WAUSAU - A national conservation group keeps an up-to-the-second counter on its website.
As of Tuesday, it reads 19 days left until the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund expires.
That means hundreds of millions of dollars are at risk of disappearing from projects for parks, trails, rivers, and forests.
The fund takes money from federal oil and gas leases in the ocean and gives it to conservation projects. It needs congressional approval to continue before it expires at the end of the month.
"Without the Land and Water Conservation Fund, we would really be struggling in terms of maintaining those traditions and bringing them to the next generation," said said U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) on Tuesday.
Baldwin talked with sportsmen at a roundtable in Wausau.
She's confident Congress will act to renew the fund by the end of the year. But she worries it might miss the September 30 deadline, which would leave a gap in conservation funding.
"We just want to make sure that those funds are perpetually available for making sure that there's public access to public lands and that we protect our natural resources and wildlife habitats," Baldwin said.
Outdoor spaces can have an economic impact, too.
William Koepke told Baldwin about his small business in Stevens Point, called Rekt. He relies on quality natural spaces for outdoor athletic coaching.
"Rekt is looking to bridge the gap between traditional health and fitness training, strength and conditioning, along with all of our wonderful outdoor spaces," Koepke said.
Koepke supports reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
He needs outdoor resources for his business. But he's also fighting for them for his dad, who survived a heart attack two years ago. Koepke's father is an avid outdoorsman.
"Show me another 56-year-old post-heart attack that's doing that kind of work," he said. "It's because of these public lands, these waterways, this access that we have that gave him the reason to kind of get back in the saddle and keep pushing."
MADISON, WIS. (AP) - Madison officials say Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents violated city policy by detaining at least six immigrants without letting police know ahead of time.
Madison Police Chief Mike Koval says the department has a working relationship with ICE, but the federal agency did not follow protocol. Koval says ICE has agreed to call the assistant police chief before making arrests in Madison. This time the agency called the Dane County Communications Center.
Koval says the arrests were made at separate workplaces and are not considered to be part of a raid. He says the community is in "hyper-warp distress mode."
Madison Mayor Paul Soglin says ICE told city officials the people arrested are believed to have committed serious crimes, but he does not know the specifics of the investigation.
WOODRUFF - Ascension Wisconsin Spirit Medical Transport hosted a fun-filled day for family and friends on Saturday.
This comes about five months after one of its helicopters crashed, killing three Spirit employees.
Regional manager Charles Kotke said those men were in mind today,
"Today is a day of bringing people together, as well as a celebration of our 25 year anniversary," said Kotke. "This team did an amazing job getting us back to caring for our patients and doing what we need to do to care of our community."
Flight paramedics showed off the aircrafts to people and the helicopter was a big hit.
"They definitely like to look at the aircrafts. See how we transport patients from point A to point B," said Northern Region Supervisor Ryan Short.
Next Saturday, Spirit is celebrating with more associates. The second part of the celebration will be in Stevens Point.
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