RGS & AWS Members,
The Pelican River Forest in Wisconsin is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to protect nearly 70,000 acres of working forestland in Oneida, Forest and Langlade Counties. The Pelican River Forest will continue to be a working forest for forest products and permanently secure public access to more than 70 miles of recreational roads, whose maintenance will be funded by a private endowment. The roads, which have been closed in recent years, provide access throughout the forest for hunting, fishing, trapping, sightseeing and more. The benefits of this project are numerous, but there are two big challenges to completing the Pelican River Forest project.
First, a single legislator, Senator Mary Felzkowski, has acknowledged objecting to the project during its final review before the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee. Though the committee is required by law to hold public meetings to debate the project when an objection is raised, no such meetings have been scheduled or held. In this way, public debate on the project has been stifled, and Knowles-Nelson funding has been stalled.
Second, the Oneida County Board is considering a resolution opposing land conservation in northern Wisconsin, including the Pelican River Forest. The resolution is full of factual errors and mischaracterizes the facts. The board members who support the resolution appear to be starkly out of step with their constituents’ views. Nearly 100% of public comment at board meetings has been in support of the Pelican River and land conservation. Nevertheless, a board committee continues to consider the resolution.
We need our members to reach out to Senator Felzkowski, the Oneida County Board and your representatives to show your support for working forests and the wildlife they support. You can learn more about the project, sign the petition and contact your representatives here: https://pelicanriver.org/