Crawford Stewardship Project
PO Box 284
Gays Mills, WI 54631
July 7, 2010
RE: Technical Committee and Livestock Siting Law Rule Review
Sec. Rod Nilsestuen
Dear Secretary Nilsestuen,
On behalf of the 680 supporters of Crawford Stewardship Project and the statewide coalition of diverse citizen, environmental, farm and health groups, I want to thank you for the formation of the Technical Committee to review the Livestock Siting Law Rule. In theory, this is an important step in the 2010 review process. You've seen me here, meeting after meeting, asking for more citizen input. Please understand that this review affects us in our rural homes. I have no hidden agenda, no political or career aspirations. I am here because we have lost a voice in protecting and guiding our rural communities with this Law. We first came here because our legislators encouraged us to be part of this process, to be part of a Democratic review. We've made our voices heard. And now we are disgruntled to see that the Department has chosen to keep the review as narrow as possible and ignore all of our nominees for the Technical Committee.
In fact, one quarter of the members are from the first Technical Committee. Business as usual will not address the issues and concerns voiced by the people of the state. Where is the farm representation other than CAFO size agriculture, which of course thinks this law is working just fine? Where are the scientists who understand geology and geography and how crucial of a role that plays in nutrient management? Karst geology is a huge concern and ground water susceptibility to pollution is a technical issue to address. I live in SW Wisconsin where the ground water is more of a lake than a river. Once polluted, we're done for, that's it, our water is no longer drinkable. Water quantity is a huge issue. And yet the scientists willing to take part were not included on the committee. Soil scientists who have been working with this law on the ground and could bring run-off management and nutrient management knowledge volunteered for this committee. They are not on the committee either.
We offered nine names of willing people for this committee or for a Policy Committee. Others sent in requests to be nominated as well. This does not appear to be either Democratic or to include much in the way of diverse experience, knowledge, and concerns on the issue.
The voices of concern were heard at the listening sessions throughout the state and many letters were sent to you. And yet those voices are now being largely excluded from meaningful participation in this review process.
Edie Ehlert, Crawford Stewardship Project Coordinator