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This Weeks Articles...


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6 ways environmental advocates can change climate concern into action
August 25, 2020 — In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, Americans have not forgotten about climate change. In fact, our recognition of the problem is at or near all-time highs, according to research from Yale and George Mason universities. Polling data from the universities from April 2020 revealed that 61% of registered voters accept that humans are changing the climate, and most support policies like a carbon tax or a fee-and-dividend program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

It’s impressive that the public commitment to act on climate change remains steadfast in the face of new challenges. But the flip side is that only 13% of registered voters have urged an elected official to address the problem. They may be primed for action, but we have yet to fully step into that role. So what’s the best way to do that?
1. Learn where the public is already aligned with policies that address climate change...
2. Build racial and social justice into climate solutions...
3. Dig into energy production...
4. Follow the money...
5. Get to know elected officials...
6. Hit the campaign trail...


Ken Notes: Great Read. I would add 1A. Stop calling it Climate Change and global warming, it is actually offensive to the far right, just like a racial slur. Deal with the specifics like better air quality, clean water, and renewable energy. Everyone is on board with these issues, no debate, and in the end you dramatically reduce global warming and climate change. What do you want a, better environment for everyone, or an ongoing war that you CAN NOT win?

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Madison to receive $7.5M grant from VW cheating settlement for new diesel buses
or the second time in two years the city of Madison is planning to use money from the Volkswagen emissions cheating settlement fund to buy diesel-powered buses.

The city is in line to receive $7.5 million from the state-administered fund as part of a second round of transit capital grants announced Wednesday by Gov. Tony Evers’ administration.

The funds will offset the cost to replace 15 buses with an average of more than 430,000 miles on the odometer. The city will repay 75% of the funds — roughly $5.6 million — through reductions in state aid....

...“Just because of the future proofing,” said Jane McCurry, director of the electric vehicles program at Renew Wisconsin. “If we’re making investments today in vehicles that will still be running 15 years from now … we need to start investing in electric transportation now.”...

Ken Notes: I am with RENEW Wisconsin on this one, we need to look at electric technologies now! We have technology available for use that is carbon free, why spend money on the very tech that VW was sued for in the first place. At the very least we need a Terrace to Terrace all electric bus/trolley system to demonstrate the tech works and start to return tourism to the area.

Hometown Trolley is a Wisconsin company that has offered to demonstrate their products, show us a working system in another community,  or help us in anyway they can.


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Regulations for firefighting foam containing `forever chemicals` on hold after push back from lobbying group

Wisconsin will take its first step toward regulating "forever chemicals" next month with a law requiring firefighting foam containing the chemicals to be fully treated and disposed of, but the law will be without enforcement standards.   

Act 101 will take effect Tuesday, banning firefighting foam containing PFAS except in the case of emergency situations such as fires at airports or oil refineries, or in the case of testing facilities with proper treatment facilities.

PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a group of man-made chemicals used for their water- and stain-resistant qualities in products like clothing and carpet, nonstick cookware, packaging and firefighting foam. The chemicals are persistent, remaining both in the environment and human body over time. Accumulation of the chemicals in the body can cause cancer, studies have shown, or other adverse health effects....

See Also:

Environmental groups push for rule on firefighting foam, decry industry influence


Ken Notes: It appears the we may be more in line with the federal government which is good. The election will have a huge impact here, now there is some protections for PRPs. It will be interesting to see how much this will change if there is a change at the presidential level. If I were a company I might be looking for a deal, not a delay, now...

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PDPW to co-host Environmental workshops
To help bridge the gap between dairy farmers and community leaders on the innovative management practices being used to protect Wisconsin’s water quality and environment, Professional Dairy Producers® (PDPW), along with the Wisconsin Towns Association are co-sponsoring the 2020 Environmental Workshops.

Geared toward community leaders, local town and county officials, conservation specialists, dairy farmers and area community members, the environmental workshops will be held Wednesday, September 23, in South Wayne, Wis. and Thursday, September 24, in Athens, Wis.

Both workshops kick off at 9:00 a.m. with registration and will feature an innovative manure applications panel, a producer-led watershed panel, in-field farm tours and discussions on other relevant rural issues...

Ken Notes: Glad to see this, but a word of caution the hosts are milking more that 2000 cows and at those number they are pumping manure miles away from the farm. Because of the water saturation and distance this contributes to watershed problems and polution. Until these farms digest and treat the effluent they are a part of the problem not a part of the solution regardless of the story they tell...

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Environmental racial injustice highlighted by lack of diversity in advocacy groups
MILWAUKEE — Before it can tackle the problems of climate change and other environmental problems facing society, a Wisconsin advocacy group is looking introspectively at what it can do better to bring more voices to the table.

“We recognize, these have been overwhelmingly fields of study and fields of professionalism that have been limited to whites,” Fred Clark, Executive Director for Wisconsin’s Green Fire said. “Not by policy, but certainly by history.”...


Ken Notes: We need to start this process at a much earlier age, exposing our youth, especially from urban areas, to our natural resources and rural areas is imperative. Schools need to establish forests, wetlands, and prairies as classrooms. We can not ask adults to join us in our efforts to preserve a landscape that they are not familiar with regardless of color.

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Groundbreaking ceremony held for phase one of the Wausau School Forest environmental learning center project
WAUSAU, WI (WSAU) — The completion of the first part of a major renovation at the Wausau School Forest was celebrated Thursday afternoon.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held out at the Wausau School Forest Thursday afternoon to project supporters. The groundbreaking is for the Wausau School Foundation’s capital campaign to build a new Environmental Learning Center. The project hit its first milestone this week by completing phase one, the infrastructure phase according to Wausau School District Superintendent Dr. Keith Hilts.

