Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Red Cliff Ojibwe explain opposition to 26,000-pig feeding operation

[Updated from 11:23 a.m., Sunday, March 20 and 3:48 p.m., Tuesday, March 22nd., with photos, text and video at this site.

Those of you interested in the possible location of an outsized 26,000-pig feeding operation 

in Bayfield County, Wisconsin that is within smelling distance of Lake Superior, Chequamegon Bay and its gorgeous clean waters - -  
- - not to mention the possibility that industrial-scale animal feeding operations statewide are closing in on permanent groundwater withdrawal rights - - might want to read beginning on p. 6 of a newsletter what the Red Cliff (Ojibwa) Band has posted about the massive pig CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation). 

Because of the pdf format I can't grab the posted photos which show flooded barns and caged animals' 24/7/365 confined conditions elsewhere, but these text excerpts begin to tell the story:
Red Cliff Resolution Opposes Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations
On December 22 [2014], Tribal Council passed a resolution stating that the Red Cliff Band stands in opposition to the establishment of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) on the Red Cliff Reservation, within Bayfield County, and within Ceded Territory...

A facility of this scale will impose a slurry of negative stresses, strains, risks, and consequences upon the local community, economy, and environment. CAFOs literally feed off of a broken national food system that stands dependent upon unsustainable federal subsidy programs, polluting and destructive technologies, imbalanced distribution, and unethical labor and animal welfare practices.

Plus, everybody poops, even pigs. CAFO pigs poop over the grated floor upon which they spend their entire lives. The poop drains into what are called manure lagoons. A swine CAFO produces about 1.3 million gallons of animal waste a year. As people who already live beside CAFOs can attest, manure lagoons stink.

Neighbors of existing swine CAFOs report noxious odors cause headaches, diarrhea, runny nose, sore throat, burning eyes, and reduced quality of life.

There are other problems with the manure. In an “ideal” system, manure is retained for six to twelve months to allow for residual antibiotics and pathogens to break down before the manure is spread on farm fields to be used as fertilizer. If improperly applied, the manure applications saturate storm-water runoff with nutrient levels in such excess as to be toxic to natural systems.

Even with the best intentions and most careful management practices, extreme precipitation events, as are predicted to increase with climate change, can cause the manure lagoons to overflow and contaminate groundwater. Great Lakes watersheds with similar large-scale livestock developments, such as Green Bay, Wisconsin and Toledo, Ohio, have experienced increases in algal blooms, beach closures, and the development of dead zones like that found in the Gulf of Mexico where agricultural runoff is concentrated in waters from the Mississippi River.

Pollution will affect local quality of life, and it will negatively impact the tourism industry that Bayfield County depends upon. “Sailing on the winds of swine stink” and “swimming lakes of poo” don’t quite cut it as slogans ripe with tourist appeal...

The Treaty Natural Resources Division prioritizes maintaining access to sustainable traditional foods such as wild rice, fish, game, and maple syrup. The Red Cliff Community Farm promotes local production and distribution of local, sustainably raised produce. Red Cliff is enmeshed in a larger community that thrives because of its commitment to small-scale, diversified, local agriculture. Red Cliff’s opposition to CAFOs is a demonstration of our commitment to community and environmental resiliency built upon sound ethics and agricultural practices.

1 comment:

Betsey said...

Not to mention the city of Ashland's intake pipe for its municipal water supply is located within the same bay as the manure-tainted discharge. This is a totally BAD idea!!! How did it get so far, already?