Resolution 2009-2: Fireworks over waters

Whereas: Fireworks are now promoted year ’round as a means of celebration; and

Fireworks outlets have become big business, advertising year ‘round on TV, press, billboards, etc; and

Fireworks often take place on or over our lakes and streams; and

Fireworks contain toxic metals and other toxic chemicals that may contaminate waters; and

Fireworks leave plastic and metal parts in the lakes that take years, perhaps centuries to degrade; and

Fireworks residue and parts can be ingested by fish, loons and other creatures resulting in death; and

Fireworks create air, light, and noise pollution and disturb our otherwise serene lake landscapes; and

Fireworks present a significant safety hazard and fire danger with children being especially at risk; and

Fireworks are illegal to transport without a permit, although this law is rarely enforced; and

Fireworks are the subject of great concern at many Bayfield County lake organization meetings; and

Fireworks regulations now in place may not be as effective as necessary to control this growing problem; and

Fireworks were the subject of discussion in the legislature last summer with talk of banning all but professional fireworks.

Therefore; be it resolved that the Bayfield County Lakes Forum calls for the Bayfield County Board of Supervisors plus all Town Boards in Bayfield County to act upon the following 4 points:

1. Increase local, county and state enforcement of the present fireworks transport and use regulations.

2. Increase penalties for violation of the present fireworks laws.

3. Require all fireworks residue to fall on land only;

4. Conduct inspection for litter on affected public properties, including affected lakes and streams, by a state or county enforcement officer within 24 hours following any permitted fireworks and follow up with appropriate enforcement of littering penalties.

Be it further resolved that the Bayfield County Lakes Forum encourages the use of laser-light displays rather than incendiary displays when near water.

Be it further resolved that the Bayfield County Lakes Forum calls upon the Wisconsin Legislature to enact legislation that more effectively controls the use of fireworks on or near Wisconsin waters.

Unanimously approved at the January 17; 2009 meeting of the Bayfield County Lakes Forum Board of Directors.

Jim Brakken, BCLF President