Wisconsin Department Of Natural Resources, Fitchburg, WI

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updated on Tuesday, January 07, 2020


Throughout Wisconsin's history, the well-being of its people has been tied to the well-being of its natural resources. The fresh water, fertile soil, clean air, vast forests, flourishing and abundant wildlife constituted the basis of life, livelihood, and recreation for many generations of native and newly arrived Wisconsinites. Recognizing that the valuable natural resources of our state could only be protected and wisely managed through a coordinated effort, the Wisconsin Legislature created the Department of Natural Resources in 1967.

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The Department of Natural Resources is dedicated to the preservation, protection, effective management, and maintenance of Wisconsin's natural resources. It is responsible for implementing the laws of the state and, where applicable, the laws of the federal government that protect and enhance the natural resources of our state. It is the one agency charged with full responsibility for coordinating the many disciplines and programs necessary to provide a clean environment and a full range of outdoor recreational opportunities for Wisconsin citizens and visitors.
In creating the Department, the Legislature brought together closely related traditional conservation functions such as fish, parks, wildlife, and forest management and combined them with newly emerging environmental protection responsibilities such as water pollution control, solid waste management, and air pollution cleanup. A Wisconsin native, Secretary Frank's appreciation for the outdoors took root during his childhood in Cross Plains, a rural community in western Dane County. While growing up he fished the Black Earth Creek and hiked the hills that are now part of the Ice Age Trail. As a teenager Secretary Frank worked in his father's grocery store where hunters brought their venison for processing. Family vacations included travel to state parks and camping or staying in a cabin in northern Wisconsin.
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