Saturday, January 15, 2011

On The Walker-Fills-The-Wetlands Issue, Group Smells A Rat

As Gov. Scott Walker moves to allow wetlands development in Wisconsin without a permit, River Alliance of Wisconsin weighs in.


Anonymous said...

I have examined of this project area with google earth, google maps street view and usgs topo maps and would not classify it as a wet land from this. There may be some minor wetter areas that are noticeable only under close scrutiny and imaginative definitions of wetlands but there are no obvious wetland habitats or adjacent water way.

The expansion of the public trust doctrine (that part of the Wisconsin constitution pertaining to navigable waterways) to the adjacent wetlands would not seem to apply in this case. As is often the case, someone is blowing something completely out of proportion to expand their own power and authority. Hopefully Walker can straighten this one out.

I would, of course, appreciate any links to data as to what part of this area is classified as a wetland
To find it on google earth copy and paste 44.507022, -88.07866 into the search box.

Anonymous said...

In your own post

you link a report

which includes this statement
” Bergstrom’s attorney, Paul Kent of Madison, said the state Department of Natural Resources has approved the project but environmentalists oppose it.”

It would appear that your criticism of this project would be better directed to the DNR approval before Walker was even governor.

James Rowen said...

The DNR permit is under review because the Wisconsin Wetlands Association filed a challenge. That is part of the current legally-established permitting process. Walker wants through legislation just for this casw to terminate the appeal.

Anonymous said...

Here is a good news article on the project

I see a definite lack of water within the “wetland” area. Considering the small size and location, the claims that “the parcel in question is critical for wildlife habitat, water quality and flood abatement” seems a bit ludicrous. The developer also had plans to create 4 acres of wetlands elsewhere to offset using this 1.6 acre parcel .

I am going to have to agree with Walker about putting more power into the hands of elected officials who are directly accountable to the public. Environmental groups and supposed natural resource specialists are quickly losing their credibility by blowing issues like this out of proportion and they apparently need the type of oversight and control offered by Walker.

Anonymous said...

To the first Anon....

The DNR has interactive websites as well to help aid and locate delineated wetlands here:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that link to the DNR wetland site. I checked it out and noticed that next to the area in question there is a neighborhood of houses also classified as wetlands (albeit filled wetlands). It would appear that not all wetlands are considered equal. When I imagine a wetland I think of things like cattails and frogs, not just poorly drained soil. The main rational for including wetlands under the public trust doctrine was for the filtering effect adjacent to navigable waterways which certainly would not apply here. It could be argued that every acre, perhaps every square foot, whether bare rock or water and everything in between is a unique habitat which some organism has adapted to and thrives on.

If there is no real (that is measurable or observable) public harm by developing a poorly drained soil area (wetland) then the landowner’s rights to develop that property should prevail, even if some other group that never went through the time and trouble to actually purchase and pay taxes on the land would prefer it be used for something else.

Anonymous said...

What sucker would buy a property in an area with poorly drained soil? What bank would finance a house in this former swamp? Is flood insurance going to be required?