Phosphous Lawn Fertilizers


This resolution was rejected the County Board, then sent to the State Legislature in support of the statewide ban on phosphorus based lawn food.

WHEREAS, protecting the water quality of Bayfield County’s lakes, rivers, and streams (including Lake Superior) is extremely important as it has the potential to affect not only our surface waters but also groundwater resources, and

WHEREAS, the application of commercial fertilizers on parks, residential properties, parks and other non-agricultural areas causes excess phosphorus runoff into our streams, lakes, and rivers, and

WHEREAS, runoff from lawns carries up to eight times more phosphorus than the runoff from similar-sized wooded areas, and

WHEREAS, the over application of phosphorus accelerates the growth of weeds and algae and decreases water clarity in Bayfield County’s lakes and Lake Superior beaches and shorelines have been plagued with algae, and

WHEREAS, elimination of phosphorus from lawn fertilizer will improve water quality and help reduce the presence of algae in Bayfield County’s waters, as one pound of phosphorus in runoff can result in 500 pounds of algae growth, and

WHEREAS, the introduction of excess phosphorus is a detriment to the quality of our waters and reliance on local ordinances to ban the sale and use of lawn fertilizers that contain phosphorus will be ineffective in addressing this matter of countywide concern because landowners can purchase and import products from outside the municipality, and

WHEREAS, Bayfield County can protect water quality by promoting better management practices, through restrictions on the sale and use of lawn fertilizers containing phosphorus in the county.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Bayfield County Lakes Forum, Inc., supports the implementation of a countywide ban prohibiting the sale and use of phosphorous lawn fertilizer on residential properties, parks, and other non-agricultural areas, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Bayfield County Lakes Forum, Inc., supports county legislation banning the sale and use of phosphorus based lawn fertilizer on such properties in Bayfield County that would eliminate the need for local ordinances, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that copies of this resolution be provided to the Bayfield County Board of Supervisors, WI DNR Secretary, Scott Hassett, WI DATCP Secretary Rod Nilsestuen, Governor Jim Doyle, Senator Bob Jauch, State Representative Gary Sherman and other members of the Wisconsin Legislature.

Approved unanimously on March 13, 2007 by the Bayfield County Lakes Forum Board of Directors.