Former DNR employee: Staff pressured to OK Kohler golf course on rare wetlands and state park

Despite their assessment that rare wetlands would be impacted, the agency okayed the wetland permit for the 18-hole course, which would also require removal of up to 120 acres of forest. > Wisconsin Public Radio

Walker signs contentious wetlands development bill

wetlands

Gov. Scott Walker signed a contentious bill Wednesday that helps developers win wetland construction permits, achieving one of Republican lawmakers’ key goals for this legislative session. > Wisconsin State Journal

Spencer Black: Degraded waterways part of Scott Walker’s legacy

More than 800 waterways have been added to the list of lakes and streams that exceed phosphorus and other pollutant limits since Scott Walker became governor. In addition to weakening regulations that control shoreline development and dredging, Walker has allowed the destruction of more wetlands, which absorb pollutants before they reach the lakes. > Cap Times

Judge invalidates western Wisconsin sand mine permits

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Wisconsin environmental regulators at the DNR improperly gave a Georgia company permission last year to destroy wetlands to make way for a sand processing plant in Monroe County, a judge ruled Friday. The permits had been challenged by environmental group Clean Wisconsin and the Ho-Chunk Nation. > AP News

Walker’s Foxconn giveaways score politically, but at what cost?

Questions have abounded about the various regulations that are being relaxed to enable the construction and operation of the new Foxconn factory. Because when Wisconsin’s rules are bent to accommodate a single private industrial entity, taxpayers should be very wary. > Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

DNR staff felt pressured to approve wetland fill for frac sand mining project

sand-mining

Staff at the DNR say they felt pressured by department administration to rush the approval of a controversial permit to fill 16 acres of high-quality wetlands in western Wisconsin that’s now being challenged in court, according to emails obtained by Wisconsin Public Radio through an open records request and interviews with former staffers. > Wisconsin Public Radio

Politicized Wisconsin DNR erasing rare wetlands, retired experts say

wetlands

Retired Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources experts are raising alarms about what they say are unusually bold signs of political influence in the agency that are threatening to allow businesses to destroy wide swaths of rare and valuable wetlands. > Wisconsin State Journal