Act Now to Save Wisconsin's Lands and Waters

Land & Water Conservation

For almost 30 years, the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program has been a highly successful partnership with the citizens of Wisconsin to protect our lands and waters so people and nature can thrive.

But the Stewardship Program is under threat. Instead of being renewed for 10 years in 2019, as has been the case since its inception, it was only renewed for two years. It will expire in July 2021 if it is not included in the next state budget and passed by the Wisconsin Legislature.

The Stewardship Program has accomplished much in 30 years, including:

  • Protecting some of the most beautiful lands and waters in our state—from the Northwoods to Door County and the Driftless Area—for wildlife and recreation.
  • Conserving the forests, wetlands and grasslands that keep our water clean by filtering out pollutants and that mitigate flood damage by capturing and slowing rainwater and snowmelt.
  • Protecting more than 250,000 acres of sustainable, working forest lands in Northern Wisconsin, along with the many forest industry jobs these lands provide.

Outdoor Wisconsin is more important now than ever, and there is more work to do to protect natural areas near our cities, clean our drinking water and help communities stay resilient as our climate changes.

Please reach out to the Governor and your state legislators today and ask them to reauthorize the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program for 10 more years at $70 million/year. Your voice can make all the difference!

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Reauthorize the Stewardship Program for 10 years

Dear TNC

One of the reasons I love Wisconsin and am proud to call it home is our beautiful forests, lakes and rivers and the many recreation opportunities they provide. For 30 years, the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program has been a critical partner in protecting the lands and waters at the heart of our economic success and enviable quality of life.

While the Stewardship Program has accomplished great things so far, as Wisconsin grows and our economy expands, we need a strong program now more than ever. This has only been made more evident this year as we turn to nature as a place to safely spend time together during this pandemic.

Land protection takes time - and the bigger and more complex the project, the more time it can take. The state, local municipalities, land trusts and other non-profits need to be certain that the Stewardship Program will be there when the negotiating is done. That is why I am asking you to reauthorize the Stewardship Program for 10 years at $70 million/year in the next state budget.

We all benefit from the lands and waters the Stewardship Program protects. Let's continue the strong bipartisan tradition of protecting the natural resources we all love and depend on.