ENVIRONMENTAL AND WATER CONCERNS

 

Groundwater Flow through Fracture Media - Our concerns as presented to the Wisconsin Groundwater Association, Jan., 2017
DNR's Annual Groundwater Report, Jan. 2017

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 which allows developers to fill in wetlands that aren’t federally protected. 4/16

The Global Crisis of Vanishing Groundwater (USA Today) : Around the world, supplies of groundwater are rapidly vanishing. As aquifers decline and wells go dry, people are being forced to confront a growing crisis.

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

Maps of well locations for Kohler’s TEN wells and draw down areas for proposed golf course

Wisconsin Aquifers - Wisconsin Geographical and Natural History

The Groundwater Foundation Educate people and inspire action to ensure sustainable, clean groundwater for future generations.

Common contaminants in drinking water - DNR

Groundwater and land use activities as they relate to the water cycle process, DNR
The USGS is a science organization that provides impartial information on the health of our ecosystems and environment, natural hazards that threaten us, natural resources we rely on, impacts of climate and land-use change, and core science systems.

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' importance as the largest source of fresh water in the world, supplying drinking water and recreational opportunities for millions.":  Feb. 2016 article

Wisconsin an 'arsenic hot spot' - Jan, 2016

Politicized environmental agency threatens Wisconsin’s water, critics say - Nov, 2015

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
Community Information Meeting presentation from Dec. 1, 2015: Water, wells and aquifers- why we need to pay attention. Lee Trotta, Hydro-geologist. Also, diagrams / notes about the aquifer.
Group asks EPA to step up oversight of state DNR, Wisconsin residents and environmental legal advocacg. Journal-Sentinel,2015
Environmentalists, others raise concerns about new Kohler golf course, Journal-Sentinel, 2015

Environmental experts seek federal protection of waterways, Former head of Wisconsin DNR and retired officials are urging the EPA to review the state's water protection program. 2015

Wisconsin's Wetland Gems® : The interdunal and ridge swale wetlands located on the proposed development site are rare, with only 10 known examples in Wisconsin and small acreages present at each site. In 2009, WWA recognized the importance and rarity of these interdunal wetlands when we designated the “Kohler-Andrea Dunes Wetland Type” as one of Wisconsin’s Wetland Gems®

Pitcher’s Thistle – “We have reviewed the Environmental Impact Report for its approach to impacts to the Federal listed Pitcher's thistle. The report's assessment of potential impacts on Pitcher's thistle, and proposed solutions are not adequate.”

Wisconsin Ornithology - The golf course proposed by Kohler here in Sheboygan County is a significant bird conservation issue that warrants WSO's concern. The DNR's Ecological Landscapes publication says that one of the management needs for this lake shore landscape is to: "Work with private and public partners to identify and protect additional shoreline forests, as these habitats are in very short supply, public land is scarce, and bird use during migration periods is heavy. Reforestation of some areas along the Lake Michigan shoreline that are used as migratory stopover sites for land birds is generally desirable."

GOP Lawmakers propose bill shrinking natural resources, A spokesperson for Clean Wisconsin called the bill troubling and said it will lead to more development of wetlands. “These appear to be pretty sweeping changes that are going to have a negative effect... With the water quality problems we’re already facing, it’s not a time we should be relaxing our standard." 12/15

Is Wisconsin’s public trust doctrine eroding?  A state must act as “trustee” of certain natural resources, particularly the navigable waters of the state, and manage them for the trust beneficiaries—its people. - Marquette University Law Professor

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.
Golf courses threaten Great Lakes ecosystems: Lucinda Johnson, associate director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Water and the Environment: The Great Lakes system’s coastal marshes, sand dunes, rocky shorelines, prairies, savannas, and forests—and the creatures that live in them—are being displaced by human development. For example, coastal marshes, which house an estimated 30% of Great Lakes species, are also a frequent victim of development itself as well as the fallout from development: toxic runoff rich in road salt and sediment. As the large cities that ring the Great Lakes continue to grow, sprawl fallout such as subdivisions, roads, golf courses, and vacation homes poses an ever-increasing threat.

