Crawford Stewardship Project works to protect the environment of Crawford County and neighboring regions from threats of polluting and extractive industries, to promote sustainable land use, environmental justice, and local control of natural resources
Crawford Stewardship Project is a nonprofit organization.
Donations are tax deductible.
Send a check to:
Crawford Stewardship Project
P.O. Box 284
Gays Mills, WI 54631
Crawford Stewardship Project is grateful for the generous support of RESIST, Inc. RESIST funds and supports grassroots groups organizing on the frontlines of the peace, economic, social, and environmental justice movements.
“We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.” ~Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac
"CAFOs are only profitable because so much of the cost and damage is externalized onto the environment, neighbors and wildlife. The monitoring, supervision, clean-up, restitution, fines are not happening, thus the true cost of CAFOs never find the way onto the balance books." Talking point from the CAFO Conference.
“A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.”
~Aldo Leopold, 1948. A Sand County Almanac.
Crawford Stewardship Project News and Actions
March 3, 2017
We lost a good friend and CSP Vice President, when Dr. Robert Horwich passed away on February 7, 2017 after a brief and mysterious illness.
Rob will be remembered for a singular and profound life of working imaginatively, energetically, and effectively to catalyze community conservation around the world as well as in his home right here in Crawford County. He will be deeply missed, but his vision lives on in the many places he touched and people he inspired.
There will be a memorial for Rob on March 11, 2017 at the Gays Mills Community Building, 16381 St Hwy 131, at 1:30 p.m.
CSP Stands with Sacred Stone
The brave water protectors at Standing Rock have survived the dead of winter and are entering a new phase. As the snow melts, everything must be moved out of the floodplain. Everything. This includes multiple camps with hundreds of tents, tipis, tarps, and all manner of detritus left by the thousands of former occupants at the height of the protests.
* For more reliable information, news, actions, and a link to donate visit sacredstonecamp.org
2017 Crawford County Tree Sale!!
The Crawford County Land Conservation Department is currently taking orders for their 2017 Tree Seedling Sale! Trees are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please submit your orders to the Land Conservation Department no later than March 15th.
Anticipated pick-up is at Prairie du Chien High School on April 27th and 28th.
CIAS Mini Grant Program
Applications are being accepted through March 17 for summer mini-grants from the UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems (CIAS). These grants of up to $2,000 are available for UW-Madison graduate students doing research aligned with CIAS priority areas: organic agriculture, local and regional food systems, and perennial agriculture. The CIAS mini-grant program is made possible by a grant from the Single Step Foundation. For more information, see http://www.cias.wisc.edu/cias-mini-grants-support-graduate-student-research-in-sustainable-agriculture/.
Conservation Lobby Day
When: March 29th from 10AM - 5PM
For carpooling information, contact Meg Wise, CSP coordinator, by phone at 608-632-9410 or email at email@example.com
This year’s Lobby Day will include speakers, opportunities for education, and time to convene with hundreds of your fellow conservation voters to fight together as well as socialize and network.
At Conservation Lobby Day 2017, you will:
Speak out for water protections at the Conservation Congress
When: April 10th from 7:00PM - 9:00PM
This year, there are a number of really important questions on the questionnaire this year including questions about our water policy, the DNR permitting process, state parking funding and more. There are also questions about a moratorium on frac-sand mining permits and repealing the Bad River Destruction Act.
The Sierra Club of Wisconsin is looking for someone who is willing to speak for one or more of the important resolutions in each county. They are also looking for someone in each county to introduce a resolution opposing the repeal of Wisconsin's Mining Moratorium. Click here to RSVP and sign-up to speak.
The results are forwarded to the full Conservation Congress, which votes on its position at the annual conference in May. Those positions are formally forwarded to the Natural Resources Board. This process is an important indicator of public opinion for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the media, and legislators to consider. The hearings are also a great opportunity to educate the audience (many of whom may not know about the impacts of the proposals).
For more information about the process, our questions, and Sierra Club's position, click here.
