Comments regarding the DNR's draft EIS:
Atty. Westerberg's comments regarding DNR's draft EIS:
"Thus we disagree, with the DEIS from its very first sentence, i.e. that it "fulfills" the DNR's legal duties..." If and when it receives sufficient information from Kohler, the DNR must redraft the DEIS and renotice the draft for public hearing, before finalizing the EIS. Otherwise, the DNR will have allowed Kohler to complete a significant regulatory hurdle, in a premature fashion that is virtually without precedent, in a way that defies the purpose and requirements of the Wisconsin Environmental Policy Act." 8/24/16
Former superintendent of Kohler-Andrae state park Jim Buchholz strongly opposed to proposed golf course; lists a dozen reasons.
"The Dept. of Natural Resources has no right and nor any responsibility to “give away” 4-plus acres of publicly-owned state park land to anyone, especially to a “for-profit” business or person for the purpose of increasing the revenue of such business or to increase the income of any person or corporation..." "The EIS document map shows a total of over 19 acres that are being considered for Kohler’s development with no detail as to the actual footprint of the development..." "The DNR’s own Bureau of Endangered Species has termed these rare wetlands (Interdunal wetlands) as the rarest, most irreplaceable habitat/ecosystems in the state of Wisconsin."
Vicki Hubert Menuge, Adjunct Professor, Dept. of Natural Sciences at Concordia University and former Naturalist at Kohler-Andrae state park
Federally listed threatened Pitcher's Thistle, Marlin Bowles of Morton Arboretum and Timothy Bell, botany professor Chicago State University
Wisconsin Wetlands Association: "While it is rare for us to weigh in on project-specific proposals, we do so in cases where the proposed project poses a threat to rare or exceptionally high quality wetland resources or when the decision will establish a precedent for how the state implements existing wetland protection laws. We chose to respond to this project because it has the potential to do both."
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Golf's Decline Takes Toll on Retailers: The number of U.S. golfers dropped to 24.1 million in 2015 from a peak of 30.6 million in 2003... Nike’s decision to stop selling golf equipment and a possible bankruptcy filing by the Golfsmith retail chain are raising concerns that the declining popularity of the sport is taking a toll. Journal Sentinel, 8/17/16
Wisconsin Tribal Repatriations Meeting, letter from FBRF
"DNR Report on Golf Course Spurs Concerns" - Sheboygan Press, 6/30/15
Conservation Score Card for the Wisconsin Legislature, including Honor Roll & Dishonor Roll and important conservation bills that moved through the legislative process.
Once it's gone it's lost forever - photo slide show
Thousands of Indian artifacts on proposed Kohler golf course, 5/8/16, Journal Sentinel
Read the Archaeological Investigation Report prepared for Kohler Co.; including Army Core of Engineers and Wisc. Historical Society letters, or see the condensed version here
Fight Intensifying over Kohler golf course, WTMJ 4, 5/9/16
"What 'Steward of the Environment' cuts down a forest for a golf course?
What 'Steward of the Environment' eliminates animal habitat shared with a State Park? Who installs 5 high capacity wells in a Town entirely dependent on wells, bringing its golf course water consumption to over 250 million gallons a year--IN THE MIDDLE OF A STATE GROUNDWATER CRISIS?"
Watch video or read the Read transcript
Quentin Carpenter, Ph.D. in Land Resources. "Another danger that I see here that if a golf course is allowed this close to the lake, very quickly DNR will receive a request to armor the lakeside to protect it. These are active dunes in a dynamic area of the lake shore. The detrimental effects of armoring on adjacent shorelines are well-documented (more erosion). The neighbors of this shoreline are the residents to the north and the State Park to the south."
