Wednesday, October 4, 2017

WI activists pressing environmental agendas; details here

So many big stories have pushed attention away from important Wisconsin grassroots issues, so let me try and update a few for you:

*  The League of Wisconsin Conservation Voters is raising awareness about a fast-tracked bill to deregulate metallic mining in Wisconsin, regardless of the release of toxic mining waste and other dangerous environmental consequences. 

A hearing is tomorrow:

Mining Bill is a Disaster that No Amendment Can Fix
MADISON – Sen. Tom Tiffany’s disastrous Senate Bill 395 – or more accurately the Industrial Acid Mining Bill – will be up for a vote in committee tomorrow, and there are indications he will make minor amendments in an attempt to get the toxic bill passed.
The bill would repeal the Prove It First mining law, a gold standard, bipartisan law enacted 20 years ago that has protected Wisconsin from the devastating effects of sulfide mining – like poisoned rivers, ecological dead zones, and toxic drinking water – for a generation.
The bill is up for a vote Wednesday in the committee Tiffany chairs, the Sporting Heritage, Mining, and Forestry Committee. Tiffany is expected to make token amendments to the bill in an attempt to hoodwink the public, which overwhelmingly opposes the bill.
“The Prove It First mining law works, period,” said Kerry Schumann, executive director. “Senate Bill 395 cannot be fixed with amendments. No one is foolish enough to believe this bill can be made better while still repealing Prove It First, but Sen. Tiffany obviously thinks so.”
Opposition to the bill, which now has an Assembly counterpart – AB 499, is strong and intensifying daily. The public has generated more than 6,600 emails, letters, and phone calls to legislators in opposition to the bill. That includes more than 200 local elected officials who signed a letter opposing the bill presented to legislators.
“We call on the committee and all legislators to oppose SB 395,” Schumann said. “This legislation will open up Wisconsin to America’s most toxic industry, leave local communities suffering its toxic consequences, and hand taxpayers the bill.”
*  The Town of Wilson is now litigating the annexation of land by the City of Sheboygan which would facilitate the construction of a Kohler golf course, and require taking some public land within Kohler Andrae State Park. Friends of the Black River Forest continues its organizing:
Music Fest FundraiserSat., Oct. 21 - Windjammer Room at Lakeshore Lanes. $10 entry fee includes all day music, a bowl of bouyah and kids’ activities. Children 7-12 $3, 6 and under free. Prizes and raffles. Pumpkin dessert contest and bake sale. Call Claudia to volunteer - 920-457-0525. More info coming soon.
DNR Board asked to STOP the proposed changes to our state park master plan. The plan cannot be amended for Kohler’s objectives as a matter of law. FBRF has also asked for an audit of state employee's hours on this private project. And the DNR has misrepresented the impacts of the Kohler easement requests.  9/27/17
*   Activists trying to save what's left of the Milwaukee County Grounds have issued another call to action: 
The Wauwatosa Process has now officially started and will determine the final fate of the remaining natural area on the Milwaukee County Grounds.  The first meeting is this coming Monday, October 9th at 7pm. (schedule below) Intense pressure will be needed to sway the City Council to reject or amend the zoning application submitted by the County Economic Development Director. 
The application carves out about 11 acres or 22% of the remaining natural area and also requests a “text amendment” to Wauwatosa’s zoning code to include multi-unit housing and unlimited height and density to the SP-Medical zoning.  
We have been clear and consistent about our vision for the County Grounds: any more development will diminish the remaining value for wildlife and humans alike. No More, Not Here.
Attached is the requested area for development. It is important to remember that this is their shoe-in-the-door to continue to come back for more of the County Grounds Northeast Quadrant-there is only one way to stop their advancing further….NO More Development, Not Here. 
Please post and spread this announcement and flyer far and wide. 
Please attend these remaining meetings and write letters. We have come this far, since 2000, let’s get it done in 2017! 
October 9, Monday7 pm  -Plan Commission--allows for public comment 
*October 17th, Tuesday- Full Council--to set date of public hearing—*attendance optional (date has already been set) 
November 21, Tuesday -Public Hearing before full Council---NEED TO FILL THE ROOM--public comment allowed... 
November 28, Tuesday--Community Affairs Committee--public comment (at the Chair's discretion)--NEED TO FILL THE ROOM 
December 5, Tuesday-Full Council for vote--NO public comment 
All meetings take place at Wauwatosa City Hall,  7725 W North Ave, Wauwatosa Wi 53213 
Links to City Alders 
Rearrange your schedules to be part of this final effort to Save the County Grounds. 
*  I'd written about litigation to prevent big ag interests in Wisconsin from escaping oversight by already weak environmental regulation. More groups are now joining that lawsuit
On Monday, October 2, Midwest Environmental Advocates filed a joint motion on behalf of the Clean Water Action Council of Northeast WisconsinMilwaukee Riverkeeper and the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation to intervene in a lawsuit brought by the Dairy Business Association against the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
Midwest Environmental Advocates filed the motion jointly with Clean Wisconsinand the Friends of the Central Sands in Brown County Circuit Court.
In the DBA v. DNR case, the state’s largest dairy business lobby is in essence attempting to abolish state rules that allow the DNR to issue water pollution permits to Wisconsin’s largest concentrated livestock feeding operations. These pollution permits include environmental protections that limit CAFO runoff to groundwater, streams and lakes, and the drinking water of families who depend on private wells.

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