And this is not new.
Is there any accountability left in state government anymore?
Is this the new, corporatized state symbol?
A forum and news service about politics and the environment in Wisconsin. And elsewhere.
Posted by James Rowen at 10:28 AM
Posted by James Rowen at 8:51 AM
The past six seasons have ranked as the top six bear harvests in Wisconsin history, and this trend is likely to continue with a record number of permits made available in 2015 (10,690). Wisconsin consistently ranks as one of the top bear harvest states in the country...
Bear hunters should be aware of a few important changes to bear hunting regulations in 2015. State law was recently changed to eliminate the Class B bear license; a Class B license is no longer required to bait bears, train dogs to track bears, act as a back-up shooter, or assist hunters with pursuing bears (provided that a person does not shoot, shoot at, capture, take or kill the bear unless acting as a back-up shooter). Any individual may now participate in bear hunting and training activities without a Class B bear license any time those activities are permitted and in compliance with applicable regulations...
In 2014, hunters harvested 4,526 bears - the third highest harvest in state history...
Gun hunters harvested 3,776 bears in 2014, while bow hunters accounted for 695 bears. A majority of bears were harvested using bait (3,395), but the use of both dogs and bait (995) and neither dogs nor bait (69) was also successful.Various DNR webpages reference the "thrill" of bear hunting or its "quality experience," and the agency's large carnivore expert told the Wisconsin Bear Hunter's Association in a pre-hunting season missive that the state provides a "high quality bear hunting experience."
Posted by James Rowen at 3:37 PM
What John Kasich and his fellow governors must weigh is the precedent that could be set, the potential for opening doors to others, the compact put at risk. The governors must take care in their analyses and decision-making.
One key measure of a diversion request involves whether the amount of water is reasonable in view of the applicant’s needs. Waukesha wants to divert between 10.1 million gallons per day and 16.7 million gallons per day. A recent independent assessment noted that water demand in the city has been declining the past three decades, with average daily use between 6.7 million gallons and 11.1 million gallons. A fair question has been raised by environmental groups: Why such a gap between the current use and the proposed diversion?The Blade's editorial, "Put away the straw," was tougher:
The diversion plan would violate the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact, the 2008 agreement among the eight states that border the lakes to protect their water. Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder have every reason to exercise their authority under the compact to veto the plan.
Simon Belisle, a representative of the Chicago-based Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Cities Initiative - - a US-Canadian coalition representing 117 regional municipalities - - said his members believed the application's expanded service territory was "contrary to the terms of the Great Lakes Compact."
The cities' coalition doesn't have a vote on the application, but it represents a lot of people in Great Lakes states where Governors will eventually cast ballots.
Take a look for yourself - - outside of Wisconsin you've got Chicago, Toledo, OH, Erie, PA, Flint, MI, Rochester, NY, Duluth, MN, Hammond, IN, and more.It appears as if Waukesha, and the Wisconsin DNR if it sends the application on to the other states for their formal review have got quite a sales job on their hands.
TUESDAY, JULY 24, 2012
Posted by James Rowen at 10:19 AM
Records show that oil trains routinely pass within a quarter-mile of protected wetlands, drinking water reservoirs and other waterways, including the Chicago River and Lake Michigan.
Posted by James Rowen at 8:59 PM
Posted by James Rowen at 4:14 PM
Posted by James Rowen at 12:30 PM
Posted by James Rowen at 10:00 AM
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has twice this year declined to answer requests from Milwaukee officials who wanted the agency to carry out rule-making prior to accepting and reviewing Lake Michigan diversion applications - - shirking stewardship responsibility over water resources held in trust for the public.
And has sat on the sidelines in the year since the Great Lakes Compact and enabling legislation for Wisconsin were approved without beginning to draft and approve crucial administrative rules needed to make sure diversion applications, hearings and related matters create a process that is open, fair, complete and appealing legally and environmentally to the other seven Great Lakes states that will have to approve out-of-basin applications for the good of the shared resource - - the Great Lakes watershed, too.I'd also asked and noted on this blog in July, 2009:
Many months have elapsed since Wisconsin approved the Great Lakes Compact, yet the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources shows no inclination to begin the rule-making process spelling out how a Wisconsin municipality would go about writing an application for a Great Lakes diversion under the Compact.
