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.

Support CSP
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

February 16, 2017


Rob Horwich 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.

Please go to this page to share your stories and images and tributes to Rob

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.

Read the full obituary here.


CSP Stands with Sacred Stone
by Forest Jahnke, CSP Program Coordinator

Standing Rock

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.
Two camps, Sacred Stone and Rosebud, are (mostly) out of the floodplain and do not plan on leaving. Sacred Stone, where our CSP Coordinator Forest stayed for a few days this past weekend, is filing for non-profit status, and shifting into becoming a permanent open prayer-based eco-community. This is a serious and inspirational undertaking, providing a positive example of community, on top of resisting a major fossil fuel infrastructure project.
There is much work to be done and people are encouraged to come and chip in. There is lodging. There is food. There are more clothes donations than there is time to sort through. What is needed now is good people who have basic skills and know how to pitch in in a leaderless/leaderful environment, money, media attention, and all of our prayers.
“M’ni wichoni!” (water of life) echoes through the camp and in our hearts as the world stands in solidarity with the water protectors of Standing Rock.

* For more reliable information, news, actions, and a link to donate visit
* If you go there do not take Hwy 1806 South from Bismark. It has been closed and police officers are issuing $250 tickets to those who stray onto that path. All other routes to the camp are clear.


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.​

Here is the link to the tree order form.
Here is the link to the species descriptions.


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


Upcoming Events

- Community vs Corporate Rights Workshop: Reclaiming local control of our community, Feb. 20, Viroqua
- Hydroponics in a Box, Feb 21, Viroqua
- Celebrate Locally Led Conservation!, Feb 21, Viroqua
- DAPL Day of Action, Feb. 22
- Wisconsin Water Thinkers Network presents...Water and Spirituality, Feb. 22, Webinar
- MOSES Organic Farming Conference, Feb. 23-25, La Crosse
- Farm & Rural Lobby Day, Feb. 28, Madison
- 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

Driftless Bioregion

- Support renters’ right to know about lead in their homes!

- The attorney for a proposed frac sand operation in Jackson county claims neighbors have no legal grounds to block construction.

- Tribute to Rob Horwich from the Crane Foundation.

Upper Midwest

- The governor’s budget would ban the subscriber-supported Natural Resources magazine that has no impact on the state budget.

- Legislature will need to decide on whether Wisconsin Department of Agriculture should take on authority of permitting and regulating CAFOs (instead of DNR) after study has been conducted.

- An overabundance of deer could be harming the soil in Wisconsin’s forests.

- The not-so-distant ill effects of climate change on Wisconsinites.

North America/Turtle Island

- Tell you senators: Don’t re-open protected areas of the Arctic for oil and gas drilling!

- Don’t let Trump force construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline! Tell Citigroup and Wells Fargo to pull their loans for the project.

- Submit Your Comment: Say NO to the Dakota Access Pipeline.

- Heartland institute, who receives funding through ExxonMobil, is arguing that oil transportation by rail is not as safe as transportation by pipeline when the reality does not have much to do with safety or the environment but to do with profit.

- Aging pipelines contributed to the catastrophic pipeline explosion in Paradis, Louisiana.

- The horrors of the chemical plant boom in Pennsylvania.


- "Industrialized societies are changing the climate 170 times faster than natural forces."


The Articles:

Driftless Bioregion

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.$lB9E3rmNU

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.”

Sportsmen to ask about wells, farms, mining (01/25/2017)
The annual DNR spring hearing will be held on April 10th and the Wisconsin Conservation Congress plans to ask outdoor lovers about high-capacity well regulations, large farm pollution and mining.

Tens Of Thousands Attend Women’s March On Madison Saturday (01/21/2017)
Event Protested First Full Day Of Trump Administration
About 75,000 people showed up on Saturday in Madison among many different locations throughout the world to tell the new president, congress and elected officials how important women’s rights, immigrants’ rights, and rights of all should be preserved and furthered while also advocating for climate change and education among other issues.

