Friends of Wisconsin State Parks Members joined Gov. Walker as the Water Infrastructure For State Parks Was Signed into Law


MADISON– Senator Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) and Representative Ron Tusler (R-Harrison) released the following statements as the Parks Revitalization Act, was signed into law as 2017 Act 71:

Senator Cowles stated, “The Parks Revitalization Act is designed to tackle the ongoing issue of degrading water infrastructure in some of our most visited parks. Good drinking water quality should not be in question, and the health and safety of our visitors should be protected. By addressing the critical water infrastructure projects identified by the DNR, we can continue to ensure that our state park visitors have an enjoyable outdoors experience and continue to use our parks. I hope to see the DNR work on completing some of these critical water infrastructure projects before next summer.”

Rep. Tusler stated, “Our state parks offer a cornucopia of outdoor Wisconsin opportunities. These opportunities serve our state in many ways. Our state parks build stronger citizens, closer families, and a better business culture. They provide $350 million dollars a year in direct economic impact, support 8,200 jobs and have an annual $1.3 billion dollars indirect economic impact on the state. The Parks Revitalization Act is a great investment in an invaluable resource. I am glad we are addressing these critical water infrastructure needs so that future generations can enjoy the natural beauty of Wisconsin.”

The Parks Revitalization Act uses up to $4.5 million in unspent Knowles-Nelson Stewardship funds from FY 2016-17 to complete water infrastructure projects in some of the most frequented state parks. Some of these parks may include Devil’s Lake, High Cliff, Kohler-Andre, Peninsula and Willow River State Parks. The projects that would be completed under this bill were identified by the DNR as critical health and safety water infrastructure projects. Some of these projects may include drinking water fixture replacement, septic system replacement, vault toilet replacement, water line replacement, and waste storage areas.

DNR Outdoor Recreation Assessment - ROA

PlanningRegionsThe DNR is asking for feedback from local stakeholders and the general public regarding outdoor recreation opportunities. This past year, the department began its public input gathering effort in the most northern areas of Wisconsin. The final regions from which we are seeking public input are the Southern Gateways and Lower Lake Michigan Coastal Regions.

The department is gathering public input through an on-line questionnaire found on our web page. The department will also be hosting public open house informational meetings to gather input on the Recreation Opportunities Analysis. The meetings will be held between 4PM and 7PM. If you are interested in attending, please save the date for meetings in the following locations:

If you would like to receive periodic updates on this study, please subscribe to the ROA “GovDelivery” service. The link to this service is on the right-hand side of the ROA webpage mentioned above. After you subscribe, you will receive an email when news releases are published, when new information is available to review, and when updates occur to the ROA webpage.

