Yahara Waterway Photo by Mario Quintana

What is the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program?

December 17, 2018 -- gweditor

The Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program is what makes land and water conservation in Wisconsin possible. But most people have never heard of it. Knowles-Nelson works behind the scenes to make it possible for conservation organizations and the DNR to purchase land, to build trails, to maintain our parks and boating facilities, and to take care of our shorelines. Read on for a quick introduction to the program, and then sign up for Team Knowles-Nelson to receive updates on our efforts to renew and strengthen the Stewardship Program. Knowles-Nelson is up for renewal in 2019 and your legislators need to hear from you that strengthening the program is essential for Wisconsin.

Knowles-Nelson is for Wisconsin's water, wildlife, and our way of life.

Knowles-Nelson provides funds for cities, counties, non-profit groups, and the state to purchase land for conservation. It funds essential upkeep and maintenance of our waterways, parks, forests, and trail systems. The Ice Age Trail across Wisconsin, snowmobile and ATV trails up north, and boat launches on our lakes and rivers all benefit from Knowles-Nelson funding. County forests remain working forests open to recreation because of Knowles-Nelson grants. Local governments and citizen conservation organizations also receive funds to purchase land for conservation. Knowles-Nelson has funded projects in every single county in Wisconsin. If there's a natural place in Wisconsin that is special to you, chances are Knowles-Nelson has made it better.

Knowles-Nelson is bi-partisanship at its best.

Clean water, habitat for wildlife, and the land to support Wisconsin's way of life is something we can all agree on.

Named after two former Wisconsin governors--Warren Knowles, a Republican, and Gaylord Nelson, a Democrat--the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program honors Wisconsin's historic commitment to land and water protection.

Since its inception in 1989, Republicans and Democrats across the state have championed the program because our land, water, and wildlife don't have political affiliations. We all want Wisconsin to be a healthy, thriving place to live, work, and play. We believe that strengthening the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program is an opportunity for citizens and lawmakers across the state to work together.

Now is the time to act.

The governor and state legislature must act to renew and strengthen the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program in their 2019 budget or it will soon expire. The governor and legislators can ensure that we have the tools to care for Wisconsin's land, water, wildlife, and way of life by renewing and strengthening the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship program. You can support the effort by joining Team Knowles-Nelson and we'll let you know when to speak up, what to say, and make it easy to get your messages to the right people. Thank you for your support!

#Knowles-Nelson for Wisconsin's water, wildlife, and our way of life.


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