Conservation Score Card for the Wisconsin Legislature, including Honor Roll & Dishonor Roll and important conservation bills.

America's 18,000 Golf Courses Are Devastating the Environment "Many environmentalists feel that Tiger Woods was one of the worst things to happen to the environment because of the enthusiasm he created for the game of golf and the growth that has ensued," said Neil Lewis, executive director of a group trying to reduce the use of pesticides and fertilizers. A 1994 review of death certificates for 618 golf course superintendents by researchers at the University of Iowa's College of Medicine found an unusually high numbers of deaths from certain cancers, including brain cancer and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

20% of the earth’s fresh surface water is in the Great Lakes - So it’s no wonder that other thirsty states and countries often eye our Great Lakes water when considering new developments like golf courses and water parks. Thanks to the Strong Great Lakes Compact, signed into law in the spring of 2008, that is no longer an option. Passage of this historic and complicated policy was the result of the support of more than 7,000 citizen comments, 40 local elected officials, and 50 organizations in support of the bill mobilized by Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters.

Great Lakes Compact - As more communities (like Waukesha) begin to experience water quality problems and water shortages, the pressure to identify additional sources of water will rise,” the report states. “The compact’s role in Great Lakes protection will become even more crucial as communities surrounding the Great Lakes seek out these additional water resources.

Illegal Polluters Being Let Off the Hook in Wisconsin - Since Governor Scott Walker took office and appointed new leadership at the Department of Natural Resources, illegal polluters are being let off the hook when they violate the law. First, fewer polluters are getting caught. Enforcement actions, the unofficial ‘warning’ against illegal polluters, dropped 55%, from an average of 516 notices per year to just 233. As if that weren’t bad enough, the few polluters that are being caught are getting off scot-free, without having to pay any penalties. There has been an astounding 68% drop in the number of cases against illegal polluters referred for prosecution to the Department of Justice (the average dropped from 65 referrals to just 21). Polluters are reveling in the lack of accountability – They know it will be more cost effective to violate their permits because there will be few or no consequences.

Important Bird Area, Harrington-Kohler Andrae Lakeshore Migration Corridor

Rusty patched bumble bees - Causes of the decline in rusty patched bumble bee populations are believed to be use of pesticides that directly or indirectly kill the bees; loss of habitat; disease and parasites; climate change and more.

Nature is Speaking: Ocean-Harrison Ford is the ocean’s voice. Soil-Ed Norton. Mother Nature-Julia Roberts.

GOP Lawmakers propose bill shrinking natural resources, 11/15

Pesticides and Cancer in Humans and Pets

How the Marriage of Science and Religion will Transform Your Life and Our World, Michael Dowd

Wisconsin Wetland Gems® - Kohler Andrae state park
Door Peninsula Wetlands Deemed of International Significance, under the Ramsar Convention, an intergovernmental treaty for protection of exemplary wetland systems around the world.

Lake Erie expects another toxic algae bloom

Pollutants create longest dead zone yet in Green Bay

Groundwater Facts
Groundwater: Diminishing Resource, Increasing Conflict

Migratory Bird Treaty Act is Safe for Now

Forests measure health of environment, Center for Watershed Protection

Wisconsin Wetlands Gems-Kohler Andrae Dunes

Wisconsin Society for Ornithology opposes golf course, Peter Blank PhD, WSO conservation chair

Impact of a Development on a Community, UW

Economic and Fiscal Impact Analyses, TACIR

Central WI residents face severe water shortage

Walker would tighten control over DNR, cut science, halt conservation purchases

Walker named to LCV’s Dirty Dozen in the U.S.

Walker Conservation Failure Files

The World is Running Out of Fresh Water

Toxins from algae bloom in Lake Erie contaminates water supply

Sheboygan Edgewater facility generates 9,000 tons of heavy metals, air quality gets "F"

Coal Ash in Wisconsin

Unprecedented sale of 10K acres public land
River through proposed golf course impaired

Deforestation leaves fish undersized

Water quality at Wisc. beaches 8th worst in U.S.

