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NEWS STORIES

Oneida County's Board of Supervisors Vote Against State's Budget CutSubmitted: 02/25/2013
Story By Ryan Abney


ONEIDA COUNTY - In a tourist driven economy---our lakes might be the Northwood's most valuable resource. Wisconsin's Conservation fund helps the area protect its waterways.

But this year--the state budget cut the same fund by over a million dollars. Oneida County's Board of Supervisors has voted to send the state a resolution.

They're asking to restore the old 9.3-million dollar budget. Conservationist Jean Hansen knows what's at stake if the right steps aren't taken.

"We have a concentration of lakes that are really unique to the country. Not only to tourism but to the local people as well and if we didn't have the clean water, that would affect a lot of things. That would trickle down to the lake itself."

Conservation Chair Tom Rudolph was in favor of the board's resolution. Some people think protecting the waterways is a personal responsibility. But he thinks such a big issue takes a group effort.

"It's imperative that we protect the common good. And the lakes for example are part of the natural resources that belong to all of us, and we need to look at it from that stand point."

The final vote came out to be 14-5 in favor of the resolution.




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BOULDER JUNCTION - A Vilas County shooting range will get some financial aid thanks to the Wisconsin DNR.

The Boulder Junction Shooting Range got a grant for venue upgrades.

The range also got a grant last year.

It used the money to make its facilities handicap accessible.

Range officials say they will use this year's grant for additions.

Those include making the space more energy efficient.

"[The] money will be used for insulating the clubhouse," says Secretary of the Boulder Junction Shooting Range Pete Drahn. "It'll be used to remove doors and windows that we no longer need, and to replace a window with a more energy efficient window."

The range has gotten grants two years in a row, but it won't happen again next year.

"They've told everybody that received the grants this year that they'll start doing grants only every other year for someone who has received it," says Drahn. "So at the earliest, it would be the year after next."

The range's board members want to make the venue better for shooters, but they say they couldn't have done it without the grant's help.

"These are projects we probably wouldn't do for eons," says Drahn. "We don't receive any money from anybody except the users of the range. So we don't have a lot for our capital needs."

The range also plans to install a new fence to improve the facility's safety.

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