This is a rather big question, as Waukesha has announced its intention to apply before the end of the year for a diversion.
Without the rules in place, it is not clear what should be in the application.
No doubt there will be information in the application, along with water conservation plans and goals, but it is up to the DNR to decide whether the application is complete - - yet without rules in place, it's a gamble that those plans, goals and pledges meet best practices.
And Wisconsin law.
Why the hesitancy?There was talk at the time that producing those rules would have taken 2,000 hours of DNR staff time, basically one year - - though just how that estimate was reached is not clear - - but we're now seven years out from the implementing legislation's adoption, and if two or three DNR staffers, and/or lawyers borrowed from the Department of Justice part-time had been used to write the rules from the get-go, we're talking about an easily-doable task if the administrative will were there to do it.
“Thus far, the environmental impact study has utterly failed to address, much less resolve, the needs and concerns of communities of color,” said Karyn Rotker, Senior Staff Attorney with the ACLU of Wisconsin.
“Allowing a Lake Michigan water diversion to enable continued unrestrained sprawl and job migration will have the inevitable effect of perpetuating racial and economic segregation in the region, to the clear disadvantage of persons of color, especially African-Americans,” added Fred Royal, president of the Milwaukee Branch of the NAACP."Many, many items on this blog since its 2007 inception about these issues.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 27, 2008
Posted by James Rowen at 3:19 PM
A newly-formed group opposed to a controversial Sturgeon Bay waterfront hotel hopes to raise $80,000 to stop the project...claiming that the location of the proposed hotel is on public land.Updates - - Some background by an environmental legal group, and also a longer story with in the Green Bay Press Gazette:
Tensions over the city of Sturgeon Bay’s west waterfront Planned Unit Development and the proposed Lindgren Hotel are rising to the point of legal action.Different locale - - Door County - - and different players - - The Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Waterfront - - and a different obstacle - - a hotel, not an iron mine, or a 26,000-pig farm, or industrial-scale cattle feeding and aerial manure spraying, or runaway sand mining, or an insurance company vying for control of a Milwaukee downtown lake bluff park, or a golf course that would include some state park land along Lake Michigan near Sheboygan, or an expanded north-south pipeline to carry more tar sand oil - - but the same story in regressive Wisconsin:
Posted by James Rowen at 2:00 PM
In dozens of interviews with government officials, economic development experts, business executives, water researchers and environmentalists, a portrait emerges of some Great Lakes communities beginning to realize that their plentiful water supply represents a new selling card to reverse decades of population losses or stagnation.
Great Lakes communities can boast of an asset that other parts of the country – and world – can only dream of: a water resource that can be tapped for new, high-tech manufacturing, agriculture, food processing, cooling computer server “farms,” power generation and recreation.
Milwaukee appears to be the furthest along in embracing this concept.
Posted by James Rowen at 12:45 PM
Posted by James Rowen at 10:10 AM
WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK — Hundreds of feet beneath the Black Hills, a team of scientists and researchers snake through dark, narrow and silent corridors of ancient rock to reach their goal: what is thought to be some of the purest water on Earth.
The crew of National Park Service scientists that’s anchored by microbiologist Hazel Barton travels sporadically to the lowest reaches of South Dakota’s Wind Cave National Park to study a series of underground lakes, which were discovered in the 1960s and aren’t home to any animal life or even easily detectable microscopic organisms.Again underscoring the heart of this blog, which is that all water is precious, and needs respect, because, basically, it's all connected, as we are, too.
Posted by James Rowen at 12:09 PM
The Texas Transportation Institute just issued the latest update of that authoritative study, the 2007 Urban Mobility Report, and it indeed confirms that Milwaukee is already one of the nation's leading traffic success stories — even with its supposedly inadequate 1970s-era highway system.
Even before spending a dime on the $6 billion enhancement/expansion plan...
Milwaukee's ranking in delay per traveler hovered around 40 for much of the 1980s, hit 39 in 1999 and has been heading down towards 59 since then.So wouldn't it be better to spend more money repairing the roads we have, and upgrading our disconnected and starved transit systems that mitigate congestion, than pretending we can build our way out of a comparatively mild problem with more than $6 billion in so-called freeway capacity in and out and near the city?
