SAVE THIS WATER, OUR TOWN AND PARK
YOUR $10 CONTRIBUTION WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
The Kohler Co. intends to tear up 247 acres of pristine forest on the shore of Lake Michigan, including dunes, wetlands and Indian Mounds to build their 5th golf course in our county. This exclusive course is affordable only to the 1%. This will destroy our ecosystem, pollute our Great Lake and Black River with toxic runoff and affect local wells from the over 30 million gallons of water the course will use yearly. The deforestation of 150 acres will destroy animal habitat and disrupt a major migratory corridor along the lakeshore.
The Wisconsin DNR is considering giving the company state land in order to access this property to begin the destruction. This has to be stopped! We need money to spread the word, conduct community information events, request public records, and for postage, printing and consultants.
SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER!
More at www.friendsblackriverforest.org
It was very sad to listen to two DNR staff persons lie, mislead and omit critical information about this contrived land swap. The talking points were that the people of Wisconsin have come out ahead by receiving inferior land across swamps that had previously been bulldozed. The DNR stretched in its explanation of what they can do with it. (house seasonal workers). Meanwhile the NRB never asked why this swap was necessary. Kohler has his own land to the north which he can use for egress and ingress to a proposed course. A duned area, viewed upon entrance to the park, will be bulldozed and heavily bermed to cover 22,500 sq. ft. of buildings for chemical and pesticide mixing, fuel storage and machinery. The area to the north was described by the DNR as not used for conservation purposes because there is a small DNR maintenance building in the area. This area was purchased with LAWCON funds for the purpose of conservation and intentionally not developed to enhance bird watching, natural hiking, educational activities and wildlife habitat. (You can read Jim Buchholz, former KASP superintendent's description of this land at friendsblackriverforest.org). It is ecologically significant.
What this means is that any well-connected person who doesn't need State land can ask for it for their business AND get it. It is shameful that the residents of Wisconsin's only recourse to save our land, air and water from profiteers is to challenge these corrupt decisions in court. FBRF is doing that. We have contested the DNR/Kohler Wetland permit and the DNR's Final environmental Impact Statement on the proposed course. Up until now, all of your donations have gone to collecting information, staying current on the legal moves by the DNR and NRB, along with challenging the DNR's incomplete Environmental Impact Statements, its evasiveness and withholding of documents, and following up with the National Park Service, the US Army Corps of Engineers and other permitting bodies. NOW we need to sound the alarm throughout this state that this pay to play precedent- setting giveaway will not be tolerated. We can win this but we need all of Wisconsin's concerned residents to stand with us. Would you be able to share this far and wide? $10 from 30,000 passionate Wisconsinites is doable. We are extremely grateful to all of you who have kept us going on this journey. Together we will make a difference.
process in its giveaway of Kohler Andrae State Park land to Kohler. Having received major opposition to changing the Park's Master Plan to allow Kohler to use State land for its own profit, the DNR has arranged a hasty land swap of park land for Pine Rock Stable land purchased by Kohler in December. How will the DNR accomplish this? It will ask the Natural Resources Board on Feb. 28, to remove the land Kohler wants from the inventory of our state park land. It will deem it no longer necessary for conservation. This is a subversion of due process and undermines the public's ownership of the Wisconsin State Park system. The DNR is creating a smokescreen touting this as a benefit to the public. We will receive 10 acres of land which will not be accessible to campers or visitors as it is over the river and across from marshland. The DNR is marketing Kohler's complete reconstruction of the park entrance as a benefit to the public as Kohler will pay for an automated Park entrance kiosk.The DNR fails to mention that included in the swap is Kohler's 22,500 sf. pesticide mixing and fuel storage buildings located on significant land used by hikers and supportive of many species. The road to this facility will be closed when the golf course isn't open, effectively closing off a huge area of our State Park land to the public. The details of this illegal move are in FBRF's newsletter at the link provided. You can write to the NRB by Feb. 23 to oppose this swap.
Please note that FBRF has filed legal challenges to the DNR Kohler Wetland Permit and the Final DNR Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Kohler course. We will be launching another major fundraising campaign to support these law suits. Together WE WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
JAN 25, 2018 — The state Department of Natural Resources board declined to grant the agency blanket approval to change pre-1996 State Park master plans. Natural Resources Board members said they would consider changing state parks’ master plans on a park-by-park basis.
Thank you to Claudia Bricks, FBRF spokesperson, for her comments along with Sarah Geers, Midwest Environment Advocates. Karl Heil, former Blue Mound Park superintendent, also gave powerful commentary.
