As a loyal Wisconsin resident, I encourage you to contact your state legislator to reauthorize the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program for the next 10 years.

The program is scheduled to expire in July. It has successfully supported conservation since 1989 and until recently enjoyed bipartisan support.

An opportunity now exists for political parties to come together after a difficult election year to prove that Wisconsinites are still forward thinking. We must continue to protect wetlands and the headwaters of streams. This helps to replenish an adequate supply of groundwater and safe drinking water for future generations.

The Knowles-Nelson program promotes natural and healthful places in which to travel and escape the ravage of our pandemic. This plan provides for development of great outdoor resources, which attract travelers from all over the country to enjoy water sports, bucolic farmstead scenery, hunting and fishing.

In the past, our thriving agribusiness community of over $100 billion per year complemented a growing $23 billion annual tourist industry. These economics deserve our utmost support. Travelers do not come here to see congested city traffic, polluted streams or belching smokestacks. They come here to see the real Wisconsin. These former governors understood that and worked together to ensure it.

We have arrived at a critical juncture in our state's history where economic opportunity and responsibility meet. Our legislators should recognize that to secure the future they must preserve the past. Consequential choices are hard to make, but they are better than doing nothing! Let's renew a crucial program that moves Wisconsin forward.