- Associated Press - Thursday, October 27, 2016

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A new report shows Department of Natural Resources staffing levels have dropped 18 percent over the last two decades.

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau report examined staffing levels in the last year of each two-year budget dating back to 1979. It found that during that period the number of positions peaked at 3,114 in 1995. That compares with 2,549 positions in the current fiscal year, a decrease of 565 positions. The lowest staffing level during the 38-year period was 2,509 positions in 1981.

The report shows that the agency lost 196 positions in the four budgets that Gov. Scott Walker and his fellow Republicans have adopted since taking complete control of state government in 2011. The agency lost 256 positions under budgets Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle approved between 2003 and 2009.

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