A Wisconsin Utility Executive Pledges Less Reliance On Coal (01/20/2017)
Dairyland Power’s Promise: To Diversify
“A western Wisconsin utility executive says her firm is committed to diversifying its energy sources, even if a federal plan to limit coal emissions from power companies is halted by the Trump administration.”

Upper Midwest

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.

Nearly 140,000 gallons of diesel mix spill from broken pipeline in Iowa (01/25/2017)
Work crews are still cleaning up nearly 140,000 gallons of diesel mix from a broken 12-inch pipeline in north-central Iowa. Officials with the Environmental Protection Agency were on the scene, leading the removal with the Iowa DNR, Magellan and local agencies.

Trump’s push for more pipelines could boost oil pressure on Wisconsin (01/25/2017)
“With the stroke of a pen Tuesday, President Donald Trump moved to kick-start two controversial oil pipelines crossing the Great Plains — and the administration's push to develop North America’s oil reserves could soon put more oil pressure on Wisconsin.”

Bigger GOP edge could affect environmental protections (01/23/2017)
"Lawmakers are working on measures to restrict the authority of regulatory agencies like the Department of Natural Resources, and to allow businesses easier access to the state’s water, land and minerals."

Wisconsin disaster agency plans for climate change (01/22/2017)
“In a shift from the practice of two other state agencies, Wisconsin emergency management officials have released new information on climate change and its implications for the state.”

Al Gedicks and Dave Blouin: Mining moratorium essential to protect water (01/17/2017)
"State Sen. Tom Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst, has announced his intention to repeal Wisconsin’s landmark mining moratorium law to make it easier for mining companies to operate metallic sulfide mining operations (gold, copper, zinc) without having to first demonstrate that sulfide mining can be done without polluting the environment (Wisconsin Public Radio, Jan. 10)."

North America/Turtle Island

Tell you 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;jsessionid=00000000.app361b?pagename=homepage&page=UserAction&id=2872&autologin=true&NONCE_TOKEN=F7C1A8112C6DFAD4CB143E3E4FC159DF
“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.”

Trump Gives Green Light To Keystone, Dakota Access Pipelines (01/24/2017)
‘The pipelines had been stopped during the Obama administration. The State Department rejected a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, and President Obama ordered work halted on the Dakota pipeline after Native American groups and other activists protested its route near culturally sensitive sites in North Dakota.Trump said the Keystone XL pipeline will mean "a lot of jobs, 28,000 construction jobs, great construction jobs."’

Trump Administration Imposes Freeze On EPA Grants and Contracts (01/23/2017)
“The Trump administration has imposed a freeze on grants and contracts by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a move that could affect a significant part of the agency’s budget allocations and even threaten to disrupt core operations ranging from toxic cleanups to water quality testing, according to records and interviews.”



Anthropocene Math in the Age of Trump: Humans Are Runnig Out of Time to Save the Climate (02/13/2017)

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."

House Science Committee Plans to ‘Make the EPA Great Again’ - By Destroying It (02/06/2017)

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).”

CDC’s canceled climate change conference is back on – thanks to Al Gore (01/26/2017)

“It turns out there will be a conference in Atlanta next month about climate change and its effects on public health. It just won’t have the federal government behind it.

The reason? Former vice president Al Gore.”

Pictures From Women’s Marches Around the World (01/21/2017)

“Crowds in hundreds of cities around the world are gathering Saturday in conjunction with the Women’s March on Washington.”

Global Sea Ice Hits Lowest Levels ‘Probably in Mellenia’ (01/16/2017)

‘The human world has never experienced a time when global sea ice was so weak and reduced’

“Common Dreams has reported, sea ice loss is linked to extreme weather and rising waters, while fewer glaciers mean a darker surface of the Earth—which in turn increases absorption of the sun's energy, further fueling climate change.”


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Thank you for being the informed and active citizens you are. We'll keep you posted!

Crawford Stewardship Project Co-Coordinators:

Forest Jahnke (608) 632-2183

Meg Wise (608) 632-9410