Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Organizing Underway Against Forest Loss For Kohler Golf Course

An appeal from the grassroots (earlier context):

Residents Issue Statewide S.O.S. to Stop Proposed Kohler Golf Course in Town of Wilson

TOWN OF WILSON, WIS. (June 10, 2014) -- The Friends of the Black River Forest are sending out a call to action to all concerned Wisconsinites inviting them to stand in opposition to the corporate destruction of Wisconsin’s precious natural resources for private profit. The Friends is a group of Wilson residents formed to stop Kohler Company from building a golf course in the ecologically- and environmentally-sensitive area of Black River, located along Lake Michigan in Sheboygan County.

According to their proposal, Kohler Company plans to tear up 247 acres on the Lake Michigan shore in Sheboygan which includes wetlands, dunes and pristine woods. The Friends are informing the public of the negative impact a golf course has on the environment including:  wetland destruction, toxic runoff of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers into ground and surface waters, drawing down of wells, deforestation of 50% of the wooded land, and destruction of bird migratory paths, animal habitat, and environmental corridors.

Mary Faydash, co-spokesperson for the group states, We live in a time of nationwide concern over the preservation of natural resources. Kohler Company touts itself as good stewards of the land yet seeks to build a golf course that will seriously affect the local environment, including depletion of our aquifer and Lake Michigan by as many as 20 million gallons of water yearly to water greens and fairways. Its ecologically irresponsible.

She continued, "golf courses are proven polluters of groundwater, rivers and lakes.  Here, in the Town of Wilson, toxic runoff will flow into our already compromised and polluted Black River, which directly flows into Lake Michigan.”

According to a Kohler Company spokesman, Herbert Kohler, Jr. has spoken to Governor Scott Walker concerning an easement that he will need across State lands for entrance to the course and for construction of a maintenance building. 

"We need to put a stop to big corporations who use public lands and our natural resources for their own profit without regard to the devastation that they cause,” said Claudia Bricks, Friends’ co-spokesperson.

"This is an example of a developer using our small town to build a golf course for the few while depleting our resources and quality of life. We talked with a former Wisconsin native, now a town councilor in Bandon, Oregon who led the charge to stop the Kohler from building another golf course on the pristine shores of the Oregon Coastline. She said, ‘tell the people in Wisconsin that what they do, they do for all of us. We are all in the fight to protect our environment and our quality of life together.’"

Bricks continues: “We need help from statewide conservation groups and those with environmental or scientific expertise to stand with us to speak to the negative impact of this project and help us prevent a golf course. Once this land is deforested, polluted and devastated, it will be lost forever. Help us to defend the right of everyone to clean air, unpolluted water and environmentally sound land use practices.

Anyone who would like to share their expertise publicly at the Friends June 29, Town Information Meeting in Sheboygan can call Claudia Bricks at 920-457-0525, or Mary Faydash at 708-567-7419 and visit the Friends website at

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