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Imbalance of Power: How Shifts in State Government Undermine Wisconsin's Conservation Legacy

calendar imbalance of power

"Over the past ten years Wisconsin has fallen behind neighboring states, both in addressing longstanding conservation issues as well as emerging environmental threats....Since 2011, the collective effects of state legislative actions, court rulings, and political practices have undermined democratic processes and profoundly changed the way state government operates...Outcomes of this shift include failure to conserve natural resources in a range of areas including management of fish, wildlife, and forests, protection of public lands, and protection of clean air and water." 
~Wisconsin Greenfire

This program is based on a recent publication of Wisconsin Green Fire, a non-partisan organization whose mission is to advance science-informed analysis and policy solutions to address Wisconsin's greatest conservation challenges.

Fred Clark is the WGF Executive Director.  Fred worked more than 30 years in Wisconsin conservation, including serving as the director of The Forest Stewards Guild, as a forest ecologist for Wisconsin Chapter of The Nature Conservancy and as a forester for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.  He was appointed by both Governor Doyle and Governor Walker to the Wisconsin Council on Forestry from 2004 – 2014. He served three terms as a Representative to the Wisconsin State Assembly between 2009-2014 representing Sauk and Columbia Counties. 

Paul Heinen is the WGF Legislative Liaison, working closely with WGF work groups to share their expertise and knowledge with policy makers and their staff.  He coordinates with other conservation and environmental groups statewide. Paul started his career as a legislative aide to the Chair of the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee. He was the Legislative Liaison for the Department of Natural Resources for over 34 years. He worked to pass hundreds of new laws including the Acid Rain law, Recycling Program, the first Groundwater bill in the United States, the Stewardship Program, numerous deer and wildlife management program changes and air quality standards for the state. He has also directed legislative affairs for the Nature Conservancy of Wisconsin.

Mark Thimke earned an undergraduate degree from UW Green Bay and a law degree from Duke University.  He worked as an environmental attorney from 1979 – 2021.  Mark served on numerous DNR advisory committees, including ones focused on the development of WI water quality regulations and PCB regulations.  He was an advisor in the formation of the Remediation and Redevelopment Bureau within the DNR and helped develop and revise the DNR remediation and brownfields redevelopment rules.  He currently serves on the DNR PFAS advisory committee and the DNR Economic Development and Green Environment (EDGE) advisory committee.  He served as co-chair of the Wisconsin Brownfield Study Group from 1998 – 2022. 

cosponsors imbalance

Tuesday, January 10, 2023, 6:30 PM until 8:00 PM
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State/National LWV event
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