President's Corner
President's Corner

By Mick Howen, March 2019

Hello neighbors and members of Lake Mildred & Clear Lake Property Owners Association. Last year, I wrote "Wow, we have had an interesting winter and I'm sure we are all looking forward to warmer weather". I think this winter topped last year and, quite frankly, the warmer temps may have some of us a little concerned (that snow has to go somewhere). Still, with all the lakes have to offer, I'm sure we'll be enjoying it in no time.

Please know you are still a valued member and we need to hear from you. If you have questions, concerns, or comments, please do not hesitate to get them to us. After all, we can't truly represent you and what is best for the lake, if we don't have you involved. Also, please take the initiative to get others involved. Our membership is very important and I hope each one of you will work to get others to join.

Our next meeting is Saturday, May 25th at 9am at the Newbold Town Hall. We are excited to have the author of the book "A Lakeside Companion", Ted Rulseh, as our guest speaker for this meeting. Ted "presents the science of lakes in an enjoyable way, with real-world examples. He explains how little things that shore residents do on their property can have a large impact on the lake's ecology." As always, at the meeting, you can also expect a treasurer's report and updates on fund raising, Clean Boats/Clean Water, fish stocking and other topics of interest. Please attend and encourage your neighbors to attend. Again, we appreciate and need your involvement. 

Once again, we will have a Board of Directors election taking place at the September meeting. We will be taking nominations at the May meeting. Connie Muckelber's term is expiring and she has decided to step down after many years of dedicated service in several important roles. We are so very thankful for what Connie has done for us and our lake as a leading pioneer in the effort to establish and maintain the association. Thank you Connie. Also, Sandy Ebben's term is expiring. However, we are very pleased she has expressed a desire to remain on the board. Sandy continues to be an integral member of the group as she does so very much to ensure the board stays on track, our membership is informed, the wellbeing of our lake is at the forefront of our efforts, and everything is documented long the way.

If you recall, I wrote you about the Carlin Lake Property Owners Association's efforts to protect their lake as a water bottling company was attempting to gain access to significant amounts of water through a well located near (on) the lake. We had indicated we wanted to support this cause financially as the result of ongoing litigation could have an impact on our lakes and other nearby lakes. We reached out and they were so pleased and thankful to have our careful and committed support. They indicated they "believed from the beginning that this threat is not only to Carlin Lake and surroundings, but that it also has the potential to threaten all the lakes in our water-rich Northwoods". They went on to say "We had not, however, anticipated that lake associations in addition to those in our immediate township would also become 'true believers' in this challenge. Your support is extremely encouraging to us".  At the time we reached out, they were still attempting to gain more information about two pending legal cases. As I write this update, their next hearing is scheduled to occur in April and they believe they will be able to pay for that effort out of current available funds. It is believed that Trig Solberg (Trig's) will continue to challenge the ruling of the Vilas County Zoning Administrator and the county Board of Adjustment. In any event, they will learn from the outcome of that case and subsequently, they will be able to more easily estimate their future financial needs. If it is needed, our board is asking our membership to support our decision to donate $500 toward their litigation efforts.

Finally, we were pleased to receive an update pertaining to metallic mining in Western Oneida County. An advisory referendum vote against allowing mining on Oneida County forest lands in the Township of Lynn passed this past November.

Remember, we all have a part in ensuring our lakes stay wonderful. Please slow down when you are supposed to slow down, be respectful of others, and keep the shorelines and lakes safe and clean. Also, it's customary and downright friendly to wave and say hello as you encounter others on the lake. It's just what we should do as neighbors. I'm wishing you all nothing but the best as we continue to enjoy lake life experiences and keep traditions alive. Let's do all we can to make sure Lake Mildred and Clear Lake remain wonderful!

