The Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program Faces a Threat in 2019.
The Stewardship Program has provided millions of dollars for land and water protection in Wisconsin since 1989. This January, your elected officials will begin debating the future of this program.
Ever since the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program was created through a bipartisan effort nearly 30 years ago, elected officials have “authorized” funding for the program every 10 years.
In other words, both Republican and Democratic legislators and governors have agreed: land and water protection are so important that funding for Stewardship Program should be authorized for an entire decade at a time.
So why is 2019 such a critical year for the Stewardship Program? Because the most recent 10-year funding authorization for the program will end soon.
Unless the Republican-controlled legislature and Governor Evers can agree to reauthorize funding for the Stewardship Program in the 2019 state budget, we will lose this vital source of funding for land and water protection.
Over the past several years, we’ve had to defend the Stewardship Program against cuts to the funding that had already been authorized. But that 10 years of authorized funding is about to end. In 2019, your elected officials will have to agree to reauthorize funding for the Stewardship Program for the first time in 10 years.
That’s a big deal and will require all hands on deck.