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DNR allows public testimony on controversial outdoor activities grant

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The state DNR has decided to allow public testimony, when its Sporting Heritage Committee meets Thursday morning to act on a controversial grant.

The panel will decide whether to give a half-million dollars to the United Sportsmen of Wisconsin Foundation – the only group which applied for funding that’s aimed at keeping the state’s hunting and fishing traditions alive.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said the group has political ties to Republicans, and it has no experience training potential outdoor enthusiasts.

GOP lawmakers made the grant a part of the new state budget. Several groups with that training were either locked out of the grant application process at budget time – or they didn’t know the grant existed until it was too late.

Senate Democrat Tim Carpenter of Milwaukee asked Governor Scott Walker Wednesday to delay the grant approval process and make it more open.

Assembly Natural Resources Committee member Nick Milroy, a Democrat from the Superior area, was among several lawmakers calling on the DNR to reject the application. He called it a, “shady giveaway” and a “slap in the face to Wisconsin outdoor enthusiasts.”