DNR break up just another quick ‘fix’

 The Little Plover River in 2014 was below minimum levels set by the Department of Natural Resources. Stephen Born argues that it would be a mistake to break up the department into several different agencies.

The Little Plover River in 2014 was below minimum levels set by the Department of Natural Resources. Stephen Born argues that it would be a mistake to break up the department into several different agencies.

Organizational “reshuffling” too often gets identified as the remedy for agency failings. Institutional arrangements can expedite or frustrate agency objectives, but changing them does not address basic problems that impair an agency’s functioning. It’s interesting to note that in states with fragmented management, legislators propose consolidation; and where superagencies exist, the legislative remedy is dismemberment. Maybe instead of knee-jerk proposals to break apart the DNR, we should take an in-depth look at how state government manages the environment, and where changes to ensure Wisconsin’s environment for the future are really needed.