Crawford Stewardship Project works to protect the environment of Crawford County and neighboring regions from threats of polluting and extractive industries, to promote sustainable land use, environmental justice, and local control of natural resources

Crawford Stewardship Project is a nonprofit organization.
Donations are tax deductible.

Support CSP
Send a check to:
Crawford Stewardship Project
P.O. Box 284
Gays Mills, WI 54631


Crawford Stewardship Project is grateful for the generous support of RESIST, Inc. RESIST funds and supports grassroots groups organizing on the frontlines of the peace, economic, social, and environmental justice movements.

“We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.” ~Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

"CAFOs are only profitable because so much of the cost and damage is externalized onto the environment, neighbors and wildlife. The monitoring, supervision, clean-up, restitution, fines are not happening, thus the true cost of CAFOs never find the way onto the balance books." Talking point from the CAFO Conference.

“A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.”
~Aldo Leopold, 1948. A Sand County Almanac.

Crawford Stewardship Project Update Letter

November 17 2007

CSP Supporters:

We thought you would appreciate an update from the front line as the CAFO battle heats up here in Crawford County. In addition to ongoing networking and other longer term endeavors, our group has been actively engaged in fighting the first CAFO application in the County. To date we have:

  • hired scientific experts in soil and manure management, hydro-geology, engineering and medical fields. They have reviewed the Roth Plan and its potential health effects on residents of the County. The soil and nutrient specialist's findings in particular reveal grave concerns. The nutrient management plan has been found to be severely deficient and based on incorrect information. He called it a "plan to pollute" and said it needs to be addressed and corrected before the plan is approved.
  • informed the Crawford County Land and Water Conservation Committee (CCLCC), the Health Committee and the Board of Supervisors as a whole of these findings at their meetings and by mail and phone. We will be presenting a short summary of this information at the public hearing along with supporting scientific studies and other evidence to be entered into the record.
  • taken the position that the application should not be approved until reviewed by a qualified professional to meet the DATCP law. This law requires that the County review the submitted plan and that all environmental laws and standards be met by the applicant. We were dismayed to learn that no one at the County actually reviewed the contents of the plan.
  • attempted to enlist DNR support for the County to review the Plan. They are the proper State department to deal with engineering and nutrient management plan deficiencies. The official responsible for issuing a permit for the facility expressed interest in working with the County but was then apparently prevented from doing so by decisions of his superiors.
  • objected to the DNR, the County and DATCP that there are no documented engineering inspections being done as the buildings are being built, but so far have received no answers. They will likely be done framing by the time the hearing takes place.
    Despite protests as to lack of inspection and the fact that no County or DNR permit has been obtained by the Roths, the construction of their facility is going ahead at a rapid pace.
  • recruited local doctors who are testifying in person and by letter as well as compiling binders of excellent health studies relevant to water and airborne disease, and general health effects including psychological. These will be presented at the hearing by health professionals. The neighbors are presenting health affidavits and testimony from their doctors.
  • been gathering all the petition signatures, emails and letters to the county board into a document to present to the CCLCC at the hearing with a summary presentation.
  • sent out 2,200 letters to the absentee landowners of the county, many of whom have responded with donations and letters of support. We continue to build our mailing list of supporters, and to send out information to those who request it. It swells daily. (See attached letter with information on other CAFOs coming into the County.)
  • continued to work with Midwest Environmental Advocates of Madison, and have enlisted the help of their CAFO attorney. We are asking for his comment on our strategies. We have invited him to represent CSP at the November 26th hearing and to do anything within his power to ensure that this hearing is conducted democratically and not completely taken over by DATCP and National Pork people? He will also be commenting for us later on the DNR waste discharge permit the Roth CAFO will apply for soon.
  • held a meeting between our MEA attorney and the neighbors within two miles of the Roth CAFO to explore their legal options.

It is our biggest hope that the CCLC will table this CAFO application at its meeting on the 7th of December. The County has until Jan 3rd to decide the application, so that puts a great deal of pressure over the holidays to try and get this application reworked. We are concerned that DATCP threats of legal action against the County will make them buckle. The Committee does not seem all that concerned or engaged. They rely on the County Conservationist who relies on DATCP, whose only agenda is to have this CAFO sail through without a glitch. But we are still hopeful our County officials will, with our urging, rise to the occasion. We are concerned that we will not get a big enough turn-out at the hearing.

If you are able, attend the public hearing on November 26th at the County Administration Building in Prairie du Chien, at 7 p.m. Arrive early and register if you would like to speak. You may wish to write your comments ahead of time.

Thank you for taking the time to stay informed on this issue and we would appreciate any form of support including financial. (see attached letter)

Edie Ehlert
Crawford Stewardship Project