The fight against invasive species is a key part of the latest budget proposal from the Department of Natural Resources. A budget plan recently submitted to the state by the DNR asks for an extra $430,000 for new wardens, who would teach boaters how to check for invasive species.
DNR Budget Director Joe Polasek says those wardens would work mainly during the summer months in an educational role. They'd be stationed at boat landings, where they'd interact with boaters leaving or entering the water. The DNR made a similar effort this summer, but only during the 4th of July holiday weekend. Polasek says the extra wardens are part of continuing efforts to limit the spread of invasive species across Wisconsin.
The $1.1 billion proposal for the next budget biennium would include an extra $60 million in spending. Polasek says it does not include camping or fishing fee increases at this time. Those fees were increased in the last state budget. Polasek says they're trying to limit additional spending during tight financial times for the state.