Wisconsin Bans Public Lands Staff From Discussing Climate Change

Wisconsin State Treasurer
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Wisconsin’s Republican state treasurer on Tuesday successfully banned the state’s Board of Commissioners of Public Lands from discussing climate change, according to Bloomberg News.

State Treasurer Matt Adamczyk (pictured above), who sits on the public land board, started trying to remove references to climate change from the board’s website in January, and he resurfaced the issue on Tuesday at a board meeting.

The Board of Commissioners of Public Lands then voted for a measure on Tuesday “prohibiting staff from engaging in global warming or climate change work while on BCPL time.” Staff at the will not even be able to respond to emails about climate change, according to Bloomberg. Staff at the agency are tasked with managing some of the state’s public land and maintaining a trust fund to school libraries.

“It’s not a part of our sole mission, which is to make money for our beneficiaries,” Adamczyk said, explaining the ban, according to Bloomberg. “That’s what I want our employees working on. That’s it. Managing our trust funds.”

Adamczyk may have targeted the public land board’s discussion of climate
change in part because due to his issues with the board’s executive
secretary, Tia Nelson. She is the daughter of the late Democratic Sen.
Gaylord Nelson and formerly sat on the Wisconsin global warming task
force. Adamczyk went after Nelson in January, trying to mandate a performance review for Nelson and remove her name from the board’s letterhead.

Wisconsin Secretary of State Douglas La Follette, a Democrat who also sits on the board, voted against the ban and lamented that it would keep staff from discussing how climate change could impact the land the agency oversees.

“Having been on this board for close to 30 years, I’ve never seen such nonsense,” La Follette said in a Tuesday conference call, according to Bloomberg. “We’ve reached the point now where we’re going to try to gag employees from talking about issues. In this case, climate change. That’s as bad as the governor of Florida recently telling his staff that they could not use the words ‘climate change.'”

The ban in Wisconsin follows reports that Florida officials have been banned from using the terms “climate change” and “global warming” in official communications.

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