October 24, 2014

Sporting heritage money could still be spent

Looking for a way forward following the United Sportsmen controversy, state Representative Nick Milroy (D-South Range) wants the $500,000 grant the group received but was later forced to return to be spent.

“Although it was tremendously unfortunate that the original grant was put into the budget and it looked to be politically motivated, we need to put this behind us and capitalize on the resources that were set aside in the state budget,” said Milroy. He serves on the DNR’s Sporting Heritage Council which met Thursday to discuss the issue.

United Sportsmen received the state hunter education grant which was later returned after revelations that the group had no experience providing such training, and was the only group to bid for the grant.

“This is money that sportsmen in Wisconsin are being taxed for right now, and if we don’t use it, they’re going to use it to some other program,” said Milroy, who wants the legislature to revise the law that makes the grant money available. He submitted a number of suggestions to the council, which was formed two years ago to help recruit, retain and educate hunters, trappers and anglers in Wisconsin.

Sporting Heritage Council chairman and DNR Executive Assistant Scott Gunderson said the agency would be able to assemble $100,000 a year in federal funds to pay for such a program without any legislative intervention, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.