- Cover Crop Follow Up Meeting, March 3, Gays Mills
See details on these and many more inspiring actions and events in our
CSP Community Calendar
In the News
CSP Overview and Notes on the News
- Habitat conservation along the Kickapoo.
- Diversity in agriculture.
- Comments from lawmakers on high-capacity well bill.
- Proposed limits on livestock lawsuits in Iowa.
- Despite lakes, rivers, streams and wells drying up due to high-capacity wells, a bill has been presented that would loosen regulations on high capacity wells.
- “Risks posed to the Great Lakes Barrens and nearby dunes from frac sand mining in Ludington, MI.”
North America/Turtle Island
- Significant cuts in EPA staff and programs.
- Take Action: Stop Congress from overturning important climate regulations!
- Tell Congress – No Drilling in our National Parks!
- Read about the largest pastured poultry operation in the US.
- Record high temperatures in Antarctica.
- Tell BNP Paribas: No Fracked-Gas Projects in the Rio Grande Valley!
- Update on global sand market.
- Hog CAFOs are virus factories.
Timber company sweetens deal for Monroe County frac project (03/01/2017)
A Georgia timber investment company seeking to build an industrial sand operation in Monroe County announced a proposal Tuesday to put an additional 178 acres into conservation. The frac sand operation would still be at the expense of 6 acres of wetlands, including about 13 acres of “pristine” hardwood swamp, which would be the state’s largest single loss of wetland for a sand project.
Act now: Stop Walker’s political hogwash!
“Manure is inundating Wisconsin’s drinking water. As large factory farms proliferate across the state – and grow ever larger – they create millions of gallons of concentrated liquid manure per day. The dangerous practice of spreading this volatile brew onto fields with little or no oversight is creating a drinking water crisis. Wells and municipal systems alike are testing positive for bacteria, nitrates, and viruses across Wisconsin.”
Smith: Deer, CWD and predator study underway in Southwestern Wisconsin (02/25/2017)
‘The DNR calls the work the "largest and most comprehensive deer research project ever undertaken in Wisconsin." Its goal is to examine factors that could impact deer survival and deer population growth in southern Wisconsin, including chronic wasting disease, predation, habitat suitability and hunter harvest.’
Mississippi Valley Conservancy receives Stry Grant for rare habitat along Kickapoo River (02/23/2017)
"In addition to the hemlock relict, the property has alder thicket that is considered globally rare and includes a half-mile frontage on both sides of the river. The property is located within the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Kickapoo River Conservation Opportunity Area of Continental Ecological Significance and has populations of the declining state threatened wood turtle, cerulean warbler, Acadian flycatcher, and 11 other state-protected rare species."
ACT NOW: Support Renters’ Right to Know About Lead in Their Homes!
“Here in Wisconsin, over 80 water systems contain unsafe levels of lead – from Milwaukee and Wausau to Fond du Lac and Lake Mills. Elevated lead levels – which can accumulate via lead in water and in paint – carry a host of frightening health consequences, and most vulnerable are infants and children. Children with elevated blood lead levels can suffer profound and permanent health problems, including damage to brain development. Renters are especially vulnerable because landlords aren’t required to test or notify prospective occupants about lead in the drinking water. Tell your legislators to support SB 41 co-authored by Sen. LaTonya Johnson and Rep. Chris Taylor. This legislation would require landlords to test water and notify prospective renters of the dangers of lead toxicity if the property’s water contains lead.”
Hopeful frac sand operator seeks to boot court challenge (02/10/2017)
"Attorney Tom Lister, who represents the plaintiffs in this case and a similar one involving a proposed sand operation about six miles to the east, argued anticipatory nuisance was recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court as early as1873, and that dust, noise and light pollution are inevitable, as is destruction of the landscape.
Lister filed affidavits from a dozen people living near existing sand mining operations who complained of dust that causes chronic coughs and prevents them from opening windows; light, noise and vibration that keeps them up at night; and cracked walls and fouled well water.”
“You can’t run one of these operations without those things happening,” Lister said."
