Wisconsin has 2.3 million wildlife watchers who generate eleven times the state and local tax revenue of 650,000 hunters and trappers, yet who have never had a say in how Wisconsin manages wildlife and nature. This taxation without representation has persisted for 77 years, with ZERO voice for the majority who do not hunt or trap our wildlife. Wisconsin has a Department of Natural Resources that is just a killing business, brokering wildlife destruction to a special interest hunting and trapping lobby, through their sole advisory group, the Wisconsin Conservation Congress (WCC). Hunters have delegates (360 statewide - 5 for each of the 72 counties); we who do not harm wildlife have none. Recognizing the well documented crisis in biodiversity, habitat loss, human-caused species' extinctions and climate change, we the undersigned silent sports citizens and living wildlife lovers, claim our equal rights and equal responsibilities by requiring the legislature to establish a GENERAL PUBLIC FUND and LIVING WILDLIFE BIODIVERSITY CONGRESS as a parallel organizational advisory structure. We will finally have fair representation when we can elect delegates, propose policy, and direct our taxes to projects that help our wildlife and ecosystems. If hunters have the right to kill, we the non-killing majority have an equal right to steward our commonwealth, and protect and honor our wildlife. We the undersigned citizens of Wisconsin petition the legislature to democratize our governance of nature. We ask the legislature to establish this alternate Biodiversity Congress and general public fund for stewarding our most valuable commonwealth, nature and wildlife (ending management funded exclusively by killing licenses which denies democracy). As long as killing licenses are the major source of internal funding of the DNR, there will be no democracy in Wisconsin governing of the commons. The commons have been privatized by the state for special interests. This is a crime against the citizens of our state and a crime against nature! Safe and transparent annual elections of delegates to represent us, under Wisconsin election law, will serve as a check and balance to the Department of Natural Resources, now solely advised by the WCC hunting/trapping lobby. They have co-opted power that should belong to all citizens. We petition the congress and senate to address this injustice now, and work together with us, in the progressive tradition of Wisconsin to insure democratic representation, a living world for future generations, and policies generating respect for all life.
We, the undersigned, petition the congress and senate to draft and support legislation to create a Biodiversity Congress and general public fund for Wisconsin citizens who do not kill wildlife to have fair representation in wildlife and nature policy-making in our own state. For 75 years, about 7,000 hunters acting through their hunting lobby, the Conservation Congress, have proposed and decided wildlife policy exclusively for their sport and trophy killing. However, wildlife watching has evolved as the fastest growing outdoor activity, increasing at 8% per year, as hunter numbers decline. Now 2.3 million Wisconsin citizens (almost 4 times as many citizens as hunters) bring ten times as much revenue to the state and local tax coffers as hunters, yet we have ZERO representation for that taxation. We have never had our fair and equal rights to steward nature and help our wildlife. In this time of human-caused habitat loss, species' extinctions, and climate change, we claim our equal responsibility and right to participate in stewarding nature. An elected delegation in a parallel congress, a Biodiversity Congress, will be created to represent our concerns in a fair and transparent process under Wisconsin election law. This will give check and balance to the hunting/trapping lobby (Conservation Congress) that now exclusively dominates nature and wildlife policy-making for its own special interest agenda. All citizens should have fair representation for taxation, created and protected by our legislative representatives. We, the undersigned, petition you to address this injustice in a timely manner - now. 75 years of total special interest control is no longer acceptable. Thank you for taking time to read this letter. I know that democracy and fair representation in stewarding our most valuable commonwealth, nature and wildlife, as well as a living world, are your utmost concern as well. We can work together to democratize nature governance in the progressive tradition of Wisconsin, and set a model for the country.
Keep up the great work. Look what you've accomplished!
grab this widget
for your site or blog
Make a difference for the issues you care about while adding cool interactive
content. Your readers sign without ever leaving your site. It's simple, just choose
your widget size and color and copy the embed code to your site or blog.