MADISON – Today Senator Jeff Smith (D-Brunswick) and Senator Bob Wirch (D-Somers), members of the Senate Committee on Sporting Heritage, Small Business and Rural Issues, responded to a press conference involving Ted Nugent and the Republicans’ odd package of bills affecting hunting, fishing, firearms and rule-making in Wisconsin.
“Republicans are simply not listening to what sportsmen across Wisconsin have been asking for,” said Senator Smith. “If Republicans spent more time in the woods and less time with their right-wing ideological special interest buddies, they would know they don’t want holdouts on the Natural Resources Board, they demand more action on CWD and they want our rights to be restored in the Conservation Congress. Thankfully, sportsmen are smart enough to know when they are being used as pawns in their political games with the Governor.”
Senator Wirch said, “Instead of taking their cues from out-of-state, far right ‘celebrities’ like Ted Nugent, Republicans should get their ideas from the real experts – the hunters, anglers and outdoor enthusiasts with the Wisconsin Conservation Congress.”
Republicans have continually ignored calls for more action on Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), which is spreading through Wisconsin’s Whitetail deer herd at an alarming rate. For years, Republicans have also refused to fix their mistake that prevents the Conservation Congress from making timely recommendations to Wisconsin’s hunting, fishing and trapping regulations. Additionally, Republicans colluded in secret with Fred Prehn, a Walker appointee, to remain on the Natural Resources Board despite calls from the public to step down after his term expired in May of this year.
Republicans have also rejected policies to mitigate the disastrous effects of climate change. Warmer temperatures drastically affect habitats and worsen the spread of diseases like CWD and disrupt critical links in the food chain for wildlife. Wisconsin stands to lose a lot more than its deer population if climate change is not addressed; there will be ramifications affecting the state’s tourism industry and local economies.