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”.
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.
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!
By Mary Platner
Member of the Vilas County Subcommittee on Lake Classification from 1998 to 1999.