Mar 10, 2017

Wisconsin Republicans Target Water Again

Rome, Wisconsin relies on clean and safe water
The central Wisconsin community is a tourist
and recreational mecca fighting the current
of anti-public mania of Wisconsin Republicans.
In Wisconsin a coalition of citizen groups is getting riled again.

They want to stop ground and surface water from being plundered and poisoned by industrialized factory farms.

Republicans in the legislature are saying in effect, 'forget it, water warriors, we work for Big Ag.'

Pro-water forces are sounding the alarm about the "Death by a Thousand Straws' bill drafted by Republicans for Big Ag, against the interests of surrounding communities.

They oppose Senate Bill 76, (Assembly Bill 105), that will result in "PERMANENT damage to our state’s waters – lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands, and residential water wells. Written in its current state, this bill does not solve any problems for our state groundwater and surface water issues and only allows our current problems to continue," (Sustain Rural Wisconsin Network and Concerned Rome Citizens).

By Rick Georgeson, Steve Raap, John Endrizzi, Rick Antin, and Don Ystad

Concerned Friends and Neighbors,

The recently proposed Senate Bill (SB) 76 is bad for us. It's a follow-on to the bad water bill from last session that failed to get approved.  And, now we hear there is a companion bill being introduced in the Assembly. Many of you helped to defeat the bills last session, and we are going to need all of you and more to help defeat this one. The deck is stacked against us as the administration further disembowels the DNR and as large industrial farm lobbies pour in more money trying to influence our legislators. So, it's just us, the largest pool of lobbyists in the state, and we have the ability to affect change. This mailing is informational.; Soon, you will be asked to take action to protect what's important to you and your family. And, it will cost you only a few minutes of your time.

Oppose SB76/AB105,  'Death by 1,000 Straws'

Sustain Rural Wisconsin Network and Concerned Rome Citizens, (Facebook), opposes SB76/AB105 and believe passage of this bill will result in PERMANENT damage to our state’s waters – lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands, and residential water wells. Written in its current state, this bill does not solve any problems for our state groundwater and surface water issues and only allows our current problems to continue. 

Wisconsin is a mecca for recreation and tourism. Allowing the passage of SB76/AB105 would land a direct blow to the thriving tourism industry upon which many of our rural communities depend.  Those who travel to Wisconsin will be forced to find alternate vacation destinations to boat, fish, and recreate as lake levels continue to be drawn down.

SB76/AB105 will guarantee the continued drawdown of many lakes, trout streams, and residential wells if passed by our current legislature. Unlimited permits are unprecedented in Wisconsin and pose a serious and immediate danger to our waterways and our residents. Periodic review of high capacity well permits is essential to protect our waters. 

The transfer provision in SB76/AB105 is of greatest concern and encourages elected officials to purposefully and directly ignore the state’s Public Trust Doctrine, which states the waters of Wisconsin belong to all of us. Transferring water rights with the sale of a property is in direct conflict with that doctrine outlined within our state's Constitution. Transfer wording should be deleted entirely from this bill.

As Wisconsin residents, we depend and trust our elected officials to enact legislation that will ensure our surface and groundwater will be here for our children and grandchildren to use and enjoy.  Moreover, we have property rights and hold our representatives to the expectation that they will protect our interests over big industry donors who are attempting to buy preferential legislation. 

Numerous scientific studies predicted reduced surface and groundwater due to overpumping from high capacity wells. Statewide, lakes, streams and wells are drying up and we are demanding legislative action to protect our water NOW. Do not vote to pass legislation that will make Wisconsin water issues worse and directly impact our tourism and recreational industry. SB76/AB105 will not stop or prevent further damage to the families of Wisconsin… it ensures the damage will continue.

Concerned Rome Citizens values the lakes in the Rome area that contribute in a large way to the $300,000,000 annual tourism revenue in Adams County.  The billion dollars in valuation of lake properties in Adams County represent a major source of revenue to commerce, schools and community services.  These lakes communities must be protected.

Sustain Rural Wisconsin Network (SRWN) is a statewide coalition of thousands of individuals and hundreds of organizations dedicated to preserving the environment while maintaining the health and economic vitality of rural communities. We are concerned about Wisconsin’s water resources and support sustainable water use. We cannot support legislation that gives Wisconsin’s water to the highest bidder at the detriment of the citizens.

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