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

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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

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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

Vinehout: Legislature giving no time for review or debate, and wetlands bill needs it

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State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, who is running for governor, wrote in theWinona Daily News: “Talking to scientists and engineers is key to understanding the importance of wetlands and the implications of removing state protections.” But warp-speed legislation makes it nearly impossible to have these conversations or get public input, she said.

State Senate poised to roll back wetlands protections

wetlands

The state Senate is poised for a marathon session Tuesday that includes a controversial bill to roll back state wetlands protections. The measure already passed the state Assembly, so its Senate passage would send it to the desk of a supportive Gov. Scott Walker. > Wisconsin State Journal

Wisconsin Legislature to vote on reinsurance, tax cuts

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In a mad dash to the finish of their legislative session, Wisconsin lawmakers plan to vote this week on several key bills that would address insurance costs, tax cuts, welfare requirements, juvenile justice, abortion, wetlands, child tax credits, school aid, attracting workers and state employee pay raises. > AP News

Assembly OKs contentious GOP wetlands permit exemptions bill

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Republicans moved closer Thursday to relaxing wetland regulations, passing a contentious bill that would allow builders to fill certain marshes and bogs without a permit. The Assembly passed the bill 58-39, sending it on to the Senate, which is expected to vote on the proposal Tuesday. > Eau Claire Leader-Telegram

Wisconsin becoming wetter as lawmakers weaken rules for flood-preventing wetlands

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As Wisconsin becomes a wetter place, lawmakers are pushing ahead with controversial rules to weaken protections of wetlands. These ecologically important landscapes are currently protected by state and federal laws for a variety of reasons, including their ability to hold storm water and protect against flooding. > Milwaukee Journal Sentinel