Honoring Rob Horwich – Pioneer in Costume Rearing (02/09/2017)
Rob also founded and directed Community Conservation Inc. based in southwestern Wisconsin. He was a catalyst for community-led conservation projects with 200 communities in 14 countries covering 1.5 million acres — always focused on the belief that local people are the best stewards of their land.
We honor Rob’s lasting contributions to conservation and his generous, kind-hearted life.
Solving the mystery of why huge flocks of robins are spending winter in Minnesota (02/07/2017)
Warmer winters mean it’s no longer so unusual to see these orange-chested thrushes.
Some robins stay further north in the late fall and winter as this is advantageous to them come time to find breeding territories for the spring. A higher volume of robins further north in the winter can also be attributed to the warmer winters we have been having. Read the article to find how you can help robins survive through the winter.
Jackson County landowners look to courts to block frac sand mining (02/06/2017)
"A handful of Jackson County residents, including Ron Baerbock and his wife Karen of rural Merrillan, Wis., are using an untested legal approach to fend off proposed frac sand mines and processing facilities, claiming they constitute a nuisance."
Study says Wisconsin DNR underreports gray wolf poaching (02/06/2017)
In a study published Monday in the Journal of Mammalogy, UW researcher Adrian Treves and a group of scientists found higher levels of illegal poaching of wolves in Wisconsin than reported by the Department of Natural Resources. The researchers say that failing to accurately account for wolf deaths is “risky.” Also, if officials continue to underreport poaching, it “will risk unsustainable mortality and raise the probability of a population crash,”.
Tell Ace and True Value: Stop selling bee-killing pesticides
These companies don’t need to use neonics anymore -- they could easily stock their stores with neonic-free plants. Their competitors are already taking steps to get these plants and products off their shelves. It's time for Ace and True Value to step up!
Sign the petition to preserve the mining moratorium law!
“Wisconsin’s Mining Moratorium Law takes a common-sense approach to preventing disastrous water pollution. It was passed by overwhelming bi-partisan majorities in both the Assembly and Senate and signed into law by Governor Tommy Thompson. The law requires that the industry provide examples of metallic sulfide mines that have been operated and closed without polluting the environment before a new sulfide mine can be approved. It recognizes that Wisconsin citizens should not be the guinea pigs for unproven mining technologies.”
To Diversify The Farming Landscape, Diversify Who Works It (03/02/2017)
“Lamkey's approach is working. Enrollment in agronomy at Iowa State has more than tripled since 2006. That fall, there was just one agronomy student who identified as other than white. Today, 23 students do – that's almost 7 percent of the total undergraduate enrollment in agronomy. And it's not just agronomy. Students who don't come from family farms are enrolling in other agriculture classes, too. Women now make up at least half of the students in several colleges of agriculture in the Midwest.”
Lawmakers mull high-capacity well bill (02/28/2017)
“Several central Wisconsin lawmakers say they aren’t ready yet to support a bill that would ease regulation of high-capacity wells, which research has shown is linked to declining water levels in the region's lakes and streams.”
Iowa lawmakers back limits on livestock lawsuits (02/23/2017)
"The bill's supporters include the Iowa Cattlemen's Association, the Iowa Pork Producers Association, Property Casualty Insurers Association of American and Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company. Opponents include the Iowa Environmental Council, Iowa Chapter of Sierra Club and Iowa Association for Justice."
GOP leader’s bill would loosen high-capacity well regulations (02/22/2017)
“A bill that would make high-capacity well permits permanent- with no additional review by DNR to repair, replace, or transfer a well has been introduced by Senator Fitzgerald. This bill allows the existing problem of disappearing lakes and rivers due to over-pumping of ground water to continue. This is the same bill that didn’t pass last session because the Senate and Assembly approved a slightly different version.” -River Alliance of Wisconsin
World Class Dunes and Great Lakes Barrens at Risk at Ludington (02/20/2017)
“Hamlin Township officials were only partially effective in addressing residential impacts “after hours,” and had no interest in developing reasonable ordinances upon a commercial operation. Although increased noise and truck traffic were a tangible nuisance, only when a renewal of the company’s sand mining permit was announced did it become clear that biological resources within the 372-acre private in-holding were afforded virtually no protection at all. And the more research I did into the regulatory permitting process, the more incredulous the situation appeared.”
