This is the cover article from our summer 2017 WaterWays newsletter (formerly The Flow). Download a PDF of the full Newsletter.
By Raj Shukla
Summertime is the reason I’ve spent my whole life in Wisconsin. I love those early days with no mosquitos. I love celebrating with my community on the 4th of July. I love hearing kids giggle while they splash through waves lapping the shore of the nearest lake or river. Summer inspires me, and couldn’t we all use a little more of that?
Wisconsin has already seen bad water policy come from the Capitol this year. The Governor signed what we call the Groundwater Giveaway (Act 10), legislation that hands out high-capacity well permits with little oversight and no periodic review in a region where lakes and streams dry up in summer because of—you guessed it—high capacity wells. Despite overwhelming support for a responsible approach, policymakers proved that the wishes of corporate lobbyists are more important than the concerns of local residents. It’s the same story on aquaculture legislation (Act 21) that River Alliance opposed because of preferential treatment for one business at the expense of a trout stream the legislation threatens.
The pattern of policy aligning conveniently with the interests of the powerful, well-connected, and well-financed seems to emerge with every water challenge we face. But your energy and your passion can beat their money.
In the pages that follow, you’ll learn about the proposed Back Forty sulfide mine on the shores of the Menominee River. It’s a bad idea that threatens drinking water, the local economy and the quality of life for everyone in northeastern Wisconsin and anyone who cherishes Lake Michigan. You can do something about it and River Alliance will show you how. We’ll also give you the stepby-step summertime actions you can take to build relationships with your representatives in government.
And, you’ll meet our good friends at Miles Paddled, who describe what moves them to traverse 2,000+ miles of Wisconsin waters and show you how to do it, too.
River Alliance of Wisconsin is a community of leaders who protect and restore water in unique and personal ways. It’s a pleasure to show you a glimpse of the people and the issues that make our work so rewarding.
We wish you a beautiful and active summer.