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”.
We have been extraordinarily careful to not be identified as politically partisan. In our testimony in the Senate and the Assembly, we have registered our presentations as “for information only” rather than “in favor” or “opposed”. We were perhaps the only organization aside from state agencies that did so. The only exception was on SB 477 regarding dredging and operating vehicles on the shallow lakebed habitat, where opposition was clearly required.
We have worked side by side with both parties in an attempt to educate them about both the needs of our lakes as well as the risks and lurking dangers to our lakes and to allow them to have the background (that many don’t have) to make knowledgeable decisions. It is our belief that the best decisions about our lakes, rivers and shorelands will be the most educated decisions.
We will continue to operate as a non-partisan organization and will be prudent in the alliances we form to maintain our independence. Our only advocacy will be for our lakes, rivers and shorelands which are Wisconsin’s greatest economic asset, the tax base of many county and local governments, the engine of local economies and the home and recreational destination of so many of its residents and visitors.
As always, thank you again for your contribution to our effort and your work for our lakes.
WISCONSIN SHORELAND INITIATIVE
Wisconsin Shoreland Initiative