More Rain Means More Bacteria And Viruses In Northern Wisconsin’s Drinking Water (02/17/2017)
Climate Change Effects Could Push Pathogens Into Drinking Water Sources
“In an article published in the January 2017 issue of Hydrogeology Journal, FSU geography professor Christopher Uejio and his collaborators reported how they used computer modeling to project how higher levels of precipitation and non-disinfection of groundwater might affect gastrointestinal illness in children between the years 2046 and 2065 in five communities in Rusk County in northern Wisconsin: Ladysmith, Bruce, Tony, Glen Flora and Hawkins. In the worst case, Uejio found the rate of GI illnesses among children in these areas could grow by a little over four percent — a marginal increase, but an indication that an existing public health problem will persist over the long run where communities don't disinfect their water.”
DNR magazine cut seen as latest climate science scrub (02/13/2017)
“Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to do away with the subscriber-supported Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine fits a pattern that included suppressing articles on climate science and endangered species that started after Republicans took over state government, the magazine’s former editor said Monday.”
Walker Budget Would Transfer CAFO Authority to DATCP (02/10/2017)
"In addition, Walker says he would like to see the DNR reorganized in such a way where one division of the agency could focus on growing and promoting Wisconsin's sporting heritage, while the other office would concentrate on protecting the environment and natural resources."
Study: Deer Overpopulation Harms Soil, Limits Plant Growth In State Forests (02/09/2017)
Deer Damaged Forests May Take Longer To Recover Than Once Thought
“Biologists have long known that an overabundance of deer negatively affects the number and diversity of plants in our forests. But a new study headed by PhD candidate Autumn Sabo of UW-Madison suggests it's also changing the soil beneath the forest floor. She took samples from test plots, which have been fenced off from deer for up to 20 years and found less soil compaction and a thinner layer of depleted soil called a leach zone.”
UW-Madison Scientist: Climate Change Is At Wisconsin’s Doorstep (02/08/2017)
Climate Change In Wisconsin Means Longer, More Intense Stretches Of Potentially Deadly Heat Waves
“But the ill effects of climate change go beyond warmer winters, which can hurt the tourism industry during the coldest months of the year. The warmer temps also mean changes to forest composition and likely fewer birch trees in the northern part of the state, less trout habitat, and perhaps most pressing, longer stretches of dangerous heat waves.”
EPA OKs state GOP exemptions for pollutors (02/08/2017)
“Jimmy Parra, an attorney for the public interest law firm Midwest Environmental Advocates, said the EPA decision isn’t based on the state’s claims about economic costs, but on an entirely new argument that was never aired at any public hearing — that water quality will be improved, Parra said.”
Bad science? Growers’ water-use theories disputed (02/06/2017)
“Water issues have loomed large in Madison on topics ranging from high-capacity wells to the impact of big farms. On Wednesday (February 8th), residents will go to the Capitol to advocate for stronger water protections of all types, including groundwater. "What it all boils down to is clean and abundant water for everyone," said Criste Greening, an organizer from Wood County. In their Central Sands campaign, growers are claiming center-pivot pumps that pull water from deep aquifers have a limited impact on surface water. Streams and lakes, they say, are fed by shallower seams of groundwater. The group is also contending that the thirst of a growing tree population in central Wisconsin has been overlooked as a source in depleting groundwater.”
Federal Court Orders Wisconsin Legislature To Redraw District Lines (01/27/2017)
3- Judge Panel Orders Boundaries To Be Redrawn By November
“A panel of federal judges has ordered the Wisconsin Legislature to redraw legislative boundaries by November, saying the current lines are unconstitutional and should be replaced” by November 2018.
North America/Turtle Island
White House eyes plan to cut EPA staff by one-fifth, eliminating key programs (03/01/2017)
“The White House has proposed deep cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget that would reduce the agency’s staff by one-fifth in the first year and eliminate dozens of programs, according to details of a plan reviewed by The Washington Post.”
Take Action: Stop Congress from overturning important climate regulations!
