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.

This bill seems to have many unrelated “cleanup” issues, (many of which were rules and now are proposed to be laws) but tucked inside them are some incredibly damaging proposals.  We are crosschecking this bill with existing statute and that will go on for another week or so but I will point out a few potential big problems: dredging lake bottom, “shared docks” with no length restrictions and the legalization of the use of ATV’s in the lake shallows on the lake bed.

1.  DNR is required to issue a permit to any riparian owner that will authorize him to remove 30 cubic yards of material from the lake bed in front of his property or 100 cubic yards if on a great lake…PER YEAR.  As you certainly know, riparians don’t own that lakebed, a point that was not apparently factored in to the author’s decisions.   If the lot has any kind of significant slope, dredging the “toe” of the slope at the lake will without question begin to erode the hillside above it.  The Great Lakes counties have had years of experience with this and it is one of the biggest problems for great lakes shoreland.  Dredging one property will also undoubtedly affect the adjacent properties, especially on Superior and Michigan shorelines.  I am in awe of the level of ignorance that underlies this proposal.  I am sure that there are many lake ecologists, fisheries biologists and other scientists who are also. 
2.  No prohibitions may be placed on dock owners who elect to enter into an agreement with any other riparian owner to share the dock.  Further into the document, it is prohibited to create any length restrictions on docks or boat shelters.  If lake access property is included here, it could well re-open the door to the “dockominium” concept that was defeated a few years ago and apparently, there is also no restriction on how big or long they can be.  It doesn’t take much imagination to see a huge problem coming around the corner (or out intothe lake) here.
3.  In a short paragraph, it states that ATV’s and UTV’s may be used on any navigable water or exposed lake bed, and unless the activity requires a permit, they are exempted from being prohibited.    Recreation does not require a permit.  Our shorelines will be the next ATV parks.
On other fronts, we are planning a public relations educational effort and are gathering news sources to get our position and the threat to our lakes as broadly disseminated as possible.  We are also considering strategic partnerships with like-minded organizations and meetings are being planned.  Our steering committee will meet in January and we will be meeting with leaders of other organizations to pool our resources and engage influential people to assist us in defeating these attacks on our lakes.   We would like to be more positive as we approach the Holidays, but the political climate continues to deteriorate and getting almost anything done today in Madison is extremely difficult.  It has been said to me many times that this will not be a sprint but a marathon and we are approaching our task with that in mind.

We continue to grow and will continue to need your support.  Our thanks for your passion and your assistance.   We have received second donations from some of our associations and even though they are already on our list, we are doubly grateful for their continued support.

Best wishes to everyone for a Happy Holiday Season, from the team of ….


Cheryl Carper, Dick Cochrane, Sheehan Donoghue, Joe Lakota, Sue Lloyd, Doug Pinney, John Richter, Gail Shea

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   •  Spider Lake   •   Whitefish Lake   •   Desair Lake   •   Finger Lake   •   Bolger Lake   •   Presque Isle Lake   •   Alma Moon Lakes   •   Whitefish Lake

 The Vilas, Oneida, Polk, Douglas, Iron, Washburn, and Watersmeet Lakes and Rivers Associations  • Town of Winchester   • Sawyer County Lakes forum   •  Douglas County Lakes and Streams

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

and dedicated individuals too numerous to mention