Kohler donations to Gov. Walker & GOP: Most of the employee contributions – $46,000 – were made by company Chairman Herbert V. Kohler Jr. himself, between Jan. 2010 and Dec. 2015. He contributed $40,000 to Walker, $2,500 to Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, $2,000 to Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, of Juneau, and $1,500 to former Sen. Joe Leibham, of Sheboygan. Aug. 2016
Bill Expanding Waterfront Property Rights Gets Walker's Signature In its original form, Kerry Schuman, the executive dir. for Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, called the bill a "grab bag" for developers. She still has concerns about the legislation, which allows developers to fill in wetlands that aren’t federally protected. Sponsored by Frank Lasee, Senator Cowles and Senator Olsen. 4/16
Kohler's land use agreement with DNR at state park
Sign the Petition: Ask the Kohler Co. to stop bullying the Town of Wilson
Where we are in the process for the proposed golf course
There are links to all of the following on the DNR website, including:
Expert opinions on Kohler's EIR
From an environmental attorney:
"The environmental impact report (EIR) that Kohler has prepared does not fully explore or acknowledge this project's significant environmental and other impacts. It provides some useful data but, overall, is better characterized as advocacy than informational." Read the full comment from attorney Christa Westerburg
From a professor who teaches how to write and grade EIRs:
"Were I to grade this (Kohler's) EIR, I would give it a B+ for investigation (though much of the source material is not provided) and a D- for communication of the results truthfully... Missing from the communication aspect of the report was any sense of responsibility to reveal the magnitude and permanence of the alterations proposed, work which the DNR must now perform in its EIS. The reality is that the proposed project will drastically and permanently alter the landscape and ecology of this large remnant of minimally-disturbed lakeshore habitat, and no feasible amount of avoiding, minimizing, IPMing or BMP’s will change that." Read the full letter from Quentin J. Carpenter Ph. D. and his response to the updated, second EIR from Kohler.
Golf's Decline Takes Toll on Retailers: The number of U.S. golfers dropped to 24.1 million in 2015 from a peak of 30.6 million in 2003... Nike Inc.’s decision to stop selling golf equipment and a possible bankruptcy filing by the Golfsmith retail chain are raising concerns that the declining popularity of the sport is taking a toll on the companies that thrive on it. Journal Sentinel, 8/17/16
Radium levels rise in Wisconsin tap water - "Growing populations and increased demand for water have caused the aquifer to become one of the most depleted in the country...“Part of the reason we are seeing high levels of radium is that the flow field was energized by over-pumping.” March, 2016 article
Friends of the Black River Forest recently met with the DNR Board and presented this overview.
AB477/SB291 GROUNDWATER BILL - Friends, this is a disastrous attack on our water and allows no defense against water depletion from high capacity wells. Here is our summary of the major points. And this is just the tip of the iceberg--the bill is long and complicated.
Rewriting the rules-Wisconsin Legislature is eroding protections of the state’s water resources, Mar, 2016
Number of polluted waters in state, counties continue to rise - Many environmentalists say that the number of polluted waterways proposed for the list that flow into Lake Michigan is particularly alarming because of the Great Lakes's importance as the largest source of fresh water in the world, supplying drinking water and recreational opportunities for millions of people.": Feb. 2016 article
Wisconsin an 'arsenic hot spot' - Jan, 2016
The vanishing lakes of Wisconsin’s central sands - Many locals blame high capacity wells. In 1950 there were fewer than 100 in the region; today there are more than 3,000. Nov, 2015
Legislative Republicans Turn their Backs on Wisconsin’s Lakes and Wetlands, 02/16
Kohler has listed these areas as benefits to the Town of Wilson. We disagree!
Premiere golf recreational venue
This is not a benefit to the Town of Wilson, for the many reasons stated on this website, but chiefly it is against the Town's 20 Year Comprehensive Plan to preserve our natural areas and calls for REFORESTATION not deforestation. A premiere golf venue is a benefit for Kohler Hospitality. Most Town of Wilson residents cannot pay $400 for a round of golf.
Obviously they never looked at the survey of residents contained in the 20 Year Comprehensive Plan. There is no one who expressed a desire for additional tourists in the Town of Wilson. We chose to live here because of the area's natural beauty, peace and quiet and its hundred-plus year dedication to preserving the woods. Black River is a residential area.
Creation of additional jobs for the community
Why should the Town of Wilson pay such a high price for a few additional seasonal, low-paying jobs? Professional caddies will come from down south, because they work there in the winter and travel to northern golf courses in the summer. 400 golf pros have recently been let go from a major sporting goods chain, so they will be looking for jobs. Maybe the well drillers will make more money when our wells have to be dug deeper. The road builders will benefit when Kohler demands access for their tournaments.
Addition economic stimulus through construction and trade
The destruction of the forest and construction of new buildings is a one-time event. How many town residents or businesses will benefit from this project?
Marketing to attract visitors to the southern gateway of Sheboygan County including the State Park, Sanderling Nature Center, etc.
Again, residents are not living here to draw tourism to the area, exactly the opposite. Kohler-Andrae State Park is already one of the most highly used parks in the state. This point just simply makes us feel like they think we are stupid. The two gas stations and two restaurants may get more business. How does this benefit the Town of Wilson?
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Or mail to Friends-Black River Forest, P.O. Box 804, Sheboygan, WI 53082.
© Copyright 2016 Friends of the Black River Forest
© Copyright 2016 Friends of the Black River Forest