Wisconsin Beaches Water Quality

Apply Water Protections to More WI Waters

Protection of Great Lakes Water

2/3 of Wisc gets drinking water from groundwater

Fed Support For Potent New Weedkiller Raises Fears About Children's Health

New link between pesticides and Parkinson's

Citizen Volunteers Stream Monitoring

Monitoring and Assessing Water Quality

Sheboygan County Most Polluted in State

Scorecard of Largest Polluters in County

DNR Impaired Waterway - the Black River

DNR Impaired Waterway - Kohler Andrae Beach

Scott Walker's assault on the environment

EPA Guidelines on Impaired Waterways

Wisconsin Water Letters

Sheboygan River Area of Concern

Who pays for roads in Wisconsin?

Environmental Blog, (please comment)

Wisconsin Lakes

World Wide Water Stress

Great Lakes Water Compact

Great Lakes Water Resources

Groundwater Withdrawal Laws

Pumping polluted groundwater in Minnesota

White Bear Lake shrinking, residents blame MN DNR

U.S.'s No Net Loss Wetland policy

 

 

PROPERTY RIGHTS

 

Deed - Kohler's gift to the state, 1965 - There are covenants on the deed that read as follows: —To preserve the natural beauty of an unique area along the westerly shore of Lake Michigan. —To provide the people of the State of Wisconsin with an interesting and naturally beautiful recreational area. —To recognize the contributions to the conservation of Wisconsin’s natural resources made by John Michael Kohler and his family. By accepting this deed of gift the State of Wisconsin had to agree to: 1.  The property shall be used for state park and public recreational purposes. 2.  The property shall be know officially as JOHN MICHAEL KOHLER STATE PARK. Now they want to take up to 20 acres back?

When does your neighbor’s property right limit your own rights? What if your neighbor built a fireworks factory next door? How about a large hog operation?

Conservation Easements, Wisconsin DNR

Who Owns America? Property rights

Property Rights and Responsibilities, ELR

More on Property Rights, ELR
Private Property and the Environment: Friends or Foes?  In "The Land We Share: Private Property and the Common Good" author  Freyfogle draws on his background in environmental law and legal history to construct a smart and accessible analysis of the changing meaning of private property in American history and to offer a somewhat optimistic vision of a more ecologically sensitive property regime. His argument is three-fold: that private property rights, never static, have undergone dramatic change over the course of 200-plus years of legislation and litigation; that property owners have never been free to do whatever they liked with their property, since private rights co-exist with the rights of other owners and the public at large; and that private owners' rights are (and should be) matched by their responsibility to promote the public interest, which today includes a responsibility to promote what Aldo Leopold called "land health.”

 

 

FRIENDS OF THE BLACK RIVER FOREST ACTIVITY

 

Press Release, DNR Public Hearing, July 16, 2016

Documents presented to the Natural Resources Board. We continue to be vigilant and need your help informing the Natural Resources Board that stricter oversight is  needed to protect our natural resources.

Press coverage of public hearing - Sheboygan Press - Wisconsin Public Radio - WHBL Radio

Friends of the Black River Forest recently met with the DNR Board and presented this overview.
Presentation by FBRF to Natural Resources Board, 01/16 (Start listening at 2:22:00)

Press Release and Presentation - Friends of the Black River Forest met with DNR in Madison, 10/15.

DNR correspondence -  We have acquired documents and emails from 2011-2014 regarding the Kohler land in the Town of Wilson from the DNR through a public records request. The first link is all docs. The second link is 50 of the most interesting pages.

Emails - Kohler asks DNR to withhold information from Town of Wilson

Stop being bullied by outside groups, mailing to Town of Wilson residents, 4/15

Once it's gone it's lost forever - photo slide show

Community Information Meeting presentation from Dec. 1, 2015: Water, wells and aquifers- why we need to pay attention. Lee Trotta, Hydro-geologist. Also, diagrams / notes about the aquifer.

