Wednesday , 29 March 2017


The Department of Natural Resources plans to add more staff to regulate the state‚Äôs biggest farms, but environmental groups say the farms should also pay higher fees to fund a program that was criticized in a recent legislative audit. While it is planning to cut overall spending in the next budget, the DNR has proposed moving four employees into a program that regulates the largest livestock operations. Concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, have cattle populations that can reach into the thousands and produce as much waste as some Wisconsin cities. In its 2017-’19 budget that goes to the Natural Resources Board on Wednesday, DNR officials are proposing to increase overall staffing in the CAFO program to 21. At least two of the positions, and possibly more, would be deployed to the field to monitor farm activities, including manure spreading.

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