Wisconsin Gov Might Raid Hunting Fees to Pay Mine Debt

First, he spent $125,000 on an out-of-state deer czar, now he is considering siphoning $260,000 in funds raised by hunting licenses to pay for an unpaid debt on an open-pit mine.

The first move (made three years ago)  has resulted in the state’s lowest deer harvest in 30 years and the fewest number of gun-deer hunters since 1976. The Governor’s latest suggestion is also raising the eyebrows of sportsmen and women across the state.

From today’s Appleton Post-Crescent:

MADISON — Gov. Scott Walker says he wants to review whether hunting and fishing fees collected by the state should be used to pay for costs related to sighting an open pit iron ore mine near Lake Superior.

Walker was asked about the issue Tuesday following a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the state has spent nearly $260,000 to pay for expenses related to the mine that will not be recovered from mining company Gogebic Taconite.

Money to pay for that has come from landfill tipping fees and hunting and fishing license fees.

Walker says he would prefer that fees collected for anything to do with hunting, fishing and trapping “stay in those particular areas.” He says he wants to review the issue across state government.

— What are your thoughts on this suggestion? Should Wisconsin use hunting, fishing and trapping dollars to cover Gogebic’s unpaid debt?