Mick Howen
 > August 2017 Letter from Association President Paul Evans <

To Lake Mildred and Clear Lake Property Owners:
It is hard to believe that our Labor Day meeting is less than a month away.  Okay, I won't rush August away as there is lot of summer left to enjoy.  As the Board prepares for the Labor Day meeting we want to provide you with an update of the results of our fund raising efforts.  Through your generosity we will continue to move forward on important priorities.  As a review, the Board had established six priorities to guide the work of the Board and how funds would be spent.  Those priorities and examples of the work that has been done are listed below:
1.        Continue working with other organizations to protect our waterways.   This work has included letters of support and money for lobbying state legislators, membership dues to various state groups working to protect water resources, and Board member attendance at state conventions to keep informed of current issues.
2.        Respond to concerns of property owners regarding activities on the water or at the boat landing. The annual letter we send out to all property owners regarding boating safety and courtesies, new sign at the boat landing, and a recent letter regarding reducing the damage wakes can cause during our high water are examples of this work.
3.        Continue to support the "Kids Don't Float" program.
4.        Organize and facilitate two owners meetings each year, fostering community among lake residents and lake activities like the July 4th Flotilla.
5.        Create and maintain a sustainable process to regularly monitor the two lakes and to develop and implement appropriate responses to problems.  Maintain Interns at the boat landing during high volume times to provide information on invasive species and conduct inspections. This year, Onterra inspected both Lake Mildred and Clear Lake.  And they found no invasive species, everything is looking good, yea! We will publish their report when it is finalized.
6.        Work on efforts to improve fishing including promoting catch and release, protecting and improving spawning areas and fish habitat, and stocking. Last fall we stocked 950 walleye fry and are finalizing arrangements with the fish farm and the DNR to stock 950 again this fall.  We continue to encourage catch and release practices not only of game fish but also of large panfish including crappies through flyers at the boat landing, information on our web site, and discussions at owners meetings.  However, we do continue to hear stories of trophy muskies being killed.  We also need to carefully manage our limited walleye population. More are being caught which is great, but we need to increase our walleye population before we should start harvesting walleyes.  It takes time to build up game fish numbers.  We need to be patient.  And please, release all trophy fish so others can enjoy the thrill of catching one. 
Several of these efforts require funding each year and our membership dues cannot cover all of the expenses.  That is why this spring we launched a fundraising drive.  We did not reach all of our goals, but it was a good start and the Board greatly appreciates your continuing support and generosity.  I have listed below the results as of July 31st:
1.        Membership dues - goal was to continue to get 70 - 80 owners to pay dues each year (dues are $25).  This year we have so far had 75 owners have paid for a total $1875. Thank you and if you still want to join, please send in your dues to Jim Wheaton.
2.        Clean Boats Clean Water boat landing interns - it costs us $1200 to cover the busy times at the landing.  This year we have raised $1045.  We will use general funds from dues to cover the remaining balance as we believe that this is an essential on-going program.
3.        Lake monitoring - We contracted with Onterra this year to conduct a survey of the two lakes.  This cost was $1700.  We had hoped to raise that amount but only raised $900.  We will cover the remaining with general funds from dues.  However, the Board will review this priority. It appears that we will not be able to conduct a survey every year.  We will contact Onterra for recommendations.  We cannot totally abandon the lake monitoring efforts but we will need to have volunteers augment Onterra's work. Perhaps we have Onterra conduct a survey of the two lakes every five years.  We all need to continue to practice good shoreland maintenance.  It is up to us, especially during high water times, to prevent erosion and runoff into the lake.  And we all need to use clean boats procedures if we take our boats to other lakes.
4.        Fish stocking - We anticipated that this would be a popular effort and it was.  Our goal was to raise $2000.  That amount would fund stocking this fall.  So far we have raised $1,755.  Thanks to all of you who gave and special thanks to Mike Anderson who has pledged $1900!  We have contacted Silver Moon Springs (they did the stocking last year).  The DNR has asked them to use a different strain of walleyes this year so the fry will be larger, between 8 - 10 inches.  The larger size increases the cost.  The estimated total for this fall for 950 fry is $2,280.  This funding should allow us to do stocking in 2018 as well as this fall.  Thanks!
So that brings us to this Labor Day's meeting.  Our meeting is at 9:00am on Saturday, September 2nd in the Newbold Town Hall.  Please join us as we will be discussing some of the items in this letter as well as we will hear from Stan Strub.  Stan is on the Board and is an owner on Clear Lake.  Stan will talk about Clear Lake.  I am sure most Lake Mildred owners have not been on Clear Lake as until recently it has been difficult to get to and most of us don't know much about it.  It is a very different body of water than Lake Mildred.  So I hope you will come and learn more about our sister lake.
We have also heard interest in the proposed new ATV ordinance.  We will have a brief item on the agenda.  Please attend the September 9th Town Board meeting if you are interested in providing feedback.  The other item for the meeting is elections for new Board members.  Jim Wheaton and my terms are ending as of the Labor Day meeting.  Jim has been a fantastic Treasurer (please thank him when you have a chance).  I have enjoyed being President but it is now someone else's turn.  PLEASE consider nominating someone for a Board position or NOMINATE yourself (most who get on the ballot have volunteered to do so).  Don't be shy.  It is important that we continue the work of the Association and a full Board is critical to make that happen.  So come to the meeting on September 2nd. 
Thanks again for your generous support of the Association and the efforts we are advancing. 

