A SULLEN START TO THE DAY
CLOUDS OVER NORTHERN WISCONSIN YESTERDAY AFTERNOON
Thursday, 8:00 AM. 36 degrees, and dropping. Wind W, blustery. The sky is overcast and it has rained a bit. The morning can best be described as sullen, but the barometer predicts sunshine and it will probably clear.
The regional city foresters meeting was not well attended, being the day after the election, but the discussion, primarily about how to respond to the Emerald Ash Borer crisis, was good. Those who have witnessed the economic and ecological disasters caused by this pest will appreciate its seriousness.
And yet the actual planning, execution, and budgeting for this almost certain catastrophe has been left mostly to the lowest level of authority, the people in the field. Unfortunately, this seems symptomatic of government at all levels these days. In Wisconsin, the responsible authority has been split between two huge bureaucracies, the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, who as far as I can see keep kicking the can back and forth between them. The only response the taxpayers can have to the inability of government to solve problems is to punish it by changing elected officials and demanding that budgets be cut. This forces agencies into focus.
The meat ax is not a precision instrument, and a lot of fine programs and good people will be cut away, but that is what is going to happen. It was a rather glum meeting.