Tim Michels is suggesting more changes at the state’s Department of Natural Resources.
Michels told the crowd at the Rotary Club in Milwaukee on Tuesday that he could see splitting the DNR into separate agencies.
“Maybe we break the DNR into two parts. One that services the business side, and one that services the hunters’ side,” Michels said. “I don’t have all the answers today, but I will sit down with the smart people and figure that out.”
Michels made headlines when he suggested during his only debate with Gov. Tony Evers last Friday that the DNR is broken.
“It’s not my opinion that the DNR is broken. It’s what I hear everywhere I go,” Michels explained. “Go talk to some hunters, they don’t feel that the DNR has their backs right now. They feel that the DNR is out to get them.
Michels said he wants to “recalibrate” the DNR.
The DNR deals with both hunting, fishing, and boating as well as environmental regulations.
Michels said he’s heard from a lot of businesses who also have complaints. He says many businesses in the state are waiting to get the go-ahead for things like water permits and expansions.
Gov. Evers has turned the DNR’s attention to environmental issues during his time in office.
It was just last month that the DNR released its Climate Action Report that stated one of the main focuses at the agency is “climate change and environmental equity.”
Michels said dealing with the DNR will be one of his top priorities if elected.
“I am very aware that we need to have a strong secretary of the DNR,” Michels added. “I am going to surround myself with great people, strong people. We’re going to have an outstanding administration. No one will have questions about the DNR or any other state agency.”