Paul Evans
Let's work to prevent damage to shorelines during high water
June 2017

Record high water levels impact more than just our docks.  Waves against the shoreline can cause erosion and dislodge logs, docks and other debris.  Please be extra careful when boating this summer.  Boat wakes, especially in the areas of the lake where it narrows can cause damage to the shorelines and even dislodge docks.   There have already been numerous boats and docks that have floated away from shore.  If a dock or other debris is floating on or just below the surface, they are hard to see from a boat and if a boater would hit it, they can cause a lot of damage and be very dangerous.

We all have to make sure that our docks are secured as well as other things on our property's shoreline.  Small boats or other items that can be washed away by wakes should be moved to a location that reduces the chance that they will float out onto the lake.

Some lakes during high water implement no-wake restrictions to protect vulnerable shorelines.  We are not suggesting that but we do encourage everyone to be extra careful and slow down going through narrow parts of the lake. These areas, between lake sections, will suffer damage if we are not careful.  The areas around the islands are especially at risk so please slow to no wake when going around them.

I have included with this email the boating curtesy flyer that the Lake Association has sent out the last couple of years.  It is especially important to follow its suggestions this year.  And please note the state laws regarding no wakes within 100 feet of the shore or structures.  The Fourth of July is one of the best times on the lakes and probably the busiest.  Please be careful this year where you are skiing or tubing or just taking a cruise.  

While the high water is a very welcome break from the low levels we worried about for a number of years, we all need to be careful when boating and securing our docks. 

Thank you and have a great summer.
Paul Evans
President  Lake Mildred and Clear Lake Association
Open Letter to Wisconsin Legislators and Governor Walker

February 8, 2017

To Wisconsin State Legislators and Governor Walker:

Unfortunately, members of our lake association board are unable to attend today's Citizen's Water Lobby Day.  We fully support the goals of the event and hope that everyone who attends gains a better understanding of the concerns of thousands of Wisconsin citizens. 

Historically towns, counties, and lake associations have worked together to develop sensible regulations and zoning ordinances that fit with the unique issues and characteristics of the lakes, streams and rivers in their area.  Citizens were involved at the local level, working with local governments to shape how they wanted to protect and managed their most important resource.  They were the best equipped to know what the impact their decisions would have on the quality of the water.  If because of unique local issues they chose to strengthen state regulations, they were free to do so.  State regulations provided a minimum standard that worked on a broad scale.  But no state wide-regulation can adequately address unique characteristics of a specific body of water.  Even lakes within a few miles of each other may require different protections due to lake type, density of buildings and population on the lake, and the current quality of the water.  Who better to discuss and decide the fate of lakes then the people living there?  Unfortunately, recent changes to state statutes have removed that local control from the citizens' who are most impacted and knowledgeable.

Our Lake Association is not uncommon.  There are hundreds like us in Wisconsin. Our members are property owners that care deeply about the quality of the water and surrounding shoreland.  We gather together at meetings to listen to experts share ways that we can protect our lakes.  We discuss what we each can do. And we fund projects and efforts that hopefully make a positive difference.  Our Association has spent thousands of dollars over the past few years on lake surveys that provided us a better understanding of current issues and conditions.  The reports provided a list of steps we need to take to resolve problems or maintain what is good.  Members have put in countless hours on various projects.  All of this is good.  But we now are faced with a new threat.  One that we can't fix by ourselves no matter how many hours we work on it or how much money we spend.  The loss of local control and the gutting of protections threaten the quality of our lakes, streams, and rivers.  And in the end will reduce property values (along with tax revenues) and our overall enjoyment of the area.

Numerous scientific studies and real examples (our Minnesota neighbors are dealing with the results of a lack of sensible protections and some lakes will never recover) demonstrate how damaging neglect, overdevelopment, and damaged shoreland can be to our lakes. Why do we want to jeopardize Wisconsin's most important resource? We urge you to restore local control and allow counties and towns to establish reasonable regulations. They are in the best position to do what is best for the future of Wisconsin's lakes, streams, and rivers.  We join numerous groups lobbying to reverse the statutes included in the last budget bill. Our kids and grandkids future enjoyment and Wisconsin's tourism industry is at risk.  Let's work together to protect our waters. 

