(MADISON) – State Senator Tim Carpenter today released a statement in response to the decision of Attorney General Josh Kaul to take action to remove Natural Resources Board Chair, Dr. Frederick Prehn.
“I applaud the decision by Attorney General Josh Kaul to take legal action to try and remedy the outrageous behavior of Dr. Frederick Prehn to continue to keep his seat and the powerful position as Chairperson of the Natural Resources Board even though he knows that his term of appointment has expired over 100 days ago. His six-year term ended on May 1, 2021, yet he stays well past his welcome.
“The audacity of this behavior is that Dr. Prehn said in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in June of this year that ‘the funny part was I would have vacated, but now I’m choosing to run with my convictions.’
“The good dentist from Wausau does not get to choose to follow his own ‘convictions’ when the law clearly states that NRB members are appointed to 6-year terms and his has ended. His ‘convictions’ led to the disastrous NRB vote last week to authorize another 300 wolves to be killed starting at the beginning of the gun deer season, despite the Department of Natural Resources scientists (not dentists) recommending 130 wolves. Those are the ‘convictions’ of the dentist and they are interfering with the goals of the NRB to be an independent board free from political interference and possibly causing tremendous harm to a precious natural resource.
“He does not have the authority or the right to stay on the NRB and use his own ‘convictions’ vs. science to cast votes that can cause irreparable damage to our natural resources. The NRB is supposed to be independent and was until the dentist decided to overstay his welcome based on his personal ‘convictions’ and put politics above good public policy.
“I sincerely thank Attorney General Josh Kaul for bringing this lawsuit. The Natural Resources Board has a tremendous responsibility to the protection of our natural resources in the state. Whether it be wolves or safe drinking water, the NRB should not be a place for partisan games. We all know Dr. Prehn has given tens of thousands of dollars to Republicans and now won’t step aside as his term has long expired and let a very well qualified appointee of Governor Evers take her seat on the board.
“Something needs to be done about this immediately and whether it’s the lawsuit by Attorney General Kaul or a legislative effort, Dr. Prehn has overstayed his welcome based on his ‘convictions’. He has clearly demonstrated where those lay and they are not in the interests of protecting our natural resources, but rather in playing partisan politics.
“I again thank Attorney General Josh Kaul for bringing forth this very necessary lawsuit.”