Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is stepping up to defend the parks in his state.
The state Department of Natural Resources on Wednesday refused a directive from the National Park Service to close a host of popular state properties because of the federal government shutdown.
The park service ordered state officials to close the northern unit of the Kettle Moraine, Devil’s Lake, and Interstate state parks and the state-owned portion of the Horicon Marsh, but state authorities rebuffed the request because the lion’s share of the funding came from state, not federal coffers.
State officials opted to keep public lands open as Gov. Scott Walker blamed both Republicans and Democrats for the partial government shutdown and said congressional leaders should run the nation more like Wisconsin. Democrats balked at those comments, saying the Republican governor has had a tumultuous tenure that has divided people.
And there was that matter of the failed recalls. Democrats in Wisconsin have not been amenable to getting along with Walker, at all. So that probably wasn’t the best suggestion. But Walker’s actions will keep some parks in his state open.
On Wednesday, state and federal authorities came to loggerheads over access to state land when the Park Service directed the DNR to close properties in which the state and the federal government had a cooperative financial agreement.
The federal agency provided the DNR $701,000 for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, according to the DNR. The DNR said the majority of money for the parks comes from the state and that it would use state funds to continue operations.