FRBR response to article in Sheboygan Press, 2/4/15

Former Town of Wilson chairman Gartman defends private meeting with Kohler,  Sheboygan Press, 3/15

Letter to former Town of Wilson board from FBRF, regarding unanswered letters and secret meetings, 2014

Sheboygan County Water Geology, video,  7/14

Video of Kohler Co golf proposal, Channel 5, Green Bay, 7/14

Letter to TOW Clerk and Plan Commission, 7/14

Letter to TOW Board and Plan Commission, 6/14

Press Release, Statewide S.O.S., 6/14

Press Release, 5/14

Working Papers given to Town of Wilson Board, 5/14

 

 

LETTERS TO THE PRESS AND DNR

 

Letter. E. Montgomery, PhD Student Forest Science:  "The ecosystem services provided by this watershed- fisheries, wildlife, tourism, water, water and air filtration - are absolutely vital to human health and are irreplaceable."

Press Release, DNR Public Hearing, July 16, 2016

Overwhelming negative impact to environment, letter to DNR

Concerns from Timberlake resident to DNR

Concerns from 65 year resident of Black River to DNR

DNR Catering To Donors?Journal-Sentinel

Leannah letter to Journal-Sentinel

Lorax Letter, Desmoulin

Letter to SCEDC , Hopkins

Why Must Town of Wilson Residents Must Pay Kohler Bills to Insure their Safety? 3/25/16

Open letter to Dane Checolinkski of the SCEDC, (Sheb. Cty Economic Development Corp.)

Kohler golf course is a loss for state

Wilson election about more than golf

Dubious future for golf

Say 'no' to Kohler golf course

Kohler golf course in the wrong place

Leider tarnishes role

TOW Official Admits Bias

Kohler not Good Environmental Citizen

Town Has Three Options

Letter to Editor,  Faydash; Letter to Editor, Schultz; Letter to Editor, Trotta; Letter to Editor, Faydash; Letter to Editor, Desmoulin; Letter to Editor, Zuraw

Chemical poisons and pollution, Wild Ones President

Memories of Black River, Clemmer

Can't Improve Perfect, Schulze

Good Bad & Ugly, Schultz

Paving Paradise, Briese

Letter to Mr. Kohler, Dr. Tobin

Sheboygan Press, Buchholz

Sheboygan Press, Anderson

Sheboygan Press, Drives

Can't See Forest for the Trees, Kaufman

Letter to DNR and their response

 

 

PUBLICITY SURROUNDING PROPOSED GOLF COURSE

Kohler Company's proposed golf course has drawn opposition in the Black River Forest, WFRV TV, Green Bay, 10/27/16

Fight Intensifying over Kohler golf course, WTMJ 4, 5/9/16

"DNR Report on Golf Course Spurs Concerns" - Sheboygan Press, 6/30/15

Who Has the Power, Sheboygan Press, Pt 2/3, 9/14

Environmentalists,Kohler collide Journal Sentinel, 7/14

Radio interview on WFDL, Fond du Lac, 8/14

A Historic Debate, Sheboygan Press, Pt 1/3, 8/14

Wisc Public Radio Interview, 7/14

Controversy over a new golf course grows in Sheboygan
County, WISN/Yahoo News
Editorial in the Sheboygan Press, Sunday, 7/14

Kohler contributions to Gov. Walker

Kohler golf opponents plan info meeting, Sheboygan Press

Group protests golf course, WISN TV News, 6/14

Kohler presents golf course plans to town, Sheboygan Press

Kohler golf course plan faces hurdles, Sheboygan Press

Proposed Golf Course Causes Concern, WPR News

Friends Oppose Golf Course, Afternoon Journal

Sheboygan Press Article on Tented Forest

Journal Sentinel article, 5th golf course

Sheboygan Press article on golf course

Oregon locals shut down golf course on coast

What Comes with the Turf (Cross Plains, Hayward, Madison)

Thirsty golf courses drive environmental protests

Bulldozer digging up sand dunes (Donald Trump's course)

Kohler Donates to Environmental Institute for Golf

Kohler Interview about Bandon Dunes, Oregon
Kohler moves Village Boundaries
for Whistling Straights, no longer know as Haven or Sheboygan, 2010

 

 

STATE OF THE GOLF INDUSTRY

 