Representative Ron Tusler–2017 FWSP Legislator of the Year Award

Rep. Ron Tussler with FWSP President Bill Zager and Michael McFadzenThe Friends of Wisconsin State Parks has awarded the Legislator of the Year  Award to Representative Ron Tusler (R- Harrison). 
The Legislator of the Year Award is given annually to a Wisconsin legislator and staff who best champions the advancement of Wl Parks and related natural  resource issues. This recognition is for leadership in promoting Wl parks, trails,  forests and recreation areas through legislation and supporting the mission and  objectives of the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks 
Ron has used his position on the Assembly's two environmental committees  to protect and preserve the State Parks System. Ron fought to restore general  funding and stop fee increases to use state parks in the 2017-19 State Budget.  In addition, he recently introduced the Assembly Bill - AB 537/SB 421, a bill  that would appropriate $4.5 million for the DNR to use to address critical  health, safety, and water infrastructure needs at state parks. Ron sits on the  Environment & Forestry, Natural Resources & Sporting Heritage,judiciary,  Education and Insurance Committees in the Assembly. 
Friends of Wisconsin State Parks would like to recognize and thank Rep. Tusler  for his work this year in support of the Wisconsin State Park System!
Ron Tusler was first elected to the State Assembly in 2016 to represent the Third Assembly District. He and his wife, Devon, reside in Harrison and run Tusler Law, a personal injury law firm in downtown Appleton. A native of the Fox Valley, Ron attended  ‘ Neenah High School and went on to study at the University of  A  Wisconsin—Milwaukee where he received degrees in Urban Education, Honors, History, and Political Science. Ron student-taught at Bay\/iew High School and went on to graduate from Marquette  University Law School in 2010. 
Public Service runs in Ron's family. His great-grandfather, State Senator Gordon  Bubolz, served from 1945-1953. During that time Senator Bubolz was instrumental  in setting aside land for High Cliff State Park, Heckrodt Wetland Reserve, the Center  Swamp (renamed the Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve) and many other state parks. 
Ron is proud to follow in his great-grandfather's footsteps and serve in the  legislature, preserve Senator Bubolz's legacy and protect Wisconsin's natural  resources and recreational outdoor heritage. Ron is an avid outdoorsman and can  be frequently seen riding his bicycle around High Cliff State Park. 
Ron sits on the Environment & Forestry, Natural Resources & Sporting Heritage,  Judiciary, Education and Insurance Committees in the Assembly. He has used his  position on the Assembly's two environmental committees to protect and preserve  the State Parks System. Ron fought to restore general funding and stop fee  increases to use state parks in the 2017-19 State Budget. He recently introduced AB  537/SB 421, a bill that would appropriate $4.5 million for the DNR to use to address  critical health, safety, and water infrastructure needs at state parks.       

2017 Outstanding DNR Land Manager–John Arthur

johnWe congratulate John on being selected for the HERO award this year and for his many years working for the Wisconsin State Parks program. John has been very successful in managing all of the properties in his work unit — which includes Yellowstone Lake State Park, as well as additional park system properties and the oversight of 3 trails. John has set an example of using creative ways to accomplish what is needed and to get the work done during a time when staff
is limited. It is noted that John goes above and beyond and works long hours to accomplish the mission of the state park system and to best serve the visitors of Yellowstone Lake State Park and the other properties that he manages. He has also worked with the Friends of Yellowstone Lake State Park to become
an established and successful Friends group and his support has helped them to accomplish so much in such a short time. John and his wife Amy are both
very dedicated to making Yellowstone Lake State Park a great place to visit. Congratulations on this award John!

2017 Outstanding Friends Group–Friends of Yellowstone Lake Park

yellowThe Friends of Yellowstone Lake state park have accomplished a lot in a few short years! Because of the enthusiasm of the group members, they have
worked hard to get the group established and then they went on to take over the firewood sales and the boat and bait concession. Through their fund- raising
efforts, they have been able to build a firewood shed and they have made it a priority to fund a park naturalist in just a few short years. The Friends group has
applied for and received grants such as the Knowles Nelson Stewardship grant and the FWSP Incentive grant to help fund these projects. They also have used the Trees and Flowers grant to enhance the park office with plantings for visitors to enjoy. They have shown what dedication and hard work by Friends members can do and we thank them for volunteering their time to make Yellowstone Lake State Park a great place to visit!

2017 Outstanding Individual Friends Members: Jim and Charmaine Mohr

Friends of Kohler-Andrae State Park

jimJim and Charmaine Mohr have been selected to receive this honor because of their dedication to Kohler-Andrae State Park for so many years. We are saddened that Charmaine passed away very recently and we would like to honor her as well as her husband Jim for their incredible service at the park. Jim has been the President of the Friends group and Charmaine the Treasurer for many years and they have each provided over 7000 hours in volunteer time to the Friends of Kohler-Andrae and at the park. In addition to their Friends group officer roles, they have volunteered for many years as Campground hosts at Kohler-Andrae and Governor Dodge State Parks. They have also done a great job as Nature Center hosts and presented many programs at the Sanderling Nature Center. As President and Treasurer, Jim and Charmaine were very involved in Friends projects over the years that include the interpretive programming at the park, the large Friends projects such as the accessible cabin, the paved bicycle path, the Friends fishing pond, and the expansion of the nature center parking area, along with many other projects and events over the years. We congratulate Jim and honor Charmaine with this award this evening!