Paul Evans

President, Lake Mildred and Clear Lake Property Owners Association
Town of Newbold, Oneida County       
2016 Holiday Greetings From President Paul Evans

Holiday greetings from the Lake Mildred and Clear Lake Property Owners Association Board.  As 2016 comes to a close let's take a brief look back at the year and peek ahead to 2017.

At the Labor Day weekend membership meeting we discussed several issues important to property owners. These issues were identified on past surveys we conducted of owners as well as questions and suggestions brought up at past membership meetings. They include safety on the lake and at the boat landing, quality of fishing, stopping the spread of invasive species, on-going monitoring of the water quality and impacting legislative efforts that threaten our waters. As the Board looks ahead to 2017, we will continue to focus our attention on these issues.  And in 2017 we will celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Association!

In response to concerns we heard from several people, we sent out a flyer promoting boating safety.  Our hope was that by sending out reminders of state laws and common sense courtesies we could improve the safety and enjoyment of everyone using the lakes.  We will continue to promote this in 2017. The Kids Don't Float Program has again been a success this year.  Everything is stored for the winter but will be at the landing again next year.  We have talked for some time about the safety concerns many of us have when putting in or taking out our boats at the landing.  As we know, there are frequent users of the landing who are using the area for swimming.  And there are no laws that prohibit swimming or other related activities such as fishing off of the dock or shore.  During our Labor Day meeting we discussed the idea of installing a sign at the landing.  The Board will get a sign made and installed in the spring.  It will read "FOR YOUR SAFETY, when boats are present stay clear of the landing and pier".  We have talked about trash left at the landing by users.  Our Interns who are at the landing to educate users on invasive species and to inspect boats and trailers, do pick up trash when they are working.  I would encourage all of us to clean up trash and other debris when we are at the landing.

One of the most frequent discussions before during and after a membership meeting is about fishing.  Some of the talk is of fish caught or ones that got away or where they are biting and on what bait.   But a lot of the talk is about the overall quality of fishing.  How can we increase numbers of some species like walleyes, largemouth bass, bluegills and crappies?  What happened to the perch and pike? Or how can we see bigger fish in our nets?  We have promoted catch and release via our web site, postings at the landing, in newsletters, and during membership meetings.  As I have said before, it is very hard to tell if these have had any impact.  We know from the study of the lake conducted by Onterra in 2011 that it will be hard for Lake Mildred to produce quality fishing on her own.  What makes the lake so wonderful, clean clear water, also means that there are not enough nutrients in the water to sustain the needed food chain for fish.  Starting with algae, insects, and zooplankton and eventually ending with game fish.  Certainly panfish numbers and size are dramatically impacted by this factor.  But it is not the only factor; other factors that have caused low game fish numbers are lack of suitable spawning areas for muskellunge, pike, bass, and walleye and angler harvest totals and the size of fish that are kept.  We know that the lake is not capable of sustaining a large population of game fish without some management. For several years, muskellunge have been stocked in Lake Mildred.  We are beginning to see the impact of that stocking. It obviously is critical that we release all muskellunge.  Take measurements and a picture and put them back, please. 

We discussed stocking walleyes at the Labor Day meeting. There was overwhelming support for the idea, so the Board moved ahead and was able to arrange to have 950 walleye fingerlings stocked on October 27th.  They averaged 7 inches in length.  The cost of the stocking was $1900 which we funded using Association reserves.  We only have enough reserve funds to do this one time so to continue a stocking program we will need to raise money.  I believe that this is an important initiative, one that has significant support of property owners, and should be continued. The Board will develop strategies to continue the stocking program.  Look for more information in the spring.  This stocking program does not include Clear Lake at this time.  I did talk with the DNR about stocking walleyes in Clear Lake, but due to the nature of that lake they did not feel that it was a good idea.  We will need to have more discussions on how to respond to fishing quality concerns in Clear Lake. Catch and release efforts are as important for Clear Lake and Lake Mildred.  It is critically important that all good size fish be released back into the two lakes.  Large bluegill and crappie need to be released as they are the ones that we need for spawning.  Keep small ones for a meal.  If we want big bass, we need to practice catch and release.  And please release all walleyes until we can establish a good population. 

