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DNR official: Group will get grant to increase participation in outdoor activities

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The head of Wisconsin’s Sporting Heritage Committee says it will not change its mind about deciding Thursday whether a politically-connected group should get a big state grant.

DNR official Scott Gunderson says his panel will not re-open the process and take applications from other groups, after the United Sportsmen of Wisconsin Foundation was the only one to apply.

It’s in line to get a half-million dollar state grant to encourage more people to take part in hunting, fishing, and trapping.

The group has no experience in training people for those activities – and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently said the group has political ties to outgoing Assembly Majority Leader Scott Suder. He helped include the grant in the new state budget.

The measure prevented several other groups from applying, including the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation. Other groups like the Waterfowl Association said they would have applied had they known about the grant – which they didn’t until now.

Suder has said there’s nothing improper, and his only goal is turn around a sporting trend that’s been in decline in recent years.