Forming an Organization to
"Save Copper Creek"
A group of local citizens has formed an organization called "Save Copper Creek" to fight a proposed high-capacity well in the Town of Utica. A resident of Lima, Ohio, Dr. Darrell Long, has asked the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to approve the drilling of a well on his property just west of Mt. Sterling and within 500 feet of the North Branch of Copper Creek, a Class I trout stream. The pump would have a pumping capacity of as much as 500,000 gallons per day. Fifty to 100 tanker trucks could be filled daily and the bulk water would be trucked away and sold.
The Save Copper Creek group was formed after an initial meeting of citizens with the Utica Town Board on May 16 and another heavily-attended meeting with a DNR hydrogeologist on May 24. Concerned citizens at both meetings agreed that a formal organization was needed to fight the well on a number of fronts. In addition to a Steering Committee, the group set up committees on legal issues, publicity, science and fundraising.
The Save Copper Creek group is exploring a number of options to contest the well, including legal and zoning challenges and contacting the DNR to either stop its approval or include conditions to tightly restrict the purpose, uses, frequency and amount of water withdrawn. "The water resources of the Copper Creek area belong to all the people of the creek watershed and not to one individual," says Bob Van Hoesen, the administrative coordinator for the group. "We want to protect the groundwater for all property owners as well as preserve the valuable surface waters such as the North Branch of Copper Creek, which is an outstanding natural and recreational resource."
Save Copper Creek will be affiliated with the Gays Mills umbrella organization, Kickapoo Cultural Exchange, which is a 501 (c) 3 organization; thus, donations to Save Copper Creek are tax deductible.
Save Copper Creek welcomes concerned citizens to become involved in the organization. Inquiries can be made to Bob Van Hoesen, 18641 Gays View Road, Gays Mills, WI 54631, or at 735-4117 or email@example.com. Donations can be made out to "Save Copper Creek" and sent to the above address.