Boots & Sabers

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Tag: Department of Natural Resources

DNR Officials Dine on Illegal Caviar

Stunning breach of the public’s trust, arrogance, and lack of ethics. And this from the DNR, which is legendary for holding citizens to task for the smallest of infractions.

Prosecutors have charged Ryan Koenigs, a top sturgeon expert at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), with obstructing an investigation after he alleged that his workers were using valuable fish eggs for a scientific study, when instead some of those eggs were being taken to caviar processors.


The DNR confirmed to Fox News on Monday that Koenigs was placed on administrative leave on Feb. 11 following an internal investigation, but would not comment futher.

Hunters and fishermen who take part in the annual “sturgeon spearing season” near Oshkosh can keep the fish and their eggs, provided that they don’t intend to sell them, according to a report from the Associated Press. But workers with the DNR — workers that Koenigs was overseeing — would sometimes ask they could collect the eggs from the fishermen as part of a fertility study.


Investigators with the DNR, together with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, eventually became aware that some of these fish eggs were being placed into coolers marked for caviar processing.


Koenigs initially denied any wrongdoing, and even denied ever speaking with the caviar processor, despite phone records that indicated he had. He later claimed that sometimes his workers will transport the eggs to the caviar processor at the request of the fishermen, and that sometimes the processor will provide the workers with caviar as a gift.


Another supervisor told investigators that the processors had provided caviar for the department “for years,” according to the AP. The department ate that caviar at meetings, he added.


Earlier this month, Koenigs finally admitted his employees took sturgeon eggs to caviar processors only after they were done using them for fertility research.

Wisconsin DNR To Implement Stringent Regulations on Mining

Evers is unshackling the most powerful regulatory agency in the state to make sure businesses go back to avoiding Wisconsin.

Mining applicants would have to pay more for permits and licenses, supply more detailed plans to state regulators, and work around a new list of areas deemed off-limits under regulations the state Department of Natural Resources is developing.

The DNR has proposed new permanent administrative rules that would increase fees for nonferrous mining exploration and operation permits, licenses and fees by about $502,000 per project. Applicants also would be required to provide substantially greater detail in feasibility reports, operational plans and construction documentation as conditions for permits.

The rules include a list of areas where mining wouldn’t be allowed, including wilderness areas designated by statute; wild and scenic rivers; national and state parks; areas with unique geologic features; wildlife refuges; state natural areas; properties of historical significance; and endangered species habitat.

Government Costing Government Costing Taxpayers

Here’s another example of the many ways that government regulations inflate the cost for taxpayers.

Members of the Washington County Transportation Committee voted Tuesday morning against a request by the Sheboygan Snowmobile Club to run a trail through the property.

County Highway Commissioner Tom Wondra told the committee that the property in question isn’t just any property.

“When Highway H was reconstructed, we had to buy these 21 acres to meet wetland mitigation requirements,” Wondra said. “In 2011, we paid $160,188 for the land but since then, we’ve had to sink more money into it so that now we have about $500,000 invested in it.”

The additional expenses were incurred for developing the wetlands along Stony Creek that included removing debris from the stream, taking out a footbridge, controlling erosion, salvaging topsoil, tree and shrub planting, and the seeding of native plants, according to a report Wondra included in a packet of information as background for Tuesday morning’s meeting.

As part of the wetland mitigation, the county is required to control the amount of invasive nonnative plants on the property and to encourage the restoration of prairie plants native to the area.

“Controlling the invasive species has been a challenge, but we have been battling back,” Wondra told the committee. “We have had to buy a specialized prairie seed mix at a cost of $100 a pound.”

So… not only do the citizens and taxpayers not get to use this piece of property that they were forced to purchase, but they get to spend a half million dollars (so far) to make it pretty.



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