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
2011 Highlights

Spring Madison Rally
—Crawford Stewardship Project joined with Sustain Rural Wisconsin Network, Family Farm Defenders, and Wisconsin Farmers Union with the “Cows on Parade” at the Tractorcade in March. This effort helped bring solidarity of rural and urban communities, recognition of social and environmental justice issues that link efforts across the state.

Water Quality Monitoring—This year the volunteer water quality monitors around the Wauzeka area CAFO added consistent laboratory water samples to their efforts, doing 4 samplings throughout the season. Monitoring in 2012 will add to this data that we will use to identify trends in water quality concerns. Monthly monitoring continues as well. Valley Stewardship Network, continues to train monitors and helps with the scientific understanding of the results as well as supported much of the lab testing costs. Two of us attended the Wave Action Volunteers Symposium in Madison to learn more about volunteer water monitoring.

Nutrient Management Monitoring—The agricultural consultant we hired in 2010 has continued review of the Wauzeka CAFO water discharge permit and nutrient management plans. The DNR issued a Notice of Noncompliance (NON) to the CAFO owner in March, 2011 after CSP brought concerns forward, including missed deadlines. In addition, we hired Christa Westerberg of McGillivray, Westerberg & Bender, LCC as legal counsel to write letters to the DNR and offer legal advise. Results of the 2011 reviews have moved efforts in 2012 forward to include requests to the DNR for clarification and standardization of reports and concern about phosphorus levels on some fields. Engineer Kathy Martin put forward questions on the new building and abandonment plans of the old lagoons. DNR response did not include addressing the issues she raised. Deadlines missed continue to be noticed by CSP and brought to the DNR in order to get action. And DNR response is usually an extension of deadlines. As we move into 2012, we are in the midst of this process with another NON issued in Feb 2012.

Education—The goal of our education program is to offer information to further our mission, encourage community conversations, and support our local economy and resources. We offered karst presentations with Dr. Kelvin Rodolfo in two local schools, two public events, and for the Crawford County Land Conservation Committee. We cosponsored events with libraries and the Kickapoo Initiative, including natural resource and green energy education. We had booths at Earth Day, The Kickapoo Country Fair, Crawford County Fair, and the Gays Mills Apple Festival. About 200 people attended the events, about 50 new supporters. Two Supporter Gatherings included a CSP power point in spring and water issues as the fall focus. We continue to educate CSP supporters with the CSP Weekly News email and offer action opportunities for supporters. The CSP website took on a bit different look and we’ve added sand mining as a project on the site and are increasing our links with other organizations.

Public Eye
—We put out news releases, letters, and radio interviews on the Wauzeka CAFO issue, sand mining issue, and the high capacity well proposal. We publicly challenged the assumptions made by Fred Madison, co-director of Discovery Farms on his assertion that clay in our area of the state protects the groundwater within our karstic terrain. Catalyst—CSP worked with neighbors of the Copper Creek high capacity well and Midwest Environmental Advocates and scientists in challenging the proposal and the DNR review. We encouraged citizen response as well, and the DNR revisited the application and added mitigations to include reduced water draw allowances. Save Copper Creek was formed to continue to work on this issue and the high capacity well has not received approval to date. Owner Dr. Long is now required by the DNR to put in a monitoring well to identify flow and to gain geological data at the proposed well site. Silica Sand Mining—We took on the silica sand mining issue in late 2011. Research and education continues into 2012, including promoting a moratorium for six months in the county as well as encouraging zoning and permitting processes within townships.

Legislative—We met with Ron Kind on the Farm Bill at a Wisconsin Farmers Union sponsored meeting, and attended sessions with all representatives in 2011. We work with League of Conservation Voters on initiatives on a regular basis, Collaborations—Increasingly, we work with groups on water issues and local control and promote activities sponsored by other groups. These include Valley Stewardship Network, SOUL of the Kickapoo, on the high voltage transmission line issue, Kickapoo Initiative on natural resource education, Driftless Grown on local foods production, E-Coalition on regional energy issues, the three Crawford County libraries on educational events, the Crawford County Land Conservation Committee on Crawford County initiatives, among others. More and more we are reaching out to support our local community economics and resource sustainability.