Legislative Action Alert and Lobby Day Invitation 10/16/2011

Walker’s JOBS bill is another attempt to undermine Wisconsin’s tradition of protecting water and resources.

Governor Walker and cohort, Senator Neal Kedzie, are trying to sneak legislation through this fall to help the mining interests by reducing water quality standards. This whole “Back to Work Session” is a disaster and Kedzie’s efforts stand out as a pathetic attempt to promote the agenda of his banker and mining buddies work overtime to destroy the Penokees and the Bad River Watershed. (Neal Kedzie is the chair of the Job for Mines Senate Select Committee. He also does not support any efforts to remove mascots from sports teams that many of my friends, neighbors and their kids view as racist. Our Senator, Bob Jauch, has described Kedzie as a “reasonable”. One is left to ponder, what Jauch’s standard is for someone who he might consider unreasonable.)

 Two of Kedzie’s proposals are listed here. One of apparently is so bad that it did not deserve to rate a LRB number. Please call your legislator express you concern about this backdoor attempt to degrade our water protection standards in Wisconsin. To learn more about this JOBS bill and accept an invitation to go to Madison to participate in the Citizens Conservation Lobby contact the Bad River Watershed Association or call 715.682.2669

Wetland and Habitat Restoration – Sen. Kedzie and Rep. Mursau   (Note: No Legislative Reference Bureau Number has been assigned.)

Changes to wetland water quality certifications, which will help, streamline the permitting process while maintaining protections for our most valuable wetland resources


 Makes it easier to do business in Wisconsin and maintains wetland protections through clear simple regulatory process.

 Improved and simplified wetland permitting process with clear application requirements and predictable review.

 Achieve an overall increase in wetland acreage through restoration fees, banking and mitigation.

 Improve the overall quality of wetlands in Wisconsin.

 Increase access to lands for outdoor recreational activities by requiring they be open to hunting, fishing, and trapping.

 Provide more consistency with the Army Corp of Engineers by mirroring federal guidelines and regulations.

LRB 1446 – Sen. Kedzie and Rep. Mursau

 Relating to: information required to be published on the Department of Natural Resources Internet Web site; identification of areas of significant scientific value for purposes of regulating the placement of deposits and structures on the beds of navigable waters and the removal of materials from the beds of navigable waters; requirements for the placement of certain piers and wharves; repair and maintenance of boat houses and fixed houseboats; permit exemptions for land grading activities and for persons who place piers and wharves in navigable waters; placement of fill or structures within a bulkhead line; procedures for issuing individual permits, contracts, and general permits and contracts for structures, deposits, and other activities in or near navigable waters; expedited procedures for plan approvals for dams and for water and sewerage systems; and granting rule−making authority.


 Makes a number of reforms in various DNR programs which will allow them to operate more efficiently

 Requires DNR to create publicly accessible electronic data system for ordinary high water marks and navigability determinations

 Grandfathers all existing piers and sets maximum allowable platform size placed afterthe bill at 200 square ft 

 Incorporates timelines for DNR to make determinations during the permitting process

 Allows for web based public notice system for environmental permits

Thanks to the Bad River Watershed association for the following “ACTION ALERT”.

 Back to Work Wisconsin Special Session

September/October 2011

Access to Capital    Regulatory Streamlining    Workforce Development.

Tax Relief    Transportation and Infrastructure    Litigation Certainty.

Buried within the "jobs" package introduced recently by Governor Walker are two proposals initiating major rollbacks to Wisconsin’s natural resource protections. You can read the only information that's been provided about these bills so far by clicking here. You'll see on page 4 that one bill would change wetlands laws. The other bill would change regulations about filling in rivers, lakes and streams.   

These are not jobs proposals.   If passed in the special session, these rollbacks will make it easier for ANY industry to dump waste into Wisconsin's lakes, rivers, and streams.  This includes Exceptional and Outstanding waterways- like the Bad River, the Tyler Forks, and the Potato River in the Bad River Watershed.

Here's the problem: Legislators have not released a copy of what is actually in these bills. They may not do that until shortly before a vote in the special session that starts on Oct 18.