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Joint Finance members question DNR on spending for land conservation

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MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Republican members of the Joint Finance Committee want to know how much the Department of Natural Resources is spending on its land stewardship program.

The DNR uses the program funds to buy land for conservation.

Governor Scott Walker’s two-year spending plan cuts the agency’s borrowing authority for land acquisition by almost one-third, or $21 million.

Republicans on the JFC spent Tuesday asking DNR Budget Director Joe Polasek about how much debt the stewardship program has accumulated. The answer – a little over a half-billion dollars.

Lawmakers were told neighboring Minnesota and Michigan still have a greater percentage of land owned by counties, the state or the federal government.

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