Joint Finance Committee approves budget proposal to eliminate researchers in DNR Science Services Bureau

MADISON -- The group of state Department of Natural Resources scientists Republicans have targeted for cuts has been working on a number of politically charged issues, including climate change, pollution and mining.

Republicans on the Legislature's finance committee approved a proposal in Governor Scott Walker's budget last week that calls for eliminating a little more than half of the researchers in the DNR's Science Services Bureau.

The bureau put together a two-year research plan in 2013 calling for broad assessments of climate change's effect on the Great Lakes, the Mississippi River, the state's forests and the state's fish and wildlife and adaptation strategies for climate change.

The bureau also planned extensive research on pollution's impact on ecosystems and mining's impacts on the state's air, water and wildlife.