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Letter to the editor

Letter to the Editor: Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine worth saving

February 28, 2017

Dear Editor,

For only the second time in its history, the Birkebeiner, our nation’s largest cross-country ski race, was canceled due to lack of snow. Considering the fact that 2016 was the warmest year on record, we shouldn’t be surprised.

What is surprising is that so many of our GOP politicians have managed to maintain a head-in-the-sand, do-nothing attitude toward climate change, of which the Birkie may be a recent casualty.

The Wisconsin Initiative for Climate Change Impacts (at www.wicci.wisc.edu) lists several outcomes likely to drastically alter the Wisconsin we know and love. Among them:

  • Warming could make our rivers less habitable for trout, which require colder water.
  • Regionally-defining trees, including birch and sugar maple, may no longer thrive in our state but find more favorable growing conditions farther north.
  • Heat-related illness, which accounts for the highest number of deaths caused by natural disasters in Wisconsin, are increasing.

In Wisconsin, climate change has unfortunately become a partisan issue, with the DNR withholding important information from the public on orders from the Republican governor and legislature.

State news sources have reported that Governor Walker is even trying to kill the venerable Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine, even though it’s entirely funded by subscription fees.

In the past few years, the magazine has been politically censored over climate change, deer management and other issues affecting Wisconsin citizens.

The magazine is beloved of school children, nature lovers and outdoorspeople.  Why would the governor want to suppress a periodical that celebrates and promotes the natural beauty of our state?

If enough people mail a very affordable $8.97 for a one-year subscription to P.O. Box 7191, Madison, WI, 53707, we can send the governor a message that we don’t want to lose this useful little magazine.

Thomas R. Smith

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