Sep 13, 2014

Citizen Ystad Makes Appeal to Save 'Dream' Golf Resort in Central Wisconsin

Increasing opposition to proposed
massive CAFO in Adams
and Wood counties in central
Wisconsin. Threat to Dream Golf Resort
Photo by Mary Captain-Braund
'I have no patience for the bureaucrats playing dumb on the sidelines while our recreational community is threatened by this proposed CAFO'

Melanie Lawder has another excellent piece on the economic boom Mike Keiser's proposed golf resort would deliver onto the area in central Wisconsin known as the Golden Sands. (Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune)

Lawder and the Tribune are writing up a series on the proposed resort in the town of Rome in northern Adams County.

The latest piece focuses on the jobs and economic benefits as reflected in a similar success story by Keiser at the world-famous Bandon Dunes golf resort in the state of Oregon to which Keiser's Sand Valley Golf Resort is often compared.

Keiser's Sand Valley resort is under construction on a 1,400-acre site in Rome on the bottom of an ancient glacial lake, and his course architects are designing a five-course resort that would conform to the golden sands geology of the region also known as the Wisconsin Central Plains.

A reader doesn't have to read Golf Digest for a description of the 'Dream' resort that has everyone from golf fanatics to casual retirees breathing heavy. The economic potential is enormous, and the innovation is roundly applauded.

See for example, Teddy Greenstein's piece in the Chicago Tribune, and Gary D’Amato's piece in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: "Everyone is extremely supportive. It's like a lovefest," said Keiser, referring to the reception his project is receiving in central Wisconsin.

Keiser isn't kidding.

The region already features lakes, streams, restaurants and is a tourism and recreational destination.

The potential from a resort - self-consciously conforming to existing geology and so laden with sand the sand courses would present little strain on water aquifers - is expected to attract golfing tourists and pros from around the world after the first course opens in 2017.

Can't miss, right?

There's a threat to this project, and this problem is not just throwing cold water on Keiser's (and not just his) dream.

This obstacle is no game. It is throwing toxic and disgusting liquid brown cow manure on this party and residents and retirees living in the Adams, Wood and the surrounding counties wish this were a distasteful metaphor.

The problem is a massive, proposed Concentrated Agricultural Feeding Operation (CAFO) owned by the Wysocki Family of Companies, an outfit that is already sucking up massive quantities of groundwater and sending back toxic-filled liquid cow waste, just a few miles from the site of Sand Valley.

The incongruity and danger to Keiser's resort is not lost on residents.

Here is another communication from Don Ystad who owns a home on Lake Camelot in Rome where he likes to entertain his grandkids and relax when he is not fighting Wysocki, and protecting the water and land for his community.

Policymakers would do well to listen to this man:
Governor Walker, Mary Burke, representatives, agency people, and the hundreds blind copied here,

You're probably tired of hearing from me. 

Especially when I point out the elephant in the room when articles appear about the great recreational area here in Rome and Saratoga and the expected growth from developments like Mike Keiser's Sand Valley Golf Resort. 

Wow! 475 full time jobs and 125 part time jobs, plus all kinds of supporting businesses popping up to support the recreation and tourism it provides.

If it's anything like Bandon Dunes, the benefits will be felt throughout the state as golfers come to Sand Valley, then visit other premier courses in Green lake and Kohler, among others, not to mention our very own Arrowhead courses.

What will they think as they are driven through the stench of the Wysocki's planned dairy CAFO along Highway 13 between the Wisconsin Rapids airport and the new course in Rome?

Residents of Nekoosa complain about the stench from the Wysocki's current dairy CAFO, 11 miles away from them in Armenia.

With Sand valley within 4 miles of the planned dairy CAFO in Saratoga, what will the odors be like?  And, if as experts predict, our water quality and lake levels suffer from the planned CAFO, what effect will the diminished recreational area have on those who pass through Rome on their way to this premier golf resort?

As administration heads, agency heads, state representatives and voters, do you stick your head in the sand (no pun intended) and ignore the fact that there can be a tremendous boost to recreation and tourism here in an area already tailored to recreation and tourism? 

The approximately $20 million spent by area residents and visitors could easily double once this development is in full swing. 

Every one of you knows the proposed CAFO is incompatible with the current Rome/Saratoga recreational environment, and standing on the sidelines and allowing this to happen is just plain wrong, whether you are a voter, or an employee of this state. As some of our representatives speak out about the incompatibility of the proposed CAFO, the message needs to ring clear in Madison. For those of you blind copied here, you can send that message by replying to those addressed here, or just wait until November when you place your vote.

I am a concerned resident of Rome, WI, and I vote.

I appreciate Mike Keiser's foresight in picking this unusual, natural sand barren to build his course, while returning it to it's original beauty.  My vote this year is all about protecting our recreational area and promoting our positive growth. I have no patience for the bureaucrats playing dumb on the sidelines while our recreational community is threatened by this proposed CAFO.

Don Ystad
Rome, WI

Proposed Nightmare CAFO
 Dream Golf Resort

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