Passing the state budget is a tricky process, and some outdoor conservation organizations across the state will have their eye on a particular item when the 2021-2023 budget is worked out. The Knowles-Nelson Stewardship program, which provides funds to private and public organizations, including various ones in Door County, creates wider accessibility for land protection practices. It also includes funding for certain amenities such as boat launches. Governor Tony Evers has proposed that the budget call for a ten-year reauthorization of the program, as well as $70 million in annual funding. At their May 25th meeting, the Door County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution showing support for continuation of the program.
Door County Land Trust, which has long been a beneficiary of the program, is one of the organizations with a sharp eye on the budget. Executive Director Tom Clay hopes the supervisors’ support echoes through to lawmakers around the area and state. Clay says not renewing the program would be a gamechanger.
Clay adds that it’s important that the program is renewed for ten years rather than just two like last time. This way the land trust would have more time to perfect the initiatives and land deals that they want to complete.