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

There are about four million fewer players in the United States than there were a decade ago, according to the National Golf Foundation. Almost 650 18-hole golf courses have closed since 2006, the group says. In 2013 alone, 158 golf courses closed and just 14 opened, the eighth consecutive year that closures outpaced openings. Between 130 and 160 courses are closing every 12 months, a trend that the foundation predicts will continue “for the next few years.” - NY Times, Nov. 2015

Kohler golf course defeated on pristine Oregon coast, Sheboygan Press, 5/5/15. During this period, someone entered the park and illegally dug 16 pits with a backhoe, destroying rare plants in an unprecedented act of vandalism. The Oregon Dept. of Justice determined the pits were dug by a local geologist. At least one of his bills, for $1,000 for "geological and aquifer investigation," was sent directly to Jonathan Hoekstra at Kohler.

Pesticides and Cancer in Humans and Pets: Studies show that the risk of lymphomas doubled in dogs whose owners treated lawns four times a year. Scientists believe that the use of lawn chemicals such as 2,4-D has been a significant factor in the 50% rise in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma over the past 20 years in the American population.

Golf Market Stuck in Bunker as Thousands Leave the Sport: Once the go-to activity for corporate bonding, the sport is suffering from an exodus of players, a lack of interest among millennials and the mass closure of courses. About 400,000 players left the sport last year, according to the National Golf Foundation. Slow golf sales over the past 15 months created a glut of golf inventory at wholesale and retail outlets, forcing them to slash prices. Dick’s is selling some drivers for $99 that were priced at $299 just 20 months ago, Chief Executive Officer Ed Stack said this week on a conference call. "We don’t feel we’ve found the bottom yet in the golf sales number,” Stack said.

A Dangerous Game: Earth's most precious places are being turned into playgrounds for the super-rich. Now communities are fighting back! A Dangerous Game is the explosive documentary which examines the eco-impact of luxury golf resorts around the world. Featuring exclusive interviews with Alec Baldwin, Robert Kennedy Jr. and Donald Trump.

Why America Fell Out of Love with Golf: All the qualities that once made it so elite and exclusive are, analysts say, now playing against it. "A decline in the number of active players ... caused immense problems in the entire industry, and as a market leader, this hit us particularly hard," Adidas chief executive Herbert Hainer said on a call with analysts.

Golf fading, but WI DNR pushing new course near Sheboygan: "...ask yourself why has the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources created an internal team assigned to help plan, facilitate and promote a new, high-end, privately-owned golf course proposed in a Lake Michigan-hugging nature preserve that will be de-forested, paved, fertilized, drained and otherwise 'groomed' - - along with 33 acres of a state parkland given away to the company in a $1/yr. 99-year sweetheart lease?"

“Most observers and industry executives agree that the bubble has officially burst” for golf itself, reports Bryant Gumbel on a “Real Sports” segment about the decline. From the article "With Golf Mired In A Trap, Dick's Lays Off Its Pros"  about Dick's Sporting Goods laying off 400 to 500 of the pros who gave its stores a touch of country-club élan.

USGA Design Principles Obscured In Kohler Golf Course Planning Process

The guiding principles published by the establishment, authoritative  United States of Golf Association, for the planning and establishment of golf courses:

 ~ Based on the site analysis and/or regulatory review process, it may be determined that some sites are of such environmental value or sensitivity that they should be avoided.

 ~ The presence and extent of some types of sensitive environments may render a site unsuitable or, in some cases, less suitable for golf course development. Examples include, but are not limited to: wetlands, habitat for threatened or endangered plant or animal species, and sensitive aquatic habitats.

 ~ Cooperative planning and informational sessions with community representatives, environmental groups and environmental groups and regulatory agencies should be part of the initial design phase... and should continue even after the course is completed.

Article by James Rowan.

National Audubon Society statement on Audubon International: Audubon is not associated with Audubon International in any way.  Audubon does not certify golf courses, or any other development, as being environmentally sound.  Indeed, Audubon very often opposes such development.

Audubon International, a New York-based organization more concerned with birdies than birdwatching. Supported in part by $100,000 a year from the U.S. Golf Association and Toro, Audubon International collects hefty fees from developers for stamping the Audubon name on golf courses around the country.

