next several months, all DNR law enforcement services will be provided by the Bureau of Law Enforcement.

Some of the above listed small-scale initiatives will be completed in the coming months while others may take 1-2 years. Click on this link for the DNR press release regarding alignment. http://dnr.wi.gov/news/releases/article/?id=4135

 Local friend’s groups are valued partners. Wisconsin State Parks could not provide the service and recreational opportunities without your continued support. FWSP will continue to track these changes and keep you informed about the process. Feel free to reach out to your property manager or FWSP Board members for more information.

Friends of Wisconsin State Parks

Bill Zager, President FWSP