Thursday, March 9, 2017

Walker's 'chamber of commerce mentality' DNR tilts playing field

Readers of this blog know that I have followed for some years the proposed construction of a high-end, privately-owned golf course in a forested/wetland/artifact rich nature preserve along Lake Michigan

adjacent to Kohler-Andrae State Park - - which would have to give up several acres of public land so the project can be completed as preferred by the developer, a major Scott Walker donor.

I've also noted in the context of corporate influences over Walker's "chamber of commerce mentality"-driven Department of Natural Resources that the golf course plan is being reviewed by staff from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources until a formal permit application was finally submitted this week, thus having aided for months at public expense the project's chances for approval without making the developer put it all in writing for opponents to vet:

The agency is being so helpful to the golf course proponent that it hasn't yet required the submission of a formal permit application that would greatly inform the public and expand the record - - so right there is some DNR provided, one-sided, taxpayer-paid advantage and assistance - - but the DNR did discuss whether to discipline a DNR staffer for giving opponents some public information relevant to the matter.
Does all this sound even-handed and equitable to you?
As I also noted last year.

Along those lines, I'd heard the other day that the DNR invited 24 staffers to a February 21st in-house meeting to discuss the project's wetlands issues, so when I read that project designers are now saying that the project could achieve greater wetlands preservation...

  • Wetland preservation: Only a small amount of wetland – 3.69 acres – would be impacted by the golf course, and there will be no impact to rare interdunal wetland. In addition, Kohler Co. is offering a wetland mitigation plan to restore and enhance additional ridge and swale wetland in the same watershed as the project.
...I asked myself again: 

Does this sound even-handed and equitable to you?

Would you and your project - - or should you be among a proposal's opponents with a moving target to aim at - - get this much attention from DNR?

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