Wisconsin's lakes, rivers and streams, as common waterways, belong by
law and the State Constitution to the people of Wisconsin - - all the
people - - yet the lengths certain people with money and a sense of
entitlement will go to tamper with and damage these public waterways for their own private uses boggles the mind.
The couple did not have state permits when they began building a stone wall in August 2009, damaging more than 10,000 square feet of lake shore and bed, Van Hollen said in a statement. They also dumped 70 cubic yards of sand on the lake bed without a permit in August and September of 2009.This took place on Upper Nashotah Lake, where others find spiritual renewal.
At Nashotah House, the beauty of holiness goes hand-in-hand with the beauty of creation; chief among our campus’s many attractions is the seclusion it provides for reflection and recreation. "Getting away from it all" at the House entails no more than stepping out your own back door. Herds of deer regularly range our campus and are frequently found grazing on the Dean’s front yard; wild turkeys, owls and hawks make our woods their own; and the clear waters of our lake are hospitable to swimmers, boaters and fishermen all. This, together with a beautiful constellation of historic buildings and sacred spaces, makes our campus a sanctuary unto itself.The Attorney General's statement elaborates a bit more on what happened to the lake:
The violations are related to construction on Upper Nashotah Lake, a navigable water and an area of special natural resource interest and home to several endangered or threatened fish, birds and flora..
According to the complaint, Susanne and Michael Michels, in and after August 2009, placed stone walls and boat rails and disturbed more than 10,000 square feet along the bed and bank of Upper Nashotah Lake, and in August and September 2009 placed 70 cubic yards of sand on the bed of Upper Nashotah Lake, without any water regulation or grading permits and with no or inadequate erosion control measures, in violation of state water protection statutes.So we're not talking an incidental activity out in what is known as Lake Country in Waukesha County.
Dumping into the lake 70 cubic yards of sand? How long did it take to truck that in?
That's more than 90 tons.
How long does it take for a lake to recover from such a trashing?
Final thought: this project was discovered by a DNR warden. Some of you out there still think deregulating and de-emphasizing Wisconsin's environmental preservation ethic and goals is a good thing?
Hat tip: Don Behm at the Journal Sentinel.