Aug 17, 2014

Citizen Ystad Hits Sacred Cow, the Dairy Business Association, as Wisconsin Lakes Perish

Nepco Lake in Central Wisconsin in the Past
[See picture below for the present]
Update III: In the week of August 18 since Scott Krug issued his libel threat, Krug has gone dark, refusing all responses to press queries on the libel threat. Yesterday, Krug said he is against the proposed massive Wysocki CAFO and 49 high capacity water wells that environmentalists have criticized Krug for not fighting. Also, this week Krug belatedly accepted a debate with his general election opponent, Dana Duncan, sponsored by Protect Wood County and Its Neighbors and Rome and Saratoga Friendly. Krug refuses comment on his position on the existing CAFOs in or near his district, and still refuses to address nonpoint source runoff pollution from farming operations, a problem getting worse as lakes, streams, rivers and other bodies of water are polluted by land regions with carrying capacities of runoff already exceeded.

Update II: Running scared now, Scott Krug's Capitol office is dodging phone calls, picking up only calls preceded by *67. One staffer reached this morning after hitting *67, with an apparent IQ of 90ish, said Krug's office is "unaware of the situation" regarding Krug's stated intention by email to sue for libel.

Interesting. Below is the email from Krug (with the email address omitted):

From: Scott Krug (
Sent:Sun 8/17/14 8:52 PM
The post forwarded to me is libelous and we will persue action.
Update: State Rep. Scott Krug (R-Wisconsin Rapids) is threatening legal action against me for "libel," Michael Leon, citing the below post.

Krug alerts me, and several of his constituents, last night that in an email with the subject heading, "Really," that: "The post forwarded to me is libelous and we will persue (sic) action." Scott Krug's email is indicated as having been sent to me Sunday night: "Sun 8/17/14 8:52 PM."

Krug refers to an email forwarded by Don Ystad, citizen of Rome in northern Adams County, in which Ystad sends the URL of this piece.

Krug sent an email to Ystad (dated Sun, Aug 17, 2014 at 8:56 PM) reading: "We've informed Mr. Leon of the libelous nature of his forwarded blog post and we will be persuing (sic) legal action."

Attempts this morning to reach Krug by email, and by phone at his campaign and office in Madison have been unsuccessful

Stay tuned.

As for Rep. Scott Krug, Mal Contends makes the following statement: Scott Krug should study the elements of a civil action under libel law. Bring it on, Krug, if you dare.
"We abuse land because we see it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect." - Aldo Leopold

The last three years in Wisconsin citizen groups have emerged across the state to protect community control in defense of Wisconsin families and vital resources such as clean water.

"Right here in our local Lake Nepco -
Attack of the Blue/Green Algae.
Our reps, both local and at the state level,
better start getting a clue!
Water worries everywhere!
Nepco Lake for E. Coli and blue-green algae.
Just kayaked in the nastiest water EVER.
We must fix these issues." - Rhonda Cain-Carrell
Outside of the Citizens Concerned about the Proposed Penokee Mine (Facebook) (and the Penokee Hills Education Project), among the most articulate groups of Wisconsin citizens are the folks fighting a proposed massive concentrated agricultural feeding operation (CAFO) factory farm that would directly impact four counties in the Central Wisconsin Golden Sands region: Wood County, Adams County, Portage County and Juneau County.

Protect Wood County and Its Neighbors; Friends of the Central Sands (Facebook) and Rome and Saratoga Friendly (Facebook) know well the danger dumping literally millions of tons liquid cow manure into Wisconsin waterways and drinking water aquifers.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources under the administration of Scott Walker wants to stand by and watch as the acceleration of the death of Wisconsin's 15,000 lakes continues from the existing practice of dumping cow manure into the environment.

Exaggeration? I wish.

And cynical, corrupt politicians are providing political cover for the polluters.

Scott Walker is allied with Wisconsin State Rep. Scott Krug (R-Wisconsin Rapids and ALEC) who is supposed to be protecting his constituency from being poisoned.

Instead Krug is assisting Scott Walker, Walker's DNR and the Dairy Business Association in their project in which one objective is to contaminate and literally toxify Wisconsin lakes and other waters.


Don Ystad of Rome, Wisconsin has this to say in an email sent to politicians, DNR personnel and fellow citizens:
Here's why I have an issue with Big Agriculture: Our communities have banned residential use of phosphorous fertilizers, and we implemented enforced testing of septic systems every three years to reduce the possibility of phosphorous leaching into our waterways. We monitor the transfer of unwanted aquatic species from lake to lake and we have enacted a shoreland protection ordinance to further protect our waterways from runoff. And here we have the Dairy Business Association petitioning their members to reverse the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) change to NR 150, allowing communities to establish their own ordinances to limit runoff into waterways. We have 7 years of hard evidence showing flows from upstream agriculture entering our lakes have 4 times more phosphorous than anywhere else in our lake.

I've learned to mistrust the various agriculture interests touting their concern for the environment, whether it's the Wisconsin Potato growers telling me they are not to blame for our water issues, or the Wisconsin Vegetable growers claiming they practice water conservation while they submit record numbers of high cap well permit requests. They have proven that their only desire is to have unfettered access to the public's water, with no control over how they treat the land. Their claims to be 'the stewards of the land' ring hollow with those of us watching the decline in our environment. I understand that there will always be greedy business people to take advantage of our rights. What I don't understand is why some of our agency heads and politicians allow themselves to be influenced by these self serving Big Ag interests at the expense of our environment and their own constituents. Maybe they need to read the many newspapers around our state to get a sense of the groundswell of public opposition.

I'm a citizen and I vote, as do the concerned citizens blind copied here. [emphasis added, and text edited slightly for clarity]
Mr. Ystad and his fellow citizens are right on all points.

Obtuse Wisconsin politicians like Scott Krug and Scott Walker should listen for a change.

Said Krug's general election opponent, Dana Duncan of the Village of Port Edwards: "CAFOs are to agriculture what Sweatshops and child labor are to manufacturing."

Duncan ran his primary election campaign, emphasizing the need to protect Wisconsin waters from CAFOs and other polluters.

Safe, clean drinking water should be a foundation of the state of Wisconsin, it used to be.

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