Imagine my surprise today when I showed up in a Shepherd Express article about the Stewardship program. Apparently, there aren\’t many conservatives willing to go on record in questioning the program – so I\’m the go-to guy to be \”The Grinch that Stole Earth Day.\”

Anyway, I thought the article was well written, and lays out the typical arguments for the program. Supporting the program is Bud Jordahl, who forgets more about land conservation on a daily basis than I will learn in my lifetime – and whose son I consider to be a friend (as long as he sets good screens for me in basketball).

Anyway, it eventually gets around to me, and says:

Many conservatives balk at the price tag for the program.

\”Despite the current dire economic straits of state government, Doyle continues to rack up the state\’s credit card debt in order to pacify his environmental supporters,\” wrote Christian Schneider in a commentary for the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute.

Schneider also stated that, based on a study by the Legislative Audit Bureau, the DNR is paying more for the land than it\’s really worth. And, what\’s more, the concept of the program is flawed, Schneider argues, based on theoretical right-wing economic theory.

\”According to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, 18% of Wisconsin\’s total land is currently being held for public conservation by various levels of government – an irony completely missed by advocates of \’affordable housing,\’ who don\’t realize that the more land the government takes off the market, the more expensive the land gets,\” Schneider wrote.

Of course, my points are \”theoretical right-wing economic theory.\” The fact that if something becomes more scarce, it costs more is purely theoretical. The Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, and market forces – all unproven theories.

I\’m also fond of Democrats\’ constant evocation of former Republican Governor Warren Knowles as this great moderate, since he supported Gaylord Nelson\’s land buying program. This is the same Governor Knowles that referred to the Wisconsin Young Democrats as \”homocrats\” when they pushed for the repeal of sodomy laws in 1966.