Bills in the Wisconsin legislature would return the Wisconsin Conservation Corps to the state to help out on public lands. Representative Jeff Mursau of Crivitz authored the bill. The Corps works with local or state governments and others to build or repair projects.
The program operated in Wisconsin from 1983 to 2003. The program was a casualty of budget cuts at a time when other states also ended their state-sponsored Conservation Corps programs.
Mursau says this time the program would be a public-private partnership with the majority of funding coming directly from grants through the National and Community Service Board. ...
"....The Department of Administration will select a manager, lets say it's one of the Corps in the state. That Corps will apply for grants to Americorps, a federal program that administers grants, Those are 50-50 matching grants. Then they will go out into the community. It has to be in-state and it has to be with a government agency....."
Mursau says there are obvious needs....
"...there's lots of things to get done in our state parks. Things are falling behind a little bit. We know how much people in the state use those state parks, so we want to keep those in great working condition. They will go out and contract with the State of Wisconsin to do a project at one of the parks...."
Participants would complete projects on public or tribal lands throughout the state, while earning valuable job-related skills that can lead to future long-term employment. Mursau thinks the program has a good chance of passage in the legislature.