Northwest Wisconsin Waters Consortium

Working on behalf of all who value our lakes and streams
James Brakken, President Email
July 2017 update
*Please consider adding the starred items to your next meeting agenda

*Support your countywide lake association: If your lake association has not made its annual contribution to your local lakes and streams association or lakes forum, add this to your next agenda. Please do not be the weak link in the chain. They work for you and your waterfront property value.

*Support Wisconsin Lakes, Inc. (WL): Because the current administration pulled the DNR grant funding that sustained the statewide work of WL (formerly WI Assn of Lakes), WL now depends on contributions from lake associations and individuals. Please pitch in. Find them at

*CAFOs: In the interest of protecting our surface waters and ground waters from the risk of pollution, Northwest Waters supports the efforts of our county boards to restrict development of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) in northwest Wisconsin. Every lake organization is urged to draft a brief note (or use the attached resolution) urging each county to not allow CAFOs to be sited in the north. Your county board needs to hear from you. Please forward your message to your county administrator and county board chair.

Wisconsin Shorelands Initiative: Northwest Waters and the countywide lake associations that serve our region continue our partnership with the Wisconsin Shorelands Initiative. WSI was formed in response to 2015’s Act 55 which gutted lake classification and our waterfront zoning regs and took local control of zoning away from our counties. Although Northwest Waters supports the efforts of the WI Rivers Alliance, Wisconsin Lakes, Inc, the League of Conservation Voters, Wetlands, and others, it is clear that WSI has taken the lead in the struggle to resist legislators’ attempts to gut the laws that protect Wisconsin’s lakes, streams, & shorelands. This is WSI’s sole focus, unlike the other groups listed above. See for more information.

The following is based on the July Wisconsin Shorelands Initiative update from John Richter, chair of the WSI:

Dredging: WSI continues to provide comment and reasoning at the request of DNR for their proposed General Permit for riparian dredging lake bottom in front of their property. The draft we received has the potential to be incredibly damaging to our lakes and shorelines.

Eliminating all shoreland zoning regulations: WSI is battling a legislator who wants to end all zoning for shorelands on our lakes by including another last minute amendment in the state budget to avoid legislative scrutiny.

County control of shoreland zoning: WSI’s bill to return shoreland zoning to county control with lake classification as the foundation and to recover the ability to regulate lakeshore lighting is now drafted. WSI has a confirmed sponsor in hand. The bill will be introduced in the fall session to avoid being used as a pawn in the ongoing and very polarized budget debate.

Two ways you can help:
1. Lake associations should contact their county supervisors and urge them to let the Wisconsin County Association to resist any further attempt to weaken shoreland zoning. (See attached resolution.) This is especially important for the northern counties with so many smaller, vulnerable lakes now being developed at an alarming rate.
2. *A contribution from your association or from any individual puts you on the Wisconsin Shoreland Initiative “partner” list (or keeps you there if already listed). WSI is the lead advocate for reasonable, responsible waterfront development. Please consider sending a check to the above address. All funds received are used to pay the bills we incur in our struggle to protect your waterfront property values.

Shoreland zoning exists to provide intelligent and responsible oversight of waterfront development. The elimination of it is certain to cause irreparable harm to our waters and your property values. WSI is the last line of defense for our lakes.

Thank you for supporting your countywide, Wisconsin Lakes, Inc, and WSI. Enjoy your lake!

Jim Brakken, Northwest Waters Consortium President

Contributions to WSI can be made on the WSI homepage or by sending a check to
Wisconsin Shoreland Initiative
PO Box 193 • Sayner WI 54560

*Please add these to your upcoming agenda.