State of Wisconsin Board of Commissioners of Public Lands Bans Staff from Discussing Global Warming and Climate Change

Gaylord-Nelson3Former Wisconsin governor and U.S. senator Gaylord Nelson at Gaylord Nelson State Park in Madison in 2001. Photo: Tom Lynn, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

According to a report published in the Wisconsin State Journal April 9, 2015, Wisconsin’s 3-member Board of Commissioners of Public Lands passed a measure Tuesday, April 7th, by a 2-1 margin, that bans the staff of from “on-the-job discussion or work related to climate change”.

Reference to climate change had already been removed from agency’s website in response to previous complaints from one board member, state Treasurer Matt Adamczyk, according to the report. Adamczyk is a Wisconsin Republican who recently sought to dismiss the commission’s executive secretary, Tia Nelson, who is the daughter of former Wisconsin United States Senator and Earth Day founder, Gaylord Nelson, after he learned she served as a co-chairwomen on former Democratic Governor Jim Doyle’s Global Warming Task Force in 2007 and 2008.

The other board member who voted yes to the ban — Attorney General Brad D. Schimel – said he voted with Adamczyk to ban the staff from further work on climate change because he views it as “political activity”, and not connected to the board’s duties. The report said Adamczyk stated that he is bothered by Nelson’s service on the task force because it had “nothing to do with the board’s business”, which is to manage forest land and help maintain certain state-owned forest land and help finance local government. Tia Nelson, who directs the commission’s eight member staff, declined to comment saying she didn’t want to say anything that would inflame the situation, according to the report.

The third member of the board, Wisconsin’s Secretary of State Douglas La Follette, said Adamczyk “is a “climate denier” who is out to get Nelson”, the Journal report stated.

Gaylord Nelson (June 4, 1916 – July 3, 2005) was born in Clear Lake, Wisconsin, and served several terms as a United States senator and two terms as governor. He is best known as the founder of Earth Day, which launched a new wave of environmental activism in the U.S. and abroad. He would not have been pleased with this action, which has occurred by a state committee under Governor Scott Walker’s watch.

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About Mike Neuman

Environmentalist; Father; Senior Citizen; Husband, Former School Crossing Guard for City of Madison; Bike to Work Advocate; Animal/Children/People Lover (in general); Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, Madison, Wisconsin, Anti-long distance travel (via fossil fuel burning); Against militarism in any form; Strong believer in people everywhere having the right to speak their minds openly, without any fear of reprisal, regarding any concerns; for those in authority to listen attentively AND, as warranted, ACT AS NECESSARY AND IN A TIMELY MANNER TO REDUCE OR ELIMINATE those concerns; Lover of music, especially live music, music by: David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, Neil Young; John Prine; Steve Goodman; B.B. King; Eric Burton; Gracy Slick, Carol King;John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr; Bob Dylan; Lightfoot; Mark Knoffler; Richard Thompson; Elvis Presley; Tom Petty; Willie Nelson, Others too numerous to mention.

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