Our reasons for dedication to the land vary like fingerprints. Perhaps it is inevitable, although we may think it’s a free will choice, and it may be the happy synchronization of love and career. In any case, I’m heartened by more deeply recognizing the commitment so many people have to nurturing the land.
Jared Urban, with the DNR’s Natural Heritage Conservation Bureau, helped me understand the challenges that they face to secure funding and the necessity for grant writing (and winning) to realize their goals. That prompted me to review the DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES 2013-2015 BIENNIAL BUDGET PROPOSAL to get a better idea of where the money comes from and I became aware of the increasing dependence on the Conservation Fund, which now accounts for 42.8% of the total budget (see pages i and ii in the budget proposal document above). My respect and admiration for the people who work at the Wisconsin DNR is always increasing yet, I’m confounded by the contradiction I cannot resolve between this fact and my antipathy for government in general.
Recently, I’ve been getting consistently excellent help from volunteers like Dick Jenks, Andy Buctha and Ben Johnson and I’m learning a ton from their different perspectives. Dick just introduced me to the Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium. I had no Idea this well-organized and dedicated group existed and I hope to work with and learn from them as well. They recently awarded my spiritual father, Mike Fort, with their Sweat Equity Award.
So, it is with boundless joy that I look forward to every day I spend at The Springs, knowing that I’m not alone, and that by the continued efforts of so many people, we can make the restoration of our planet inevitable.
Yesterday, Dick, Andy, Ben and I piled freshly cut brush near the entrance to the buckthorn alley.
We tried to pile as much as we could before the snow fell and almost got it all.
Ben and I took an abbreviated walk around The Springs, as I had a date with my parents back in Milwaukee. I’ll bet it looks beautiful today with a fresh coat of 2-3″ of powder!
See you at The Springs!