Statement from DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp on Sporting Heritage Grant
The Governor and I spoke tonight about the Sporting Heritage Grant. We both agree that recruiting new sportsmen and sportswomen to enjoy Wisconsin's outdoor experiences is an important effort for the state of Wisconsin to pursue. We also agreed that it is essential for any organization that receives financial support from the state to have the trust of the public in its capabilities to produce concrete results. Even though United Sportsmen of Wisconsin Foundation, Inc. did and does still meet the statutory criteria established by the Legislature for the grant award, the Governor asked me to not finalize the grant award. I will honor this request and fully support this decision.
The Governor further recognizes that there are so many organizations in Wisconsin who do great work with recruitment and retention - many on a voluntary basis. As a result, he has asked the DNR to develop plans in cooperation with these diverse set of organizations to achieve results in recruiting and training the next generation of sportsmen and sportswomen.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says a $500,000 grant to a politically connected sportsmen's group has been rescinded at the request of Gov. Scott Walker.
In a statement, Secretary Cathy Stepp said Walker canceled the grant to United Sportsmen of Wisconsin, which was to recruit sportsmen and women for hunting, trapping and fishing.
The grant came under scrutiny recently after questions were raised about United Sportsmen's federal tax-exempt status. President Andy Pantzlaff assured members of the grant committee that the group had secured tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service. But Wednesday, the group issued a statement saying Pantzlaff was mistaken.
The grant cancellation also came shortly after the Journal Sentinel asked state officials about a 2005 case in which Pantzlaff was cited for hunting with an improper license.