Wisconsin Shoreland Initiative

Advocating for Wisconsin Lakes

About the Wisconsin Shoreland Initiative


The Wisconsin Shoreland Initiative was formed by lake associations in the fall of 2015 to organize a response to the attack on our lakes and rivers by legislative amendment to the state budget. That amendment ended years of informed, data driven regulation through local control of riparian property. It also discarded our widely acclaimed lake classification system, which was the result of years of effort by thousands of people at a cost to the state of millions of dollars. It was this classification system that protected our fragile lake and river environs from degradation, preserving them as the foundation of our local economies and the Wisconsin tourism industry, the tax base that supports county government and the value of thousands of homes throughout our state.

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Donate Now


Please join us. Contributions can be sent to:

Wisconsin Shoreland Initiative
PO Box 193
Sayner, WI 54560

For more information, contact us at

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Letter to the Editor

July 21st, 2016




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.

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Summer Greetings!

July 21, 2016 Update

Fund Raising

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


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A Final Thought

As we wrap up our legislative activity this session, I would like to address a topic that has occasionally come up – our (WSI) political identity.  In my first letter to our lake partners, I made a statement that was intended to define our effort going forward.  That statement was:   “The health of our lakes is not a political issue”.

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Legislative Update, End of Session – February 2016

The legislative session is all but ended for 2016.  By any measure, it was one of the most destructive sessions for Wisconsin lakes and shorelands in our history.  The Senate comes back on March 15th for one day.  We are monitoring a couple of bills that may have potential for sliding through.  The one we are most focused on is AB 583,  a new measure permitting weekly rental of residential property regardless of zoning, project or development bylaws, etc. – this bill would affect ALL residential property including riparian property, everywhere. I am at a loss for words on this one.

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February 12, 2016 Update

Fighting the good fight for our lakes doesn’t come cheap. This letter is an update and a request for additional contributions from our lake association partners and individual members.  WSI has been there behind the scenes every day of this legislative session, fighting to deflect the worst of the bills that would condemn our lakes to certain decline – such as allowing ATVs unlimited access to lake shallows!

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Senate Bill 459, Sub. Amend. 2

A. John Richter Testimony – Feb. 3, 2016

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