Wednesday, July 20, 2016

WI DNR not forwarding records on projects DNR referenced

There is a major public meeting in Sheboygan this evening to discuss the release of a draft Environmental Impact Statement on the controversial Kohler golf course proposed to be carved into a nature preserve along Lake Michigan - - 
 - - and opponents (below) said today they have discovered the plan now includes an increase to 20 acres from four to be taken from an adjacent state park - - and when the DNR released the draft EIS without having received a formal proposal from the developers, a DNR official said publicly there had been other projects given similar, cart-before-the-horse treatment:

I hope you noticed that a DNR official has said other projects have received such treatment
Mike Thompson, environmental analysis team supervisor, cautioned that the document is a draft and could be changed, based on comments from the public, and as other information becomes available. 
Thompson said there have been instances when the DNR has moved ahead with the environmental impact report before receiving a formal application. He said the company did not ask for the analysis to be done before it filed an application.
I can't remember such a sequence - - an EIS draft released before, not following, an application for a project's permit - - and several experts to whom I posed the question have said they do not recall this sequence, either. 
So on July 5th I sent the DNR an Open Records request for links to, or citations for, such projects and their no-permit-application-first draft EIS. 
The DNR responded on July 6th that my request was received and has been forwarded to the right people. 
it will be interesting to see what, if anything, surfaces, and if there are prior examples which also rise to the level of controversy associated with the Kohler golf course. 
I'll share the results of the request with blog readers when I receive a response.
Fifteen days have gone by - - and despite the well-publicized director fro Gov. Scott Walker to agencies to streamline the process - - I have not received the record(s).

So asked I the agency's communications director today by email what was happening, and was told he was looking into it.

Also - - From Friends of the Black River Forest:

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