CONTACT: Ryan Billingham, Communications Director, Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, 608-208-1129 (office), 608-213-6972 (mobile/text), or


MADISON – Governor Scott Walker accelerated his dismantling of the state’s Department of Natural Resources and its ability to protect the state’s environment this week by appointing as its chief lawyer longtime political operative Jake Curtis.

Curtis, a partisan ideologue who has openly advocated for policies that will destroy Wisconsin’s natural resources, now represents what was once one of the country’s finest conservation agencies.

Curtis has recently supported efforts to allow America’s most toxic industry, sulfide mining, to run roughshod over Wisconsin’s waters, and supported hiding evidence of air pollution in Sheboygan County.

He also has a long background in politics. He served U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz – who has said science doesn’t support climate change – in his failed bid for the White House. He also worked as policy director for state Sen. Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville). Stroebel is co-author of recent legislation that would allow hundreds of pollutants back into the air Wisconsin kids breathe.

Executive Director Kerry Schumann had this to say on the Curtis appointment:

“It is clear Gov. Walker won’t stop until the DNR is nothing but a political tool built for his corporate puppet masters who care nothing about Wisconsin’s environment or the health of Wisconsin families. Jake Curtis has no place in an agency that requires scientific objectivity and experience in conservation law. This is another sad chapter in the Walker era. From acid mining to air pollution to dirtier lakes and rivers, the damage Walker and his administration are perpetrating against the people of Wisconsin is brutal, morally reprehensible, and endangers generations of Wisconsinites.”

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