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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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home : opinions : letters to the editor
July 19, 2019

6/18/2019 7:30:00 AM
Holperin offers rebuttal to Stewardship program editorial

To the Editor:

In a recent editorial, the River News complained about all that is wrong with the state budget currently under review at the Capitol.

The editorial characterized renewal of the Stewardship program as "another disappointment."

Wisconsin's Stewardship program uses tax dollars to buy land from private owners. Then, the land is opened to the public.

But the editorial never uses the word "public." Rather, the River News says "government" is buying the land and, once bought, it is "government" land, owned and controlled by "government."

Well, who do you think "government" is? The DNR? The governnor? The Legislature? The "bureaucrats"? Maybe.

I happen to think "government" is "we the people."

That's why I can drive 10 minutes in any direction and have hundreds of acres of public land available for my enjoyment.

I can walk around on it, pick some berries, shoot a grouse, catch a trout, maybe even cut a Christmas tree, just as if I owned it. And so can anyone else, all without having to ask permission from anybody because it's public land. (Well, you might need a permit for that tree.)

The River News likes to use the word "elite" a lot, and likes to pretend it is for "the little guy," or "the hardworking taxpayer."

But, in the case of Stewardship, the River News is as "elitist" as they come, favoring policies that would halt and even reverse public ownership of public land.

I don't know about you, but I like owning all that public land, and I want to own more.

Jim Holperin

Eagle River

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