“This week, Congress is slated to begin votes to overturn important safeguards put in place by the Obama Administration to reduce methane pollution from the oil and gas industry. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently finalized protections that would require companies extracting oil and gas from public lands to reduce their methane emissions.”
Tell Congress – No Drilling in our National Parks!
“A bill has been introduced that would roll back the National Park Service's ability to regulate oil & gas drilling in National Parks. Tell your members of Congress to vote no on H.J. Res. 46!”
Pasturebird Raises Funding to Create Largest Pastured Poultry Farm in US Using Regenerative Techniques (02/23/2017)
“Pasturebird differentiates itself from traditional pastured poultry operations by moving its chicken coops every day of the year. This rotates the chickens onto new pasture each day. This pasture will not be grazed for another 90 days, allowing it to regenerate.”
Show Trump and his oil-loving State Department that the public won’t stand for more tar sands pipelines by submitting a public comment against the Alberta Clipper Pipeline expansion now!
“Enbridge -- the company responsible for the biggest inland oil spill in the U.S. and part owner of the Dakota Access Pipeline -- wants to double the capacity of tar sands coming to the US from Canada on its Alberta Clipper pipeline. The State Department recently said they didn’t think this would harm the environment at all. Simply put, that’s absurd.”
As U.S. shale oil activity surges, sand could be in short supply (02/17/2017)
"Frac sand producers like Fairmount Santrol Holdings and U.S. Silica Holdings are regaining their price leverage and producers are once again looking to lock in long-term supply contracts amid widespread optimism that global oil production cuts will provide stable, higher prices."
Tell your senators: Don’t re-open protected areas of the Arctic for oil and gas drilling!
“House Republicans want to re-open protected areas of the Arctic for oil and gas drilling. At the same time, they want to gut safety protections. And their plan would endanger marine life like beluga and bowhead whales, walrus, and ice seals.
The Senate can still stop this from happening. But we need you to write your Senator NOW!”
Don’t let Trump force construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline! Tell Citigroup and Wells Fargo to pull their loans for the project.
“The Army Corps of Engineers is caving to Donald Trump and advancing the Dakota Access Pipeline. This is a betrayal of the Water Protectors who stood up for their water and tribal lands.
But you still have a chance to stop this project by cutting off the funding to complete it. We need you to tell Citigroup and Wells Fargo to pull their loans for the pipeline!”
Submit Your Comment: Say NO to the Dakota Access Pipeline
“The U.S. Army Corps just announced that it will allow construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline to continue. If completed, this pipeline would threaten indigenous land and drinking water for millions of people, and exacerbate climate change.”
Why Is the Exxon-Funded Heartland Institute Now Calling Oil Trains “Dangerously Flammable”? (02/15/2017)
“As we've already seen, the oil and rail industries will continue to fight new regulations for improving the safety of oil by rail while continuing to use rail to ship oil whenever it works best for business. The main reason oil-by-rail has fallen out of favor for now is that low oil prices, in most cases, make it no longer an economically viable option. It has nothing to do with safety or the environment.
So, in the future, whenever the economic case makes sense for the oil industry, expect more “dangerously flammable” oil trains to take to the rails.”
What Do Louisiana Pipeline Explosion and Dakota Access Pipeline Have in Common? Phillips 66 (02/15/2017)
“Aging pipelines are seen as a major issue that could create catastrophes like those seen in Paradis, where the fire lasted for days until officials finally got it under control. The 2013 ExxonMobil-owned Pegasus Pipeline spill in Mayflower, Arkansas, which saw 3,190 barrels (134,000 gallons) spew out of the line, ensued on an aging pipeline constructed between 1947-1948.”