Fool's Gold: Case study of Audubon International Certification

America's 18,000 Golf Courses Are Devastating the Environment  "Many environmentalists feel that Tiger Woods was one of the worst things to happen to the environment because of the enthusiasm he created for the game of golf and the growth that has ensued," said Neil Lewis, executive director of the Long Island Neighborhood Network in New York, an environmental group trying to reduce the use of pesticides and fertilizers. A 1994 review of death certificates for 618 golf course superintendents by researchers at the University of Iowa's College of Medicine found an unusually high numbers of deaths from certain cancers, including brain cancer and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Pesticide manufacturer sued over golf course super's death

Pittsburgh sportscaster Rich Walsh is suing multinational chemical companies after his father’s untimely death from cancer in 2009. Mr. Walsh’s father was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 2008, after a career as a golf course superintendent. Genetic testing from Tom’s oncologist showed chromosomal alterations as a result of years of working with pesticides, the only chemicals Mr. Walsh ever worked with.

Golf courses threaten Great Lakes ecosystems: According to Lucinda Johnson, associate director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Water and the Environment, the Great Lakes system’s coastal marshes, sand dunes, rocky shorelines, prairies, savannas, and forests—and the creatures that live in them—are being displaced by human development. For example, coastal marshes, which house an estimated 30% of Great Lakes species, are also a frequent victim of development itself as well as the fallout from development: toxic runoff rich in road salt and sediment. As the large cities that ring the Great Lakes continue to grow, sprawl fallout such as subdivisions, roads, golf courses, and vacation homes poses an ever-increasing threat to Great Lakes ecosystems.

Politician built golf club without permits: Republican Senate candidate John Raese filled in wetlands and damaged more than 2 miles of streams when he rerouted them to create waterfalls on a private, 18-hole W. Virginia golf course that federal regulators say he built without required permits. The years-long construction of Pikewood National Golf Club near Morgantown is "probably the biggest violation we've ever seen in this district."  "EPA believes that several years ago, Pikewood National Golf Club disturbed some wetlands or other areas technically considered to be 'waters of the United States' under the federal Clean Water Act."

The millionaire businessman campaigns routinely on a platform that includes abolishing federal agencies, including the EPA, and the government regulations that he says squelch economic development.

320,000 people converge on Whistling Straits  Attendance at the 2004 PGA Men’s Tournament at the expansive Whistling Straits course set records: 94,000 tickets sold and overall attendance of 320,000 for the week long tourney.

 

 

TOWNSHIP DOCUMENTS

 

Wilson Town Board Chairman says Annexation Not Necessary, Contrary to the published op-ed by Sheboygan’s Dept of Public Works Director, Mr. Biebel, cities such as Sheboygan do not need to forcibly annex land deep into other townships, and against the will of the townships and their residents, in order to prosper. 7/10/17

Letter to City Council, Homeowners duped into selling to Kohler Co.- "When I point blank asked him who the buyer was, his answer was "I'm not answering any questions so don't bother asking.""  7/11/17

Video: Common council meeting and more info. Sheboygan 6/19/17

Letter to City Council and Exhibits from Town of Wilson, 6/14/17

Letter to City Council from Friends of the Black River Forest, 6/15/17

People who signed the annexation petition, documents

Town of Wilson board's Annexation letter to residents - We believe Kohler's stated reason for annexation (the need for City services) is dubious at best. With this rarely used method of annexation the fate of every property owner in the annexation path drawn by Kohler Co. could be decided by three renters who reside at two Kohler rental properties, not property owners.

FRBF Letter to Sheboygan City Plan Commission, The City was in talks  with Kohler about annexation for months, yet the public only became aware in April.