Posted by James Rowen at 3:14 PM
Milwaukee County Sheriff Challenges Obama: 'Forego Your Secret Service Protection'I don't deny that there are serious crime and violence issues in Milwaukee, and elsewhere, and Clarke isn't the only law enforcement official who's ever had a beef with other officials who put together the budget, but I don't see his ''ideas' adding much to solutions.
Posted by James Rowen at 9:29 AM
Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce argues in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel op-ed that Wisconsinites should breathe dirty air.
The Bush administration's Environmental Protection Agency wants to impose tough clean air standards on about one-third of the state, including Milwaukee, Waukesha and Dane Counties, because our air is not healthy, yet could and should be cleaner.
And the WMC objects.
And tells us the sky is falling:
"Manufacturers, many of whom are facing intense global competition, would be forced to cut jobs to pay for the higher cost of electricity and additional regulatory burden," says the WMC's Scott Manley.
"The ozone non-attainment stigma that helped cause economic expansion to stagnate in the southeastern part of the state would spread to other counties."Manley repeated the argument in 2010.
Posted by James Rowen at 9:12 AM
(CNN)It was less than two years ago that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its all-encompassing assessment on the current state of climate change research and made projections for the future climate of our planet.
According to the latest from NASA, however, the projections the panel made for a rise in global sea levels of 1 to 3 feet may already be outdated.
According to Steven Nerem of the University of Colorado, we are "locked into at least 3 feet of sea level rise, and probably more."
Nerem said experts now think a rise in sea levels toward "the higher end of that range is more likely, and the question remains how that range might have to shift upwards..."
Many climate experts say temperatures are rising faster than at any point in our known history and that it is largely because of human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels...
The data gathered reveals that sea levels have already risen nearly 3 inches since 1992. If that doesn't sound like much, remember that a good rule of thumb is: For every inch of sea level rise, you see 100 inches of run-up inland on the coast.
Posted by James Rowen at 9:59 PM
Oil and water: Searching for truth on the Mackinac pipeline
Posted by James Rowen at 6:25 PM
Doug Haag, deputy bureau director in charge of land sales and acquisitions, said the properties must still be reviewed by DNR field staff, including fisheries experts.
He acknowledged some fisheries staff have already raised objections to selling land where ponds are located. The Natural Resources Board will review the final list in December or January...
The agency is just starting to hear from the public, and the spring ponds in Langlade County are generating the most concerns, according to Haag...
Haag said the DNR could add language that the agency would still manage fisheries resources and assume other oversight.* Here are links through the DNR website about agency land sales if you are interested in weighing in now. What do you have to lose?
For more information, see:
Posted by James Rowen at 5:08 PM
Revised GDP indicates more robust growth for U.S. economy
American households, bolstered by gains in employment, rising home prices and cheaper fuel costs, will probably continue to spur the economyOh, I know: Iran!!!
Posted by James Rowen at 2:20 PM
Wisconsin starts off slow this winter with warmer temps & dry weather for December. Temps are still slightly above normal for January but the snow starts to pick up by the end of the month. February could be the busiest month for snow and colder temps so yeah it's a delayed winter ahead. Overall expect a milder winter than last winter and not as much snow.- - is more perhaps evaporation from the Great Lakes without major snows as recharge.
Posted by James Rowen at 1:04 PM
“PM2.5 emissions will not be estimated in an air permit review for fugitive dust sources, mechanical handling, grain handling, and other low temperature particulate sources.”The DNR would omit frac sand mines as a source of these particles; in 2014, the DNR estimated there were 135 Wisconsin frac mines, processing plants and rail operations.
Posted by James Rowen at 12:22 PM
In an earlier compilation posted today of threats to the Great Lakes watershed, I overlooked Lake Erie and a massive algae bloom there which could harm drinking water supplies for the second year in a row:
An arm of the hazardous algal bloom in the west-central basin of Lake Erie is expected to drift southeastward by Wednesday, according to forecasts by NOAA's GLERL.
Note also that similar circumstances have created a big dead zone in Green Bay, with no DNR solution in sight.
Posted by James Rowen at 6:58 PM
Posted by James Rowen at 5:28 PM