Sep 5, 2016

Wisconsin Lake Communties Fight Big Ag Polluters

Our plentiful Wisconsin surface waters include three lakes in northern Adams county, Lakes Arrowhead, Camelot and Sherwood located around the town of Rome in central Wisconsin.

The lakes are beautiful, and many a retired grandparent has their grand-kids over for fun, recreation, the simple joy of watching children playing.

Against this is Big Ag that without conscience pollutes, depletes and poisons the lakes, imperiling a region Wisconsin as a state should be protecting and nourishing.

Residents of Rome have taken issue with this writer's being too harsh in describing what Big Ag is inflicting. I get it, I speak for myself.

It's difficult to market a region as an attraction for tourism and recreation as Wisconsin Republicans are working against you, and water.

If industrialized agriculture polluters and its protectors are not stopped, there is not going to be a Rome, Wisconsin. Ask the folks who live on Long Lake in Waushara County in central Wisconsin, (Bergquist, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel).

Big Ag is politically protected. Gov. Scott Walker (R) and State Rep. Scott Krug (R-Nekoosa) are on the side of the polluters who sell out decent, hard-working families who moved to central Wisconsin the last decades for peace—a small home on a lake, paradise in central Wisconsin.

Here's the latest communication from Rome resident, Don Ystad:

Interesting timing, after a TriLakes annual meeting attended by 100 people agreeing unanimously that we need qualified help in addressing our water issues, this article should appear in the Milwaukee Journal discussing the water level issues in our central sands area. It amplifies the difference in attitudes of an agriculture industry intent on expansion compared with citizens trying to protect their lakes, streams and drinking water wells.  As you reflect on your holiday weekend up here and the condition of our water, please support TriLakes in their efforts to urge our town to co-sponsor a citizen meeting with knowledgeable speakers to understand our water issues and begin determining a course of action to clean up our lakes and protect them.

Ystad references Lee Bergquist's important series appearing in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel this week.

Bergquist's work is a must-read, because clean and safe water in Wisconsin under Republican rule is going to become a memory.

Writes Bergquist:

In a major policy shift, the [Republican-led] Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said on June 10 that it will no longer place restrictions on high-capacity wells, or deny applications for new wells, by first evaluating the cumulative effect they could have on the ecosystem.

A leading Wisconsin water scientist said the new approach is a step backward.

'The frustrating thing for me is that it puts us back on a footing of an unplanned future for water use,' said Ken Bradbury, director of the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey. 'In other words, it’s sort of everyone for themselves again.'

The DNR changed its review process after receiving a legal opinion from Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel, who concluded the agency did not have the authority to consider the compounding effects of such water use. He was responding to a request from Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and a GOP-dominated legislative committee.

'It was all a predetermined, preordained strategy by the attorney general, the DNR, the governor and Robin Vos and the Legislature,' said Carl Sinderbrand, a Madison attorney who has litigated cases involving high-capacity wells. 'They wanted to prevent the DNR from regulating wells.'

Clean and safe water in Wisconsin, this is one resource that if ignored will go away.

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