Mar 21, 2016

Something Stinks in Wisconsin

Aerosolized manure lagoon waste in Wisconsin -
Nothing to see here, says Big Ag. Science, Wisconsin
families and communities say differently
Local Democracies, Families and Communities Are Fighting Big Ag's Industrialized Manure Waste

Wisconsin has an entire political party, (the Republicans (and a few Democrats)), who act as shills for Big Ag's annual dumping of millions of tons of hazardous wastebacterial, viral, and parasitic fecal pathogens—into Wisconsin waters and the entire biosphere to predictable tragic consequences, (Devlin, Green Bay Press Gazette; Lundstrom, Door County Pulse; Sustain Rural Wisconsin Network; Duhigg, New York Times; Clean Water Council of Northeast Wisconsin).

Assisting Big Ag in this project are the Koch brothers which acquired the paper giant Georgia-Pacific in 2005 (Arndt, BloombergBusiness), as corporate and institutional ownership of Wisconsin forests are displacing family-owned woodlands, (Schmid, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel), clear-cutting the way for more hazardous industrialized agriculture.

The map shows increase in annual mean
surface concentration of particulate matter
resulting from ammonia emissions associated with food export.
Populated states in the Northeast and Great Lakes region,
where particulate matter formation is promoted by
upwind ammonia sources, carry most of the cost
Manure from livestock and fertilizer for crops
release ammonia to the atmosphere.
In the air, ammonia mixes with other emissions
to form microscopic airborne particles,
or particulates
Image: NASA AQAST/Harvard University
As Adams County in central Wisconsin works locally to protect forests (Anderson, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin), Big Ag and paper giants have cast their eyes on the land, with no regard for surrounding communities and families.

Lights are blinking red among Wisconsin clean water advocates.

"While (Big) ag interests suggest it may be unfair for the county to create forest zoning to cover the communities that have no zoning laws, they don't mention the 10,000 acres of forest clear cut in the past few years near the lakes and streams that support tourism. Adams County ranks #4 in per capita tourism. This proposed zoning is a move to protect the balance of tourism and agriculture, and it needs your support. For too long, we've sat idly by as agriculture interests do the land grab. If you value the nature of our county, please attend the hearing at the Adams County Community Center on March 23rd  at 7:00 PM. You can bet the CAFO operators in New Chester and Richfield, along with their DBA, (the polluters' lobby, the Dairy Business Association), ... will be there," said Don Ystad of Adams County in an email sent this weekend.

Meanwhile Farms Not Factories emails an alert the UW-Extension Spray Irrigation of Manure Workgroup "plans to release its findings very soon and although they've promised they would hold a public hearing and solicit public comments after they compiled their final draft report, they've decided NOT to do so."

Reads the Farms Not Factories email:
In addition, they are rushing to publish the final report. Workgroup members were given the final draft on March 12 and their comments were due by March 19. Keep in mind, the Workgroup convened in 2013 and the members spent many, many hours attending meetings/reading materials/sorting through the facts. Why were they given a week to review and comment on 3 years worth of work??

While Bayfield County banned aerial spraying on manure in early 2015, Ashland County (as well as a majority of counties in Wisconsin) have not banned this form of manure disposal. If I've learned anything in the past year, it's this: Bayfield and Ashland Counties share a watershed, a shoreline and a County border and what happens in Ashland doesn't necessarily stay in Ashland.

The Workgroup members need to hear from the citizens of Wisconsin immediately, please send an email ASAP. Please write them and tell them you expect the UW-Extension Spray Irrigation of Manure Workgroup to schedule a public hearing/allow public comment on their final draft report about this controversial manure disposal practice. Why are they rushing to finalize the report before the citizens have a chance to weigh in?

Template for your email to the Spray Irrigation of Manure Workgroup

Here are the names of the Workgroup members:
Ken Genskow, UW-Madison (chair/facilitator)
Becky Larson, UW-Madison
Carrie Laboski, UW-Madison
Mark Borchardt, USDA-Ag Research Service
Andrew Craig, Wisconsin DNR
Joe Baeten, Wisconsin DNR
Pat Murphy, NRCS
Steve Struss, Wisconsin DATCP
Rob Thiboldeaux, Wisconsin DHS
Suzanne Gibbons Burgener, Wisconsin DHS
Gloria Smedema, Fond du Lac County Public Health
Sarah Grosshuesch, Adams County Public Heath
Jeff Polenske, Agronomist
Jim Vandenbrook, Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association (WLWCA)
Kenn Buelow, Dairy Farmer
Jeff Sommers, Dairy Farmer
Shelly Mayer, Dairy Farmer and Executive Director, Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW)
Dana Cook, Professional Nutrient Applicators Association of Wisconsin (PNAAW)
Lynn Utesch

Copy and paste these email addresses of the workgroup:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
In the town of Saratoga in Wood County, the town is working against Republican-backed legislation that would "override local zoning and put the groundwater and thousands of acres of land in a single township at risk."