Chemical Plant Boom Spurred by Fracking Will Bring Smog, Plastic Glut, and Risks to Worker’ Health, New Report Warns (02/14/2017)
“The last thing that Pennsylvanians need is another way for the oil and gas industry to capitalize on shale at the expense of their health and well-being.” - Food and Water Watch
Utah Representative Wants Bears Ears Gone And He Wants Trump To Do It (02/05/2017)
“Rep. Rob Bishop (R) of Utah, the chair of the House Committee on Natural Resources, has pledged his help to eliminate the monument. The land is protected by the Antiquities Act, which President Theodore Roosevelt signed into law in 1906. Bishop wants the Trump Administration to act by executive order, and either shrink Bears Ears or nullify it all together. This land is also considered sacred to Native American tribes. The biggest issue for Bishop is a national monument designation generally means new development — like oil and gas drilling, expansion of cattle grazing — is off limits. Call your representative and senator at (202) 224-3121 to ensure the protection of Bear Ears.”
USDA abruptly purges animal welfare information from its website (02/03/2017)
“The records that had been available were frequently used by animal welfare advocates to monitor government regulation of animal treatment at circuses, scientific labs and zoos. Journalists have used the documents to expose violations at universities.”
Republicans back off bill to sell 3.3M acres of public land after outcry (02/02/2017)
Congressman Jason Chaffetz withdraws House Bill 621 as conservationists and outdoorsmen vow to continue fight over similar legislation
“In the small hours of Thursday morning, US congressman Jason Chaffetz announced that he would withdraw a bill he introduced last week that would have ordered the incoming secretary of the interior to immediately sell off 3.3m acres of national land.”
Stop Trump from building the Dakota Access pipelline. #NoDAPL
“We must tell the Army Corps that the Dakota Access pipeline poses too much of a threat to drinking water supplies, sacred sites, indigenous rights, the environment and our climate to allow construction to resume.”
As Trump Reboots Pipeline Expansion, An Unexpected Delay Emerges (01/28/2017)
“The projects will need to be approved through the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, but a resignation will leave that five-person panel with just two members – too few for quorum.”
Federal hiring freeze disrupts USDA’s food safety testing (01/27/2017)
“As the federal government continues the transition that comes every time a new administration moves into the White House, a hiring freeze and an order from President Donald Trump that temporarily puts new regulations on hold are having varying consequences for food safety efforts.”
“Antarctica's record high temperature registered at 63.5° F (17.5° C) at the Esperanza research base on the Antarctic Peninsula, according to a data review released by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on Wednesday.”
“The French bank BNP Paribas is arranging finances for a proposed fracked-gas export terminal that would be built on undeveloped wetlands in the Rio Grande Valley. These fracked-gas export terminals (creating liquefied natural gas, or LNG) would threaten critical habitats of multiple endangered species and hurt the health of nearby communities, which are largely low-income communities of color.”
“Regulatory developments may affect suppliers. Two important regulatory developments are expected to affect silica sand suppliers in the near term. In the United States, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has halved the permissible exposure limit for respirable crystalline silica.”
“When you have thousands and thousands of pigs on one farm, there's a seemingly endless supply of new piglets to infect. The pig factory becomes a virus factory. The virus spreads like wildfire through the whole farm. Hops to another farm. And eventually jumps into farmers.”
The species native to Cambodia’s limestone karsts exist nowhere else. Now these unique environments are being pulverized for cement.
“A small group of scientists are now racing to document rare life in these limestone karsts before local companies quarry them to dust and grind them up for production of the cement that is fueling this country’s building boom.”
Industrialized societies are changing the climate 170 times faster than natural forces
"While it would seem imprudent to ignore the huge body of evidence pointing to profound risks, it comes at a challenging time geopolitically," Gaffney continued, "when both fact-based world views and even international cooperation are questioned. Nowhere has this been clearer than in the U.S. in recent weeks."
While the House Science Committee plots to strangle EPA science, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) proposes a bill that would abolish the agency entirely
“Only two weeks into the climate change-denying Trump administration, Republican members of Congress are already setting their sights on destroying the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).”
Stay involved please and keep in touch!
Visit us at crawfordstewardship.org and find us on Facebook
Thank you for being the informed and active citizens you are. We'll keep you posted!
Crawford Stewardship Project Co-Coordinators:
Program Coordinator, Forest Jahnke:
firstname.lastname@example.org (608) 632-2183
Community Outreach Coordinator, Meg Wise:
email@example.com (608) 632-9410