Wisconsin Shoreland Initiative
July 21, 2016 Update
Advocating for Wisconsin Lakes and Rivers
It is time for us to ask all of our partners to consider contributions to WSI. Our funding is at low ebb now and we will need to replenish it for the next session. I am in hopes that Lake Association Boards will also ask individual members to contribute. We have been the grateful recipient of four figure donations from some of our Plum Lake people as well as a couple from outside our area. I hope that others who are capable from around the state will consider making a donation to our efforts. Financial updates are available on request. We are working on a PayPal donation capability for the website, but in the interim, please send contributions to Wisconsin Shoreland Initiative, P.O. Box 193, Sayner, WI. 54560
Speaking to Associations
We have been asked to speak to lake associations frequently and there are now two of us to get around the state. Bill Scott, a member of the steering committee of WSI has volunteered and joined me in Mercer recently for an address to the Turtle Flambeau group. Bill is an attorney from Milwaukee and has a depth of experience in water law issues. He was the lawyer to set the strategy on the Lake Beulah high capacity well case that is perhaps the most notable recent Public Trust Doctrine case in Wisconsin. He is a geologist as well as a lawyer and is well placed for the challenges on our road ahead. We are both available for a quick update on the last year and our plans for next session as well as what we can expect from both Rep. Jarchow and Sen. Tiffany. In addition, Mary Panzer has volunteered to fill in where needed in this effort. She will be speaking to Geneva Lake Association later this month at their annual meeting. If we can help you with a presentation to your meeting, please let me know.
Some of us have been writing letters to the editor and I am attaching one here for your information it has appeared in 4 or 5 papers s in the last couple of weeks and I plan to continue to send it out. I sent it personally, not from WSI. I would encourage you to get your writers together and send them out regularly.
Steering Committee Meeting
We are going to have our first face-to-face meeting of the Steering Committee on August 18th, right after the Wisconsin Lakes/River Alliance advocacy training session in Manitowish Waters at the Discovery Center. There are two locations for this worthwhile session, the first being in Shell Lake on the 17th and the second being in Manitowish Waters on the 18th. I would encourage you to participate. Sign up is required @ http://www.wisconsinlakes.org/
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
THE HEALTH OF OUR LAKES IS NOT A POLITICAL ISSUE
They are starting to call us names. Rep. Adam Jarchow calls us "radical left wing extremists" on WPR. His partner, Sen. Tom Tiffany, is accusing us on TV of Gestapo style intrusions on private property doing "sweeps". The sweeps he refers to are looking for invasive species in the water, which apparently neither of these legislators understands belongs to the public. Both of these statements are just simply untrue.
It is a sign that we are starting to make an impression as we struggle to recover the rights that they ripped away with their attack last year on local control of our lakes. It is also a measure of their level of disrespect for lake resident volunteers as citizens, constituents and stewards of our lakes. We are the lake association members who have selflessly volunteered to care for our lakes and protect them from harm. We are your neighbors, or your customers, or your friends. We come from all walks of life and political parties. Our work is non-partisan because the health of our lakes is not a political issue.
The privilege of living on a lake carries extra responsibilities. Prime among them is a commitment to do nothing on our property that could negatively affect the water we live next to, that is co-owned by every citizen, and our neighbors. Our lake associations take on many responsibilities including invasive species, habitat projects, shoreland restoration, water quality and chemistry monitoring. The list goes on and on - I could fill a page with our efforts. None of them deserve a political label, because the health of our lakes is not a political issue.
Our lakes and rivers, our shorelands and ground water, are the greatest asset of our state and belong to the people. They are the foundation of our tax base and our economy in the north. In my home county of Vilas, riparian property pays 77% of the cost of county government. You may not know this but tourism increased more than ONE BILLION dollars last year - not many sectors of our economy can match that number. The waters deserve protection for reasons of economics as well as preserving our natural gifts for our kids.
We have one goal: to maintain healthy lakes for the people, for our economy and for the kids and grandchildren of every citizen, all the owners of our lakes. Private property rights include the rights to maintain a safe and healthy environment for our families. If one of my "rights" damages my neighbor or my states' waters, it ceases to be a right, and becomes a responsibility for me to fix.
Sen. Tiffany and Rep. Jarchow are hiding behind a curtain they call "private property rights". It's a disguise. Don't be fooled by that.
John Richter, Sayner
Wisconsin Shoreland Initiative • PO Box 193 • Sayner WI 54560
414-587-3760 • firstname.lastname@example.org