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Lee Fahrney: The battle to retain hunting and fishing rights
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There are many issues I would rather address in this column - the Free Fishing Weekend coming up Saturday and Sunday, the expanded fall turkey season or the Earn-a-Buck Alternative Committee now being formed. Our recent Wisconsin Conservation Congress Executive Council meeting at Devil's Lake State Park included a broad range of discussion items, and our dinner and informal discussions with members of the Natural Resources Board offered some interesting insights. Unfortunately, we have a biennial budget battle going on in Madison, and the Legislature continues to gut the hunting and fishing rights written into the reauthorization of the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund in the last state budget.Here is the background: During the 2007-2009 state budget debate, Wisconsin sportsmen and women supported the reauthorization of the Stewardship Fund to the tune of $85 million per year for the next 10 years, but only if the measure contained provisions protecting the right to hunt, fish and trap on those lands.