Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Fox Point's path to preservation

The Journal Sentinel produced an interesting story about the obstacles to saving a small island in a Waukesha county lake.

Here's hoping preservationists find a way, though it's a hard slog since they need the cooperation of a state legislature and DNR which have shown as much interest in environmental protection during the Walker era as the Chicago Bears offensive line has shown keeping Jay Cutler off his back.

It's more than a little depressing to see how hard it is hold on to clean and accessible land and water for future Wisconsin generations in the land of conservation heroes like John Muir, Aldo Leopold, Gaylord Nelson and George Vukelich.

Look at the battle underway right now near Sheboygan, where people are trying to save a nature preserve and even a piece of a state park from being clear-cut and other wise trampled for a high-end golf course.

Or the struggle by Milwaukee conservationists to save O'Donnell Park and its Lake Michigan view downtown for the public's enjoyment.

That's an uphill battle, for sure, since Milwaukee County has been short of funds since the days of Tom Ament and His Pension Raiders, which is why the County sold a big, wooded green piece of the County Grounds oasis in Wauwatosa for UW-M engineering and research buildings.

And absorb the wretched environmental record of the incumbent Governor, who, despite manure overflows and fuel pipeline spills and wetlands fillings and sand mine pollution is determined to enable 35 years of mountain top dynamiting in the pristine Bad River watershed near Lake Superior to excavate and mill low-grade iron ore from miles of deep open pit mining.

But there was one recent grace note across this otherwise gloomy political environment, and that is in Fox Point, where a group of determined conservationists found a way to save a footbridge above a ravine to retain a local landmark and offer a special view of Lake Michigan.

Maybe there's a connection to be made between the good people there and their counterparts in Waukesha County near Pewaukee Lake who want to save the little island for the birds.

And posterity,

What was it the poet said about about that?

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