By Mary Platner
Member of the Vilas County Subcommittee on Lake Classification from 1998 to 1999.
We continue to slug away at the bills sponsored by Rep. Adam Jarchow. Sen. Tiffany seems to be in hiding on some of this stuff now. Yesterday, Senate Bill 477 had its public hearing – the companion, Assembly Bill 603, had its hearing last week. Both Bill O’Connor and I testified yesterday and I am enclosing my testimony and attachments that went with it as well as Bill’s testimony. I think you will see that we are changing course a bit in hopes of finding more support on the right side of the aisle.
In my testimony, I focused on two elements: lake classification and the Great Lakes setback.
Steve Pearson | Leader columnist
Major changes in the regulation of our pristine lakes, rivers and other waterways in Wisconsin, changes that take power away from local governments and concentrate it at the state level, have occurred in the past year with more being proposed. No longer will local communities be able to decide how to take care of their lakes and rivers, more pollution-filtering wetlands will be filled in, exemptions will be allowed for obtaining a permit to discharge hazardous or toxic wastes into wetlands and there will be fewer protections for lake beds and other special waterways in our state. All of these changes have one thing in common, Rep. Adam Jarchow of Balsam Lake.
“Elections have consequences”. It’s an oft repeated phrase…particularly in Wisconsin’s Northwoods. As we have learned, if we are not involved in choosing the people to represent us, we might find out that they don’t. We just found that out, and it’s a hard and bitter lesson.
We continue to work on our bill, which is still a work in progress. Currently, thought is being given to additions that will include some of the local authority that was removed in Act 55. We are also reviewing the Rep. Jarchow bills (now numbering 3) which continue to remove local control and place these new restrictions in statute, making corrections much more difficult. The reason for putting state government in control of local issues continues to mystify everyone on both sides of the political aisle, but leadership, in this very unsettled legislative environment has yet to challenge or exert guidance or control. We are not yet in jeopardy of being too late for the next floor session. However, nothing in this legislative period is a sure thing. The current relationship between the Senate and Assembly continues to become increasingly more contentious, as do relationships within the majority party.
Below is a summary of the new bill (Senator Lassee and Rep. Jarchow) that addresses private property rights and shoreland property and lakes for your information. Writing your elected representatives is critically important now to prevent this misguided legislation from going forward. I will be sending all a notification of the public hearing dates on this bill, which will be coming up in January.
Continue reading “Wisconsin Shoreland Initiative Update”