MADISON – Two out-of-state organizations – the Humane Society of the United States and the Center for Biological Diversity – are attempting to forcibly remove the chair of the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board. Their attorney sent a letter to Attorney General Josh Kaul on Tuesday requesting he take action to remove Dr. Fred Prehn – the current Board chair.
However, a 1964 Wisconsin Supreme Court decision allows members of the Board to continue serving until the State Senate votes to confirm their replacement, something that has not yet happened in this case.
In response to the groups’ letter on Tuesday, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) Executive Vice President of Government Relations Scott Manley released the following statement:
“The business community applauds Dr. Prehn’s commitment to continuing his public service. As the Natural Resources Board deliberates important policy items, his actions are ensuring all stakeholders have a voice. He has proven himself to be an independent member of the Board committed to ensuring the agency follows the law as written by the Legislature.
“He is someone who is willing to ask the tough questions and gives confidence that the Board realizes its mission to be independent – not merely a rubberstamp for the bureaucracy. WMC strongly supports Dr. Prehn’s decision to keep serving, as is his right, and encourages him to continue serving until the Senate approves someone who shares his fidelity to the law and independent oversight of the agency.
“It is unfortunate that out-of-state special interests are attempting to turn this independent Board into a political tool. We urge Attorney General Kaul to respect the rule of law and reject their illegitimate appeal.”