For some four years Saratoga residents have opposed the siting of a massive, polluting industrialized CAFO or Concentrated (Confined) Agricultural Operation by the Wysocki corporation.

When the Wysocki corporation officials did a PR gig on July 19, 2012 at a special Saratoga Town Board meeting drawing 100s of people, the local Wisconsin state representative, Scott Krug (R-Nekoosa) told a Wood County resident to "quit your bitching," (Mal Contends).

Krug is scheduled to appear at a Door County water quality hearing on March 31 with another Repulbican, (Door County Daily News). One Door County resident emails, "No, this is not [from] the Onion, the Republican legislative threats to water quality are going to explain to people how to restore the Ahnapee River. This should be good!" 

From a Saratoga January 2016 release opposing Krug-supported legislation:

SARATOGA, Wis. [January 4, 2016] – A pristine aquifer and thousands of acres of pine forest in one rural Wisconsin township are at risk if a proposal before Senate and Assembly committees makes its way through the legislative process, confirmed Attorney Paul Kent representing the Town of Saratoga in Wood County. A public hearing on SB464 is slated for 11a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 5 in Senate Hearing Room 412E while AB582 comes before the Assembly Committee on Housing and Real Estate on Thursday, Jan. 7.

These bills include a provision that would retroactively apply an expanded concept of vested rights and in so doing limit a local government’s ability to protect the property rights and health of its residents, Kent said.

The Wysocki Family of Companies has proposed siting a 5,300-cow dairy facility in the Town of Saratoga. Known as Golden Sands Dairy, it would encompass almost 6,000 acres in the Town, some 4,660 of which is managed pine forest that would be clear-cut for vegetable production. “If the proposed vested rights language passes, the original Wysocki building permit for six buildings on 98 acres could apply to thousands of additional acres in the Town,” Kent said.

“These bills are being supported by the Wysocki Family of Companies to further its attempt to override the Town’s zoning ordinance and a pending Court of Appeals decision on the scope of that zoning ordinance,” Kent said. “Wysockis would like to sweep local zoning aside so that the only remaining review of the operation would be by the Department of Natural Resources.”

“The Town’s zoning was designed to protect the area’s fragile aquifer and sandy soils and was initiated in its 2007 comprehensive plan long before Golden Sands Dairy was proposed. The problem for the Town, Kent explained, is that this area, as designated by the U.S. Geological Survey, is highly susceptible to groundwater contamination, and more than 5,000 residents depend on the quality of that groundwater. The zoning was intended to protect public health and the property rights of those residents,” he explained.

The Wysocki proposal includes application of 55 million gallons of liquid manure and 25,000 tons of solid manure annually on the 4,660 acres for vegetable production. “Manure application to that extent on those 4,660 acres will compromise the soil and the groundwater in short order,” Kent said, “and threaten more than 500 residential wells in close proximity to those fields.”

These concerns are not hypothetical. In recent months, monitoring wells at Wysocki’s Central Sands Dairy, which is sited on similar soil and located just across the Wisconsin river from Saratoga, have demonstrated nitrate levels as high as 77 parts per million (ppm), or nearly eight times the drinking water standard of 10 ppm, Kent said.

While this change would directly impact the Town of Saratoga, passage of the vested rights language in AB582/SB464 could also severely limit the ability of towns and other local governments to regulate frac sand mining and other land uses throughout the state, he said.

About the Town of Saratoga

A township in Wood County, Wisconsin, Saratoga is home to 5,385 residents. It is situated in the southeast corner of the county, bordering Juneau and Adams counties and includes Ten Mile Creek, Ross Lake, a portion of Nepco Lake and Five Mile Creek.  Its predominate land uses are woodlands owned by private landholders, residential subdivisions, limited agriculture (cranberry bogs), commercial developments along highways 13 and 73 and open spaces. The Town is listed on the US Geological Survey map as an area highly susceptible to groundwater contamination. The main aquifer consists of glacial sands and gravels resting approximately 20 feet below the land surface.

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