Keep the Kickapoo Valley Reserve in the Department of Tourism

This petition made change with 305 supporters!

The Kickapoo Valley Reserve is an 8,569 acre tract of land located between the villages of La Farge and Ontario in southwestern Wisconsin. Its history, resources, administration, and recreational diversity make it unique - a place like no other.

The Governor’s Budget Proposal for 2015-2017 moves the Kickapoo Valley Reserve from the Department of Tourism to the Department of Natural Resources.  There are several reasons to be concerned about this. The primary concern is that the Management Board, the Ho-Chunk Nation, our elected officials and the current staff were not consulted prior to this switch. If anyone had asked, they would have heard that the 19-year relationship with the Department of Tourism has gone smoothly and there is no reason to make this alignment change. Participation in recreational activities and education programs has grown steadily during the ten years KVR has been open to the public.

 The proposal also ignores the history of the creation of the Reserve.  When the federal government began negotiations to return the land purchased for the failed La Farge Dam Project to the state, citizen input was gathered throughout the Kickapoo Valley. They expressed their strong feelings against alignment with the DNR. As a result, the final arrangement put the administration of the KVR with the Department of Tourism.  The Ho-Chunk Nation holds 1200 acres in the Reserve in Trust. The original plan also created a local management board. This local control is important to assure that the maintenance of the Reserve continues to reflect its original purpose. This is a unique arrangement in the state and the nation!

Currently the four permanent staff positions are maintained, the Kickapoo Management Board remains, and funding levels are the same. But making an unnecessary alignment switch at this time sends us down a slippery slope.

 So what can you do?  Sign this petition to educate the members of the Joint Finance Committee about the history of the creation of the Reserve and let them know there is no reason to make a change. We are proud of the unique management arrangement and desire continued local control.

Today: Riane is counting on you

Riane Nourigat needs your help with “Joint Finance Committee: Keep the Kickapoo Valley Reserve in the Department of Tourism”. Join Riane and 304 supporters today.