Who are the players?  From the backroads of Wisconsin to the World of Politics, Money, and the Rich and Powerful.

Trying to set politics, parties, or religious affiliation aside is really very difficult - on the other hand protecting our water is a no-brainer. Around the world Governments are hearing the message - Protect and Preserve. Leaders of Nations no longer can deny the ruthlessness of multinational corporations controlled by the " highest of the higher ups”. From Texas to Riyadh, Washington to Beijing, Madison to Palm Beach FL, southern coal company lawyers to the Wisconsin legislature, and Americans For Prosperity to Iron County Court House are now all a nuisance to the Wood turtles. This is the direct effect of AB/SB1. Fifty years of our conservation heritage thrown away in few months. Big Money swooped in bought the statehouse and have been running amuck ever since. In their haste to completely dominate   the Wisconsin political landscape they turned to West Virgina coal country lawyers to write new legislation for Wisconsin. As a result mistakes were made and now the law has amended to make water, woods, and wilderness the King’s Forest once again.  

The law is so bad that even DNR staff cannot enter the “forbidden zone” without GTac’s permission. This just unbelievable! This of course will not fly and will force GTac to bring back their now legal and certified militia allowed to occupy our homeland. After the last epsisode which included heavily armed mercenaries parading around the Northwoods, it is fullly expected that a barracks complete with cafeteria, will constructed.. Soon after the montonous daytime and night patrols of the perimeter will begin - Day in and day out, year after year. As youngster growing up along one of the most southern creeks in the watershed, it was a marvel to stand in the water and feel the motion as most headed North and a small trickle started traveling South. Tutles abounded on partially sunken logs left behind as silent reminders of another time. Old shacks sitting idle, falling apart or long ago decayed. The presence of those who were there was all about. Sitting quietly echo like sounds wafted through, chatter, dish water splashing on the ground, the horses settling in for the night and the even softer of older voices of those who traveled here log ago, and muffled murmurs the trees and the water sharing their stories and purpose in Mother Nature’s realm. Left alone everything we need is here. Hopefully the dreams of sustainabilty will move forward, Comunity gardens are flourishing and will continue to expand. 

The fate of the Wood turtles, their foraging areas, and their nesting areas have apparently been disregarded by Gtac, Wisconsin Legislature and the crew running Cathy Stepp’s DNR. Seems this sets the precedent  - no worries from our government as far as protecting habitat, resources, and wilderness. Even the age-old definition of what is a navigable waterway is scrutinized for loopholes created by the Republican Party – a very sad story. In the Penokees GTac currently no restrictions and the Wood turtles are on their own. As late as June 27th of this year, Wood turtles were part of a three state study to track their movements, except apparently not in the fordidden zone. The US Fish and Wildlife is funding this project and it will be interesting  to learn their reastion to the "Walker’s Wisconsin Forbidden Zone."

My only thought is to appeal to directly to Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, Chris Cline, Gordon Liddy, Corps of Engineers, Depart of the Interior, and the  President to intervene and give the Wood turtles a bit more respect. This may be the opportunity for guys like Senators Bob Cowles, Luther Olson, Scott Fitzgerald, and Representaives, Mary Wiiliams,  a chance to redeem themselves and toss off the heavy burden of being shackled to the Tiffany and Grothman types. This is the first test of the Walker’s present to Chris Cline. Who is monitoring the needs of the Wood turtles? Who is listening to the teachings that have come form the turtles? 

 Now over the past years I have not been very generous to WMC – so this message has been sent to the WMC Board of Directors member and former Vice President of WMC, David H. Bretting, President & CEO 
C.G. Bretting Manufacturing Company, Inc., Ashland WI. Hopefully his influence will stir interest in the plight of the Wood Turtles living in the Penokee Hills.