Friday, March 13, 2015

Walker Budget Targets Downer Woods - Virginia Small, Urban Milwaukee

A provision in the huge budget crafted by Gov. Scott Walker and his administration would end the protected status of Downer Woods, the long-conserved forest on the main campus of UW-Milwaukee whose history may go back to Native American days. Specifically, the budget bill calls for deleting legal provisions “requiring that the portion of the Downer Woods designated as permanently reserved woodlands be set aside exclusively for the purposes of community enhancement and relaxation.” These deletions could smooth the way for the potential development and/or sale of the property. In 2013 the legislature granted the governor broad power to sell many state properties, including college and university assets, without public notice and with only limited input from legislators.

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