Department of Natural Resources services will be less personal, under a provision in the state budget. The legislature's Joint Finance Committee approved a measure in Governor Jim Doyle's proposed state budget, closing 24 DNR service centers . Representative Gary Sherman voted for the closings, but the Democrat from far northern Wisconsin is not happy about it. Sherman says every time a state agency shrinks, it shrinks southward. "There will be not one walk-in place left in northern Wisconsin when this is done," said Sherman.
The budget panel approved an amendment from Sherman , asking the DNR to explain how the public can access services formerly available at the service centers. "When you're looking at from our point if view, we're not driving from Fitchburg to Madison, we're driving from Superior to Eau Claire," said Sherman. "That's what the difference is." For example, Sherman said trappers who ordinarily bring their animals to a walk in center to get tagged, will now have to contact wardens by phone to make arrangements for that.
The panel also directed the DNR to make snowmobile, ATV and boat registration services available from dealers closest to the closed service centers.