Video of Sheboygan Plan Commission Meeting, 5/30/17

City of Sheboygan annexation documents and correspondence, open records request obtained through FOIA, 6/14/17

Town of Wilson weighs golf course consultants, 9/22/15

Black River Watershed Assessment, 1993

Wisconsin Zoning Handbook, page 39, UW-Extension

Center for Land Use Education PowerPnt, pages 25-33

Minutes of Plan Commission Meeting, 7-16-14

Traffic Impact Study for Kohler golf course, May 2014
David Gartman meeting at his home with Herb Kohler re: Tented Forest, 2014.
Kohler Public Hearing Documentation

Town Has Three Options - Under state law, it’s indisputable the town has the authority to determine its own land uses. In 2009, the town adopted “village powers,” and it has its own Land Use Plan and Zoning Ordinance. Those documents clarify how the town must evaluate the proposed golf course. The T.O.W. should be proud of its detailed and well-written Zoning Ordinance and Plan. The site of Kohler’s proposed golf course is zoned P-1, Park and Recreation District. A golf course is not among the land uses in the P-1 zoning district permitted outright; however, it is listed among conditional uses. This means the proposed golf course isn’t automatically allowed, but only if the town determines the course meets specific requirements and conditions.

20 Year Comprehensive Plan, Town of Wilson

Conditional Use Permit for the proposed golf course

Kohler-Andrae State Park Master Plan, easement must fit into this plan

Town of Wilson meeting video, 5/12/14

The Role of the Citizen, working with township

Town of Mosel residents question PGA benefits

Town of Mosel property tax increase after golf course
"Berms" at Whistling Straits block public access to Lake

Town of Mosel, special land use for camping

Whistling Straits permit violations, DNR Watch, 1999

Powers of a Village Board

About: Town Plan Commissions and Land Use

Rostollan's Campaign Commitment

Town of Wilson Well Testing Results 2013

You Can Beat City Hall

Duties of a County Clerk, State of WI

Code of Ethics for Public Officials, state of WI

Conflict of Interest Laws, US-Extension

Recall of Local Elected Officials, state of WI

 

 

NEWS ARCHIVES (articles that were posted on the front page of this website)

 

Retired, active scientists form Wisconsin Green Fire, responding to 'threat' to science from state government, Apr. 2017

Waters of Wisconsin belong to the people of Wisconsin, enshrined in our state constitution as a Public Trust. Our State Senate recently passed Senate Bill 76 privatizing Wisconsin waters for the benefit of high-capacity well owners, giving them permanent rights to withdraw water regardless of the impact on other water users. Apr. 2017

The Muzzling of the DNR, DNR Sec. Cathy Stepp has given speeches to business group saying her job is “to promote industry and create jobs.”

Kohler Co. seeks to limit wetlands loss from golf course Mar. 2017

Runoff puts drinking water at risk, when natural filters are removed such as wetlands and forest, the unfiltered runoff will go into the groundwater and the nearby bodies of water, article, Mar. 2017

FBRF Newsletter - Feb. 2017

DNR wetland restoration has yet to begin, collected $15M from developers last year, Mar. 2017

Mayors, conservationists blast possible drastic cuts to Great Lakes restoration work, Mar. 2017

FBRF's Wisc. Groundwater Association Presentation: Groundwater Flow in Fractured Media - Uncertain Impacts and Community Concerns

FBRF Newsletter - Dec. 2016

DNR breakup plan called a boon to polluters, Jan. 2017

Wisconsin Wetlands Under Attack -  these combined rule changes could have profound impacts on Wisconsin's wetlands.

Kohler Co. successfully argued that the village (of Kohler) had over-assessed the value of resort properties such as the American Club and Blackwolf Run. While Kohler has sued the village over three different tax years...

Is Nothing Sacred? Wisconsin legislators attack Native American sacred sites in new legislation, 12/15

High-End Golf Course Could Degrade State Park Touted By State, 8/14

Proposed golf course, quote,  "a benefit to Destination Kohler,"  ad by independent resident, 4/14

The Truth About the Proposed Kohler Golf Course, ad in Sheboygan Sun, 3/15

The state Department of Natural Resources announced a major reorganization, including plans to turn over some politically sensitive areas of environmental regulation to a unit of the agency that bills itself as a "one-stop shop for business assistance." July, 2015
Golf Market Stuck in Bunker as Hundreds of Thousands Leave Sport, May, 2015

Lake Erie expects another toxic algae bloom, August, 2015.

Movie - "A Dangerous Game" - Earth's most precious locations are being turned into playgrounds for the rich.