Following the Onterra study, we committed to develop a long term plan to maintain water quality, keep aquatic invasive species out of the lakes, and educate property owners and visitors that use the lake.  We have taken many steps to accomplish this goal.  Our Clean Boats Clean Water program has funded Interns at the boat landing to inspect boats and trailers and to educate operators.  Of course they are not there all of the time so we all need to be vigilant in these efforts to prevent invasive species from entering our lakes.   We will continue this program in 2017 with your generous on-going funding support.  We have also included information about invasive species and water quality on our web site, in newsletters, and at a number of membership meetings.  Connie Muckelberg has worked tirelessly to develop a program to monitor the lake quality and to have volunteers collect data.  A few of you have worked with her to monitor designated sections of the lakes.  But we are falling short of what we need to monitor the water quality.  This is so vital to the future of our lakes that the Board is researching the feasibility of contracting with a firm to conduct an annual lake quality assessment for both lakes.  They would provide us with a report and any recommendations for things that they find.  This potential plan would assure that we are doing a thorough job of monitoring our lakes.  It is critical that we stay ahead of any potential threats.  You don't want to wait until it is too late.  Should we decide that this is a good idea to move forward we will need to raise funds.  We will provide an update in the spring. 

The membership meeting on Labor Day weekend also provided a lot of important information about the ongoing efforts of many to protect our lakes.  The elimination of existing zoning and local ordinances that were there to protect the lakes pose a real threat to our lakes, rivers, and streams.  In addition to these changes, legislative action has also eliminated local control.  Towns and counties have very few options available now to put in place ways to protect our waters.  John Richter and Bill Scott joined us at the meeting and summarized what has been going on and what are possible future scenarios.  In 2016 we shared information about these efforts via our web site, newsletters and at member meetings. We will continue to do so as this continues to be included in the legislative agenda in the Assembly and Senate.  I encourage all of us to keep up to date on what is happening and to share with agencies, citizen groups and legislators our concerns or ideas.

Well, I think you can see that a lot happened in 2016 and I hope that you feel that the Board has identified the important topics and initiatives for 2017. Please contact any of us on the Board if you have questions or suggestions.  We were excited to add two new members to the Board this fall:  Mick Howen on Lake Mildred and Stan Strub on Clear Lake.  I am most grateful that Connie and Sandy also agree to run again and will continue to serve on the Board along with Jim and Jennifer.   Contact information for all of the Board members can be found on the lake's web site.  Lastly, I want to thank Dave Ebben for maintaining the web site.  It is a big job and we are all very grateful.

I hope that you have a wonderful holiday season and a fun winter.  See you in the Spring. 

Paul Evans

A Note from LMPOA President Paul Evans
March 12, 2015

At last August's Association meeting, Connie Muckelburg, Jim Wheaton, and myself were elected to serve on the Association's Board.  I accepted the position as President, Connie will serve as the Vice President and Jim as the Treasurer.  Sandy Ebben will continue as the Secretary and Bob Hasal will serve as a Director (and an important Clear Lake representative).  Thanks to all of these folks for helping with the duties of the Association. 

It should also be noted that Connie had served as President of the Association since its founding and did so much to get the Association established. She and Pete represented the Association at other lakes association meetings and at state conventions.  I recently attended an event in Madison and spoke to individuals working on invasive species and clean lake initiatives and they certainly knew Connie and Pete and the work they have been doing.  THANKS to Connie (and Pete!) for your leadership.  I hope to continue to advance the good work that Connie started and to meet all of you at our upcoming Association meetings.

Our family built our cottage in 1965 so Lake Mildred has been a very important part of our family for 50 years.  We have countless memories of four generations enjoying the lake. I grew up in Rhinelander, I am a Hodag.  My wife Nancy and I live in Madison. 
You can keep up with the happenings of the Association and Lake Mildred and Clear Lake by checking the web site, reading our great newsletters, and coming to the Association meetings (held on Saturday morning of Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends). 

There are only five Board members so we depend on many volunteers to help.  Island stewardship, water testing and lake monitoring, working on fish population efforts, loon watch, kids don't float program at the boat landing, and clean water/clean boat campaign are just some examples.  The next Association meeting is at 9:00am on May 23rd.  Our guest speaker will be Mark Stroede from Outdoor Rooms Inc..  He will share details of the shore restoration work they did at Jennifer and Jeff Labs home.  It will be very interesting.  The meetings also provide a chance for you to meet others from the two lakes.  More details will be in the spring newsletter. 

