Feb 6, 2017

Water Advocate Mary Dougherty of Bayfield, Wisconsin Sustains

Mary Dougherty of Bayfield, Wisconsin is clean
water advocate and a "force of nature,"
(Slater, Duluth News Tribune)
When most Wisconsinites say 'up north,' Bayfield, Wisconsin exemplifies what they mean.

It means water, forests, eagles, a region near Lake Superior that is so breathtakingly gorgeous that new visitors often leave feeling they have become in touch with something new or something very old.

Mary Dougherty of Bayfield, Wisconsin is a clean water activist and embodies a social movement advocating life and nature over toxic pollution and human greed.

Brady Slater has a profile of Dougherty in the Duluth News Tribune.

Anyone who has met Dougherty and her 1,000s of fresh water activists likely walks away wondering who could oppose what they work for.

Writes the News Tribune's Slater:

'Mary has got a knack for organizing,' said Kendra Kimbirauskas, a farmer and chief executive officer for the Socially Responsible Agriculture Project, [SRAP], based in Salem, Ore. 'She's forward-thinking and looks at being creative with the public and elected officials. She asks, "What is it we can do to truly protect what we value here as residents?" That's not where all communities are at. Usually, we get calls for help from communities that are in crisis.'

Dougherty was so effective in persuading her community to mobilize against the prospective hog farm that SRAP hired her to be an area consultant. She's now working with other counties in the state — including Kewaunee, St. Croix and Crawford — in their efforts to stem the environmental impacts of corporate farming.

On Wednesday, Dougherty and her group, Farms Not Factories, are co-organizing the first Citizens' Water Lobby Day at the state capitol in Madison. An anonymous donation of six charter buses inspired the event that will feature information tables, connect citizens to legislators and culminate with a silent march — all in an effort, its promotional flyer says, 'to demand responsible water policy from elected officials.'

'We're all fighting the same fight on different fronts,' Dougherty said. 'Our intent is to bring us all together and speak with one voice so that we can leverage our individual might. We're up against a huge industry that's entrenched in our political system. They don't want people to stand in the way of modern agriculture.'

Meet Mary Dougherty, spend some time near Lake Superior or the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

You may join the legion of folks who decided to pull up stakes and live up north, and who now spend much of the rest of their lives fighting for fresh water.

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