Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ Science Bureau Slated for Closure

Silencing Science Tracker

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ Science Bureau Slated for Closure

On February 8, 2017, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker published his “recommended budget for the 2017-19 biennium.” In the budget, Governor Walker proposed to eliminate the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ central science services bureau, and reassign its 15 staff members to other positions.

The central science services bureau has previously been a target of budget cuts. In Wisconsin’s 2015-17 state budget, for example, funding for 15 research positions at the bureau was eliminated. Media reports at the time suggested the cuts were prompted, in part, by a concern that the bureau was conducting controversial and unnecessary research into climate change.

UpdateOn August 24, 2018, the Wisconsin legislature’s Joint Budget Committee voted to eliminate the Department of Natural Resources’ central science services bureau.

On February 28, 2019, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers introduced the 2019-2021 Department of Natural Resources Executive Budget which included funding for the creation of a Bureau of Natural Resources Science within the Department of Natural Resources. The budget also provided for the creation of five new science positions, devoted to studying water quality and contamination issues, within the Department.

 

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