cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
It seems a bit off-the-wall that the DNR would be accused of not going far enough down the Eco trail, but that is what happened when gubernatorial candidate Kathleen Falk opened her mouth on the subject. She served in the ‘public intervener’ role at one point in her government service career, and so has a vested interest in what I would call a tightly focused DNR that could, and virtually did, find wetlands where a bottle of water had been spilled.
Obviously Cathy Stepp moved into the position of Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources when appointed to that position by Governor Walker. She mentioned at the time that among her goals was to make the DNR into a more responsive unit and to help it achieve an improved image by the public. She had been a home builder in an earlier life and, I suspect, had her share of confrontations with DNR officials.
Given the quite left-of-middle reputation of Kathleen Falk, we might’ve expected that she would object to a DNR that didn’t just automatically run roughshod over the public as it seems to have been doing until Walker’s victory. I must say that the idea that we, the public, have the ability to interact in a decent manner with DNR officials is quite a breath of fresh air.
Given experiences with the outbreak of Red Swamp Crayfish in our village, and the opportunities to have interaction with members of the DNR, I think I have already seen a bit of moderation within that body. A recent meeting conducted with residents of our area by the DNR had a more conciliatory tone about it than have some of our earlier meetings.
That does not, as Falk suggests, mean that the DNR is rolling over and forgetting their mission statement; to the contrary, they are still all about the mission of preserving our environment but they do not seem to be quite so intent on forcing things unilaterally. They are now more willing to enter into discourse with us to find mutually beneficial routes to the same end goal. They acknowledge that there are property-owner rights that at least have to be part of the consideration process.
There is certainly no shortage of reasons why I will not vote for Kathleen Falk for Governor; I didn’t need another reason, but this is one I’ll gladly add to the bundle of others.
We do not need to return to the DNR of Walker’s predecessors; this version of the DNR will be just fine. It will not result in a state that ignores its environmental obligations. It will not, also, be an over-reactive tool of the Sierra Club.