DNR okays Waukesha's plan to draw Lake Michigan Water, 6/25/15

Don’t bar counties’ ability to protect shore land, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6/16/15

DNR seeks more details on Kohler's proposed lakefront golf course, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6/3/15

DNR raising substantial questions about Kohler lakefront golf course, The Political Environment, 6/2/15

Kohler golf course defeated on pristine Oregon coast, Sheboygan Press, 5/5/15. During this period, someone entered the park and illegally dug 16 pits with a backhoe, destroying rare plants in an unprecedented act of vandalism. The Oregon Dept. of Justice determined the pits were dug by a local geologist. At least one of his bills, for $1,000 for "geological and aquifer investigation," was sent directly to Jonathan Hoekstra at Kohler.

John Michael Kohler Arts Center purchases Schuchardt farm to create the world's first facility dedicated to the study of art environments and preservation, conservation and presentation. Sheboygan Press, 12/15.
 Schuchardt Farm area
, "...represents the last large stretch of forest and wetlands on the lower Sheboygan River. It also is home to American Indian archaeological sites, scenic vistas and the only stream on Lake Michigan’s western shore known to support three species of naturally reproducing salmon and trout." 6/14

Wilson election about more than golf, Sheboygan Press, 4/15

SECDC supports Kohler golf course, 3/15

Kohler scales back use of state land for golf course, article, Sheboygan Press, 3/15

Bill would give subsidies to high-end Walker donor for golf course in Adams County, 3/15

Economic and Fiscal Impact Analyses. In local government, it is not uncommon to find an impact analysis used to promote a project, development, or a new location for a company that is being recruited. TACIR, 2009

Impact of a Development on a Community, Wisconsin Land Use Research Program

Report: Kohler golf course to have $20.6 million impact, Sheboygan Press, 2/15

Kohler Co. continues to demand State owned land for their proposed golf course. 3/15

Gov. Walker defaces Wisc.'s environmental legacy, 3/15

Walker named to "Dirty Dozen in the States", 10/14
DNR correspondence -  We have acquired documents and emails from 2011-2014 regarding the Kohler land in the Town of Wilson from the DNR through a public records request. The first link is all docs. The second link is 50 of the most interesting pages. 1. 400 pages all docs received and  2. 50 pages selected documents

Emails - Kohler asks DNR to withhold information from Town of Wilson

Corporations Creating Life-Threatening Water Shortage, 7/14

Residents Fight to Preserve Wetlands & Natural Resources, Press Release, 8/14

A win for the lake as a big loss looms, Ozaukee Press, 7/14

Kohler wants state land for $1 a year, Jim Rowan, The Political Environment, 1/15

Stop DNR from giving Kohler Co public land for private use, Sheboygan Press, 7/14

Kohler road easement request denied by DNR in 1984 - a violation of LAWCON

Land Use Agreement Kohler pays DNR $500 in order to enter Kohler-Andrae State Park with heavy equipment using access road owned by state, even though Kohler has access across their own land.

Kohler Co., FBRF Lawyers & DNR correspondence

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

Letter to DNR from FBRF legal representative - This letter received no response from the DNR answering any of the questions.

DNR's summary of meeting on August 6, 2014, to discuss the proposed Kohler golf course (list of attendees attached- Attachment 1 ).  This letter categorically summarizes our discussion, including Department requirements, regulatory approvals, and required coordination.

 

DNR correspondence -  We have acquired documents and emails from 2011-2014 regarding the Kohler land in the Town of Wilson from the DNR through a public records request. The first link is all docs. The second link is 50 of the most interesting pages.

Kohler asks DNR to withhold information from Town of Wilson - here are the Emails

Former Town of Wilson chairman Gartman defends private meeting with Kohler,  Sheboygan Press, 2015

Letter to former Town of Wilson board from FBRF, regarding unanswered letters and secret meetings, 2014

Letter to TOW Clerk and Plan Commission, 7/14

Letter to TOW Board and Plan Commission, 6/14

 

 

© Copyright 2016 Friends of the Black River Forest

© Copyright 2017 Friends of the Black River Forest