One of very important efforts of the Association has been to learn more about our lakes and to organize efforts to keep them clean and free of invasive species.  Donations to the Association's Clean Boats/Clean Water fund pay for monitoring at the boat landing during busy weekends.  Your continue support is vital to keep this program going.  Jasmine Labs will be at the landing this summer giving information to boaters and inspecting trailers and boats.  She can't be there all of the time, so we all need to help with this effort.  We certainly don't want to jeopardize the lake.  You will read more about all of these efforts in this springs newsletter.

The Board would also love to hear from you.  What would like us to work on?  What efforts do you think are most important?  We will be talking more about this at the May meeting but please contact me at with your suggestions or comments.  That is all for now, hope to see you on the water soon!

Paul Evans

A Note From the President - 1/18/2011

        Aside from a cold snap in the beautiful northwoods, there is a warm feeling of unity and caring between the people on Lake Mildred and Clear Lake. 
        The Lake Management Plan fund has received over $3,000.00 in donations.  We need these, and more, funds to cover our share of the project, and to cover the "grant gap", for assistance at the boat landing, and to pursue any projects that the lake study may bring up.  Now is a good time to partner in on these projects, by sending in a donation, if you have not already done so.
        Money is a big part in this project, but your support is the far greater portion.  We need to be open to suggestions, particiapate where needed, pay dues, and attend meetings. 
The "Kick Off" meeting for the lake study will be June 11, at the town hall at 9AM.  Onterra will be leading this meeting.  We need to have a large representation of lake-owners here.  Each person, in attendance, will create "credit" for our time matching, which is a required part of our repayment plan.  Not only will it look good, but you just may learn some neat stuff!
        Onterra, the professional group implementing the lake management plan, will start water testing soon.  Dates and time will be on the website when it is set.  There will be a lot of activities on our two lakes and I hope that we all learn a lot about our watery treasure.
        Please consider volunteering for a position of the Board of Directors, your participation is needed.
        Stay warm, and enjoy the view.

                                Connie L. Muckelberg

January 2016 - What is happening in the state legislature that
will impact Lake Mildred and Clear Lake?

     For the past few months we have posted information about the various legislative bills that have been signed into law or are in the process of becoming law.  As you know, we have been very concerned about the impact these laws will have on the future of Lake Mildred and Clear Lake.  I know at times it seems that things done by the legislature will not impact our lives. And I certainly don't spend my free time researching the bills that the legislature is considering. However, it is clear to many of us and numerous other lake associations, that the bills that have passed or are now being considered, will have a dramatic impact on the quality of our water, shorelands, fishing and how we experience the lakes. 
     Thanks to the leadership of John Richter and others with the Wisconsin Shoreland Initiative others are learning about the changes that happened in Act 55 (the budget bill passed this past summer) and the pending legislative bills that are now being considered.  The Wisconsin Shoreland Initiative has worked on repair legislation that is intended to reverse some of the laws passed in Act 55 such as loss of county control over density, minimum lot sizes, and setbacks.  But more needs to be done as more is being done to threaten the shorelands and water.  For example in the latest bill proposed by Representative Jarchow, an owner could remove up to 30 cubic yards of lake bed in front of their property every year.  That is over three large trucks full of lake bed material. Just think about what that would mean for Lake Mildred and Clear Lake if only one owner did that.  When we had low water levels we were all concerned about fish habitat and protecting the exposed lake bed from damage. Imagine if we all came in with heavy equipment and removed 30 yards of that exposed lake bed and lake bed still underwater. What would the lake look like now?  The latest bill also allows ATVs and UTVs to ride unrestricted on exposed lake beds and removes any restrictions on dock sizes or boat shelters.  I think you get the idea. Our lakes are under assault.  And we all know that damage to our natural resources can take generations to reverse.
     It is important that we all get involved by learning more about what the Wisconsin Shoreland Initiative is doing and the about the current bills being considered.  We all need to write our representatives, regardless of where we vote in Wisconsin.  And we all need to vote in the next election and ask candidates what their position is on these bills or how did they vote. This impacts the entire state. As an Association we will continue to follow what is happening and post information on the Web site.  At times, we get items to post that need a little background before we post them. Others can just be posted. I have attached below a recent column written by Steve Pearson.  It does a good job of summarizing what is going on.  I hope this all helps. 