You can listen to the Request for Approval to change pre-1996 State Park master plans and comments beginning at 4:41 here:
Please spread the word!!
Friends of the Black River Forest are preparing for a legal challenge against the issuance of the final EIS and Wetland Permit for the proposed Kohler Golf Course. Attorney Westerberg states our concerns best with this statement:
“This site has been untouched for years and supports globally imperiled wetland complexes and wildlife habitat,” the group’s attorney, Christa Westerberg said. “The DNR acknowledged this but still issued the wetland permit. Why?”
We need your help to fund our legal challenge to the DNR on its Wetland Permit and its Environmental Impact Statement.
This is our letter to Natural Resources Board Chairman on his response to the Wetland Permit being given.
Please email him and voice your opposition to changing the rules for Park Master Plans which would facilitate allowing Kohler to use Kohler Andrae State Park land.
WRITE TERRY HILGENBERG AN EMAIL AND TELL HIM TO ACT LIKE A PROTECTOR OF OUR ENVIRONMENT
Sorry, Chairman Hilgenberg, your response to the outcry over Kohler being given massive environmental passes is evidence of your need to remove yourself from the Natural Resources Board. The decision on the proposed Kohler golf course is not about Kohler or any developer making things look good. Your comments tell us you have NOT chosen to stay informed. Your comments make a travesty of your position as the Chair of a Board that is supposed to overlook the DNR's role of protector and preserver of our natural resources. You have made the decision to enable everything Kohler wants.
It is preposterous that you respond to the approval of the Kohler Wetland Permit with this statement:
"Natural Resources Board chairman Terry Hilgenberg said Wednesday that he has received dozens of emails about the course, including many from opponents, but he said he had confidence that the golf course would be responsibly designed.
'Kohler does things right,' Hilgenberg said. 'That gives me more confidence about it, but unfortunately until you see it you don’t know what it will be.' " (WI State Journal).
Chairman Hilgenberg, the Board and the DNR have received 15000 emails asking them to deny allowing the Kohler Company to dig up Kohler Andrae Park for its private profit, BECAUSE WE KNOW WHAT IT WILL BE.
*. Friends of the Black River Forest have provided notebooks full of impact information and experts' testimony for 3 years, showing what "it will be."
* WWA has commented on the globally significant wetlands that will be filled. They know What it will be.
The Wisconsin Society for Ornithology wrote extensively on destruction of the migratory route and stopover. They know what it will be
Quentin Carpenter, PH.D. in land resources, critiqued the DNR's and Kohler's information as double speak and incomplete. He knows what it will be.
* Professors on the destruction of endangered species and their habitats wrote to the DNR on their importance to this ecosystem. They know what it will be.
* FBRF has presented testimony to the NRB on three occasions including the upcoming meeting on Jan 24
* The DNR has received hundreds of responds to its poorly written Draft Environmental Impact Statement. The final Statement admits much of the obvious destruction and the permit was issued.
*. FBRF's attorney has pointed out the illegality of amending the Kohler State Park Master Plan for Kohler. So the DNR is asking you on Wednesday, Jan. 24 to ignore the rules for Park Master Plans written before 1996. Kohler Andrae's was written in 1989. Coincidence? Our attorney knows what the impacts to citizens' rights will be.
*. The Board ignored our request for an audit of the 7 years of work the DNR has devoted to Kohler projects on the taxpayers' dime. Former DNR Secretary Stepp excused the lack of oversight and response to many environmental disasters by saying she didn't have enough personnel.
We expect you to hold a public hearing to receive input on this change of rules which will further open parks to commercial use,
You have bragged in the past that your Board is one of the few in the country that allows public comment. This is nothing to brag about. Your actions of ignoring important information affecting our land, air and water call for even greater transparency and public input longer 3 minutes.
Please tell Terry Hilgenberg to oppose the request for a rule change that would allow state Parks Master Plans written before 1996 to be dismissed.
Please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please also send the same email to Laurie Ross Laurie J Ross, Natural Resources Board Liaison Laurie.Ross@wisconsin.gov and Daniel Meyer, DNR Secretary
Thank you to those of you who have responded to our cause. We will keep up the fight for our land, air and water
“This site has been untouched for years and supports globally imperiled wetland complexes and wildlife habitat,” the group’s attorney, Christa Westerberg said. “The DNR acknowledged this but still issued the wetland permit. Why?