The state’s Stewardship program and various land trusts that are
being established around the state to preserve natural landscapes
are moving in the right direction, he said.
“We have to be thinking 50 or 100 years down the road,” Welter
Western Wisconsin has good trout streams where landowners
generally allow public access, but anglers are already seeing
access become more difficult with increasing development, he
“How many stream corridors are there that don’t have any public
access?” he asked. “What’s going to happen in those counties 50
years from now when the population in those counties is five times
Easements for public access arranged now may guarantee anglers
still have a place to fish 50 years from now, he said.
Welter has appeared before the NRB on behalf of the Conservation
Congress and TU.
“I’d like to be able to provide a good leadership voice on that
board,” he said. “I hope the experience that I’ve had has equipped
me for that. I’m really looking forward to working with these
Doyle called Welter “one of Wisconsin’s great conservationists”
in announcing his appointment. “For years, John Welter has been a
leader in protecting our environment for future generations. We
need more people like him,” Doyle said.
Welter grew up in Washburn County. He has been a Conservation
Congress delegate for 10 years for Eau Claire County. He attended
the Conservation Congress statewide convention May 6-8 in Mosinee
and will now resign from the congress to serve on the NRB.
“I have appreciated (being on) the congress. It’s a great place
for ideas and debate,” he said. “There is a fair amount of emotion
involved, and that’s what makes it a great place. I don’t know of
another state with a similar kind of an institution. You have to
respect the willingness to get in there and throw ideas
On Friday, May 7, NRB chairman Gerry O’Brien, of Stevens Point,
addressed the congress and introduced Welter as the newest NRB
member. NRB members Herb Behnke, Christine Thomas, and Jonathon Ela
also attended the conference.
“I think (Welter) is a good appointment,” said Behnke, a
longtime NRB member. “I’ve known John for quite a while. He is very
active in TU. He’s doing the things we all should do. I think he’s
well qualified and will be a good addition to the board. He has a
tremendous resource management background.
“I have had a long time appreciation for TU,” Behnke added.
“Their members, throughout the state, put their sweat and muscle
into habitat improvement instead of just talking about it. With the
addition of John, I think we’re in good shape.”
Welter complimented Behnke on his contributions to resource
management over the years.
“I’m really looking forward to working with a lot of these board
members,” Welter said. “I’ve known some of them for a long time.
Anyone who has followed the board has seen the great work Herb has
done over his time on the board. If you don’t have the utmost
respect for those efforts, you just haven’t been paying
Welter will attend his first meeting later this month.