In defiance to Barack Obama and the NPS, Scott Walker is keeping the state parks open and operating. Although some employees are paid with federal grants, Walker and his administration has kept the parks open using state paid workers, while the employees paid for by grants stay home. Wisconsin did close some parks paid for by the feds, but were not to be intimidated into closing all state run parks by a president who is trying to cause citizens as much pain as possible for politics sake.
The NPS, at Obama's direction ordered Kettle Moraine, Devil’s Lake, Interstate state parks and part of the Horicon Marsh owned by the state, closed. The Department of Natural Resources ignored them. Paul Holton, the DNR’s state park, forest, trail and recreation public affairs manager, explained that only a few employees are paid with federal grants and while they have to stay home, the state has more than enough state paid employees to assure operation of the facilities.
“We’re not going to shut down one of our most popular parks, because a small percentage of employees couldn’t come."
Wisconsin took down barriers installed by the feds, blocking a boat launch that gave access to 1.5 million acres of state parks. Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp said in a statement:
“We welcome visitors to our state parks and forests…climb one of our observation towers and take in the beautiful fall colors, bike or hike our state trails, and hunt or fish on our many state wildlife and fisheries areas.”
Walker said that the federal government could avoid many of these problems if they operated like Wisconsin. When Walker was elected, the state was running a 3.6 billion dollar deficit and now enjoy a 500 million dollar surplus. Walker explained that every week, he sits down with legislative leaders from both parties and they discuss how to improve the state.
That is in sharp contrast to the federal government, where Obamacare and the stimulus bills were written behind closed doors, without any imput from republicans and where republican amendments weren't permitted. Obama's meeting on Wednesday was the first time he had met with Mitch McConnell in 18 months.
Walker criticized the way the federal government does business and says they take cues from state governments.
“I think not just in Wisconsin but in states across the country there’s a lot of governors and lawmakers in both parties who wish the folks in Washington in both parties would act more like the states and less like our nation’s capital.”