Paul Evans
President, Lake Mildred and Clear Lake Property Owners Association  

Wither our waterSteve Pearson | Leader columnist
Major changes in the regulation of our pristine lakes, rivers and other waterways in Wisconsin, changes that take power away from local governments and concentrate it at the state level, have occurred in the past year with more being proposed.  No longer will local communities be able to decide how to take care of their lakes and rivers, more pollution-filtering wetlands will be filled in, exemptions will be allowed for obtaining a permit to discharge hazardous or toxic wastes into wetlands and there will be fewer protections for lake beds and other special waterways in our state.  All of these changes have one thing in common, Rep. Adam Jarchow of Balsam Lake.
Recall that it was Jarchow who, along with Sen. Tom Tiffany, slipped a midnight-hour sweeping change into the state budget last summer that eliminated shoreline zoning at the county level in favor of "one-size-fits-all" state regulations.  And now he's back with two new pieces of legislation, this time partnering with Sen. Frank Lasee, R-DePere, to "put power back into the hands of people," as the representative said in a column in last week's Leader.  Jarchow also vilified local governments in that column, lumping them together with other legislative entities that have "crept into every corner of our lives." 
Jarchow wants to reduce the argument to simplistic terms, "You own your property, not the government." But owning property, especially on a public waterway, has little in common with other types of ownership.  The flip side of the "rights" coin is responsibility, and living on water brings with it incumbent responsibilities that are unique.  Rather than taking the long view, Jarchow's concept of "property rights" is shortsighted, designed to benefit a few at the expense of the many. 
Jarchow would have us believe that the collective concern for our waterways "puts our liberties as free people at risk."  Such talk is reckless at best and sets up a false dichotomy.  When local governments, citizens commissions and lakes associations, folks like you and me, band together to preserve a precious, vulnerable resource for perpetuity, they do more than ensure that land values along our waterways will retain their value.  They preserve the public trust.   And when state government abdicates its responsibility to preserve pristine resources for future generations, legislators must be called to task. 
If you go to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website, you'll find evidence of that obligation of government in the form of something called The Public Trust Doctrine.  And by way of explanation, you will read, "Wisconsin law recognizes that owners of lands bordering lakes and rivers - 'riparian owners' - hold rights in the water next to their property.  These riparian rights include use of the shoreline, reasonable use of the water and a right to access the water."  No one would dispute this expression of property rights that are assumed when one buys a piece of waterfront property. 
But the website goes on to cite a pertinent court ruling in the realm of property rights:  "However, the Wisconsin State Supreme Court has ruled that when conflicts occur between the rights of riparian owners and public rights, the public's rights are primary and the owner's secondary."  The court has further concluded that the DNR must take into consideration the cumulative impact of individual projects on water quality, and in doing so, act to protect public rights in these cases.  Jarchow's legislation turns this concept on its head, stating that where there is conflict between or confusion around individual landowners or developers plans and local ordinances, court rulings should favor the property owner over the interests of the public. In essence, this bill tells the courts how they must rule in these cases, an unprecedented overreach. 
There is no other sphere of our lives where we adhere to that logic.  Imagine a family structure where one person's "rights" trump those of the family as a whole.  Or a workplace where one person's desires outweigh those of the company.  In all areas of life, we strive to find the "common good."  This doesn't negate the individual, but instead recognizes that sometimes our individual desires are subservient to the greater whole.  We call that "growing up" or "maturity."  "We the people," says the U.S. Constitution, not "I, the person."
Since our country's earliest days, limits have been in place affecting how one can use their private property.  Building height, spillover, noise, smoke and other "injurious" harms have been regulated by local and state governments from the beginning.  An 1887 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Mugler v. Kansas, held that property ownership carries with it the implied obligation to not engage in behavior on private property that would be "injurious to the community."  Since then, various rulings have upheld that premise while seeking to safeguard the rights of property owners to "do as they please" as long as their behavior doesn't impact the surrounding landowners or the public trust. 
Finding the right balance has been the overriding principle in these decisions.  There has never been a recognized "absolute right" to privacy protections on one's property, and public authority or law enforcement has always retained the right to intervene where necessary.  You don't have the right to cook meth, abuse your children or dump raw sewage on your private property, and you are subject to the penalties that ensue from those actions.  A recent Leader article told the story of a Frederic man found guilty of domestic abuse who used fatuous property rights claims to try to keep county and state officials from "trespassing" on his property, claiming he had a "land patent" right that overruled local officials' authority.  People have always hidden behind the mantle of "property rights" to engage in unwarranted or outrageous behavior. 
One hundred years ago, our lakes and other waterways here in northwestern Wisconsin were largely wilderness areas. The past 50 years, a mere drop in the ocean of time, have seen rapid, often unregulated, growth along our waterways, sometimes two and three tiers deep.  Blue lakes became green lakes, choked with algae by late summer.   Local governments responded by implementing science-based "best practices" in an attempt to remediate these concerns, lakes associations were formed to protect our waters for now and for all time, and citizens were recruited to draw up forward-looking comprehensive plans. 
Jarchow has already undone much of the work of these good people, and his latest legislation would continue that process.  There is still time to let him and Republican leaders know how you feel about that.  The state Legislature is back in session on Jan. 5, and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos hasn't committed to either of Jarchow's latest bills, LRB 3936 and LRB 3588, so there may still be time to influence the outcome.  And if that fails, the representative will face the referendum of the people in less than 11 months, and the people won't forget.    

