Saturday, August 25, 2018

Does DNR publication have Sports Illustrated-style cover jinx?

A mere five days ago I noted that the latest edition of the WI DNR's glitzy online magazine "Wisconsin Lakesider" featured cleanup activities in several state waterways with designated Areas of Concern, (ARCs), including the Sheboygan River.

In my post, I noted that the DNR, while, lauding anti-pollution efforts on the Sheboygan River, had also approved a wetland fill permit in a nature preserve for a golf course complex through which an already-impaired stream in the Sheboygan River basin - - the Black River - - now runs.

And I asked: 
Why is the DNR and its oversight body, the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board, green lighting the development of a fertilizer-intense, wetland-filling, habitat-bulldozing and state parkland-gobbling golf course complex surrounding the already-impaired Black River - - which is part of the Sheboygan River basin, according to "Water Resources of the Sheboygan River Basin," a separate DNR publication
The Sheboygan River, with its major tributaries the Onion and Mullet rivers, discharges into Lake Michigan. Other streams in the basin that drain directly into Lake Michigan include; Sauk Creek, Sucker Creek, Barr Creek, the Black River, and the Pigeon River as well as numerous small unnamed streams (WDNR 1988).
Now that question with its bit of irony has been swamped. Literally.

Because on August 23th, three days after my post, there was this from the DNR

Manure runoff reaches Sheboygan River
The manure plume has reached the canoe launch at County CCC and the Sheboygan River... where county health officials said signs will be posted warning recreationists to avoid contact with the water because of concerns about e-coli bacterial contamination.
Ben Uvaas, a DNR wastewater specialist who has been on the scene since Wednesday afternoon when manure was reported in an unnamed creek, said the responsible farm has initiated pumping activity in affected surface waters. However, the runoff was largely uncontained as of late Thursday morning, and the contamination is expected to spread downstream.
A fish kill has been observed in the Sheboygan River near County Road CCC. Dead fish, mainly minnow species, have also been observed in two smaller tributaries. 
Approximately 11.5 miles of stream have been affected. Clean-up activities will likely continue for days. The area involved straddles the towns of Taycheedah and Marshfield.
Uvaas said the Redtail Ridge Dairy, a DNR-permitted CAFO facility, had applied manure to several fields starting Friday and continuing through Monday. 
The area received heavy rain late Monday and manure ran off at least two fields, reaching nearby waterways. Dead fish were found in an unnamed stream at several road crossings, including Ledge Road, Valley Road and County W. 
During this inspection a second runoff event was identified that resulted in surface water contamination and a fish kill. Redtail Dairy has confirmed the farm spread manure to fields near County Road WH and that manure had run off these fields into surface waters. The dairy has contracted with a local septic pumper to collect manure laden water. 
Is there an equivalent phenomenon in DNR publications to the so-called Sports Illustrated cover jinx, wherein focused publicity in SI mean a team or an athlete is about to suffer a losing streak or key injury? 
Over the years (starting in 1954 with MLB legend Eddie Matthews), an uncanny amount of sports figures who appeared on the front of the magazine have come down with injuries, lost big games or suffered some other unfortunate misfortune.
This is what dairy farm manure runoff looked like in Kewaunee County.

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