Dear Lake Association Colleagues:

Now is the time to contact our state senators and Assembly members to voice our concerns about the shoreland zoning provisions slipped into the state budget (Act 55) in June.

Below is a sample letter that includes key points that we hope will make it easy for your members to contact their legislators directly.  Some may wish to use the sample over their own signature/s.  Preferably, many will use the information in the sample to draft a letter in their own words.

Either way, it is important to include at least a sentence or two about your concerns/fears/issues affecting your lake and your family as a result of the shoreland zoning provisions. Your personal concerns are a powerful message. 

Wisconsin residents should write to the state senator and representative in the district that is your legal residence.  Legislators listen to their voters!  Non-resident property owners/taxpayers should contact legislators who represent the district where their lake home is. You may find yours, go to  and enter your address  under “Find my legislators.”

Once again, thank you for joining this effort.  The future of our lakes depends on us.

The Honorable Susie/Johnny Jones

Wisconsin Senate or Wisconsin Assembly


Dear Senator/Representative _______________:

As a (resident and voter) (property owner and taxpayer) in your district, I am writing to ask that you vote to remove the shoreland zoning provisions from Act 55.  It is my understanding that legislation will be introduced in the October-November legislative session to restore shoreland zoning authority to local governments. Please support this legislation.

(I live on) or (I own a home on) xxxx Lake in xxxx County. The shoreland zoning provisions that were included in Act 55 significantly reduce established protections for our lake and all Wisconsin lakes and rivers.

Add your personal concerns/fears/issues here.  Some examples: 


  •    What your lake means to you and your family through the generations, the values you cherish and the legacy you will leave behind.
  • Your concern about the impact that overdevelopment or improper development as allowed under the new rules will have on water quality, the fishery, birds and wildlife habitat and your family’s enjoyment of your lake home.
  • Your concerns about the effect of reducing minimum lakefront lot footage from whatever it is now on your lake to a 100-foot minimum statewide.
  • Your concerns about its effect on property values on your lake, present and future.
  • Your thoughts about the state taking away control over your lake’s shoreland from your local government in favor of a one-size-fits-all statewide mandate.
  • Your thoughts on the fact that these controversial changes were inserted in the state budget bill in secret at the end of the budget process, without public knowledge or opportunity for public comment or debate.

Thank you for taking the time to consider my concerns about the detrimental impacts of the shoreland zoning provisions in Act 55 on Wisconsin’s greatest economic, tourism, environmental and historic treasures:  our lakes and rivers.

Respectfully yours,


Wisconsin Shoreland Initiative

The Lake and Property Owners Associations of

Plum Lake  • Black Oak Lake  • Big Portage Lake  • Three Lakes Chain  • Found Lake  •  Big Sand Lake  •  Ballard/Irving/White Birch Lakes  •  Nelson Lake  •  Boulder Lake  •  Two Sisters Lake  •  Pelican Lake  •  Big Horsehead Lake  •  Eau Claire Lakes  •  Ike Walton Lake  •  Bayfield County Lakes Forum  •  Northwest Wisconsin Waters Consortium  •  Crab Lake  •  Long Lake  •  Big Bass Lake  •  Lake Katherine  •   Finger Lake  •  Eagle River Chain  •  Lake Owen  •  Upper St. Croix Lakes  •  Lac Courte Oreilles  •   North and South Twin Lakes  •  Carpenter Lake  •  White Sand Lake  •  Indian Lake  •  Manitowish Chain  •  Yellow Birch Lake  •  Hewitt Lake  •  Osprey Lake  •  Whitefish Lake  •  Diamond Lake  •  Hunter Lake  •  Lake Minnesuing  •  Lake Mildred  •  Red Lake  •  Armour Lake  •  Little Bass Lake  •  Slim Lake  •  Turtle Flambeau Flowage  •  Trude Lake  •  Chippewa flowage  •  Carlin Lake   •   Tainter/Menomin Lakes   •   Mildred/Clear Lakes   •  Papoose/ Rosalind Lakes
The Vilas, Oneida, Polk, Douglas, Iron, Washburn, and Watersmeet Lakes and Rivers Associations  • Town of Winchester   • Sawyer County Lakes forum

The Northwest Area Wisconsin Land And Water Conservation Association (representing land and water departments from 11 counties)

and dedicated individuals too numerous to mention