A Note from LMPOA President Connie Muckelberg
September 12, 2013

          Thank you. Thank you all, for caring so deeply about our wonderful resource, Lakes Mildred and Clear.  We now have eight members from Clear Lake.  That is a good thing.  Now, if Mother Nature would, once again, connect us!  'Guess we just have to thank Bob Hasal for being our connection right now.
          Another year of association meetings has drawn to a close.  We had a "fun-derful"  flotilla, some great moments on the lake; we saw a conclusion to our lake study by Onterra, welcomed two loon chicks and made some new friends.  All, in all, it was a very good year.
          It was a bit disappointing that no one would step up for the position of treasurer for the association, but it is not unusual to struggle to get volunteers.  You all make efforts to preserve the beauty and safety of our lake.  That is an important job, all year long. Thank you for every effort.
        The maples are starting to turn.  We all know what that means.  Cold, but beautiful - here comes winter!  I must admit….those pine needles sparkling with the morning snow are magnificent.  Where is Dennis Katterhenry?  Get that camera ready!
  Please plan to attend the Spring association meeting. A speaker, coffee and possibly a freshly baked treat will all be there.  'Hope you will be there too.
          Our Memorial Day 2014 meeting will feature a guest speaker.  The topic of falling lake levels will be addressed, a subject dear to all of us.  Some of us were lucky enough to hear the people from Onterra discuss this subject. For the rest of you folks,,,,,there is more to come.  Please have questions ready for our expert.  More question equal more information.  There is always so much to learn.
        If you wish to: volunteer to spearhead a committee, volunteer to help the board of directors as treasurer, present an agenda idea or to "speak your onions" please feel free to contact any of the members of your board of directors.  The board is an extention of you.  We are elected by and for all of you. We do our best for you and our waters.  Yup, we are all in this together.
        Have a wonderful autumn, winter and spring.  Hold precious all that we have: family, friends, our lake, good neighbors and so much more.

'See you May 24, 2014.
        Your president,
        Connie L. Muckelberg


A Note From the President - 3/23/2011

        Spring has sprung and it is snowing like crazy! Today, March 23 is a
cold and blustery day on Lake Mildred. Get out there with your cameras
and snap a memory for our 2012 calendar. Send your photos to Sandy
        Due to family obligations, Karen Smout has resigned from our board
of directors. We wish her family well. We are now going to need at least
three candidates for our upcoming election. Karen's chair, and my and
John Merkel's terms have ended, leaving three positions to be filled. A
position on the board benefits everyone as well as our lake. There is very
little time required, and the entire board will assist if you require support.
The chairs to be filled will be: president, vice president, treasurer. Sandy
will continue to be secretary, and Bob will remain a director. Please call
me to step up and support your lake and its backbone, the board of
directors. We have a lot of terrific people that could do so much to
support our projects and provide leadership. Consider a brief three year
term. Try it out, you just may enjoy it and learn a lot. Please call or email
me to volunteer for the ballot.
        Our kick off meeting for the Lake Management program has had a
date change. It is now June 18, at the town hall at 9 AM. Please plan to be
there. Onterra will present a program as well as a question and answer
session. We will be credited for hours of participation for everyone in
        Don't forget to pay your dues and send a donation to the lake
management plan support. We still need to cover the grant gap. A huge
thank you goes out to those of you that so generously supported us so far.
Your response was impressive!
        Watch your mail for our wonderful spring edition of the Lake
Mildred newsletter.
        Enjoy the beauty around you, and be thankful for each day.

Connie L. Muckelberg

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