“Phase one is the infrastructure. That’s what we’re celebrating today. So power’s been run out here. Fiber’s been run out here. So now we’re ready to start adding the communication lines, the powerlines, technology infrastructure.”...

Ken Notes: To illustrate my point, Wausau youth are exposed to nature every day. Many live in rural areas, they are building a great educational forest, but my guess is most are white. I would suggest they look at a cultural exchange where they invite inner city youth to use their forest as a learning campus for a few weeks. We need to facilitate the change we want, not mandate it, or expect it, but actually do something to nurture it.

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Kraus-Anderson Construction Company

When Kraus-Anderson began the development process for its new corporate headquarters building in downtown Minneapolis, company leadership determined the guiding principle used throughout the project would be “cost-effective sustainability.” This principle has influenced all decision-making with regard to space planning for customers and employees; building components, systems, and technology; and construction means and methods.  As a result, the building is on track to achieve LEED certification for sustainability....


Ken Notes:KA is leading by example...

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Babcock & Wilcox Environmental Awarded Contract for Innovative Ash-Handling Technology
AKRON, Ohio--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Babcock & Wilcox (B&W) (NYSE: BW) announced today that its B&W Environmental segment will supply a patented ash-handling solution to help a Wisconsin utility meet state and federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines.

B&W Environmental will design and manufacture two patented Allen-Sherman-Hoff® Submerged Grind Conveyor (SGC) systems for We Energies’ Oak Creek Power Plant, located near Milwaukee. The contract value is approximately $2 million and was awarded to B&W’s subsidiary, The Babcock & Wilcox Company.

As utilities work to meet federal EPA effluent limitation guidelines (ELG), combustion residuals requirements and state environmental regulations, B&W Environmental’s SGC system offers a solution that uses no ash transport water, resulting in a closed-loop process with no liquid discharge into the environment. This is a significant step to reduce environmental impact....


Ken Notes: This is good news but my guess is that the technology does not come cheap. We need to work together to make is easier and more affordable to close a coal plant than it is to keep it operational. Today that is NOT the case, this makes no sense if the goal is to reduce carbon...

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Wisconsin has always benefited from old-fashioned cooperation
STEVENS POINT — Two recent Wisconsin-based virtual events served as refreshing reminders that it takes old-fashioned cooperation to get things done. Both events also underscored that protecting and appreciating our natural resources is well worth the effort.

In one event, the state Department of Natural Resources hosted a celebration recently to mark a milestone in the lengthy and costly effort to clean up the lower Fox River in eastern Wisconsin. Representatives of the many partners in the effort to abate PCB contamination of the lower Fox gathered to mark the end of a 17-year, $1 billion project — a milestone in the multi-year effort to heal what was once one of America’s dirtiest rivers. PCBs are toxic chemicals involved in the production and recycling of carbonless copy paper in the 1950s through 1970s. Three companies — NCR, Georgia Pacific and PH Glatfelter — remain active on the river to cover all current and future costs for dredging or capping sediments and other efforts....

Ken Notes: Good read and partially true, but for years cooperation was not the accepted policy on the Fox and some of the earliest plans from the PRP`s were better for the public that what was finally implemented. We also fail to mention the loss of jobs and businesses as paper mills left the state over PCB`s.

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Trump’s plan for managing forests won’t save us in a more flammable world, experts say

In California, smoke plumes spun into twisters made out of soot and flame, prompting the first-ever “fire tornado” warning. In Oregon, blazes advanced on towns so rapidly that even fire crews had to flee. Never in memory have so many fires burned so much land in so many places over such a short span of time. The smoke has enveloped the whole continent, dimming the sun in cities 2,000 miles away.

“Science knows very well what is going on here,” said Monica Turner, fire ecologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Extreme climate change has arrived in America, and it burns...


Ken Notes: Another issue that has to be addressed in a nonpolitical environment but is not. Wisconsin has not had a major fire in decades, but it has in the past and could vary well in the future. We do use and manage our forests and are possibly at less risk but now is the time to address the issue before it is to late. We are getting a lot of new undergrowth and if it dries out and burns we could easily be the next California.

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21 states sue White House over rollback of bedrock environmental law

A coalition of 21 states sued the Trump administration Friday for rolling back what they say is a “rule that is, at its heart, the gutting” of America’s bedrock environmental law.

The White House in July finalized a rollback of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which for 50 years has required the government to weigh environmental and community concerns before approving pipelines, highways, drilling permits, new factories or any major action on federal lands...

...The suit was filed by California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin...

See Also:

 Lawsuit challenges Trump change to environmental law


Ken Notes: I will say it now prior to the election. We will see a huge swing in environmental policy if we have a change in the legislative balance. What we should have is a nonpartisan policy for energy independence and environmental policy. I am a dreamer, but I watch this from a different perspective than most. We could tie our bedrock policy to increases in solar and wind and balance the equation.

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After two manure spills, neighbors worried about Wild Rose Dairy expansion in La Farge

A large dairy farm in La Farge, Wisconsin, has plans to expand operations, causing concern for its neighbors who have been downstream from two manure spills from the farm in the last three years.

Wild Rose Dairy, located on Buckeye Ridge just outside the rural southwestern Wisconsin town, has applied for a permit with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to add nearly 1,000 animals to its farm and triple its waste- storage facility, making it capable of holding about 30 million gallons of waste.

In 2017 and 2019, Wild Rose Dairy experienced leaks that caused manure to spill into a nearby creek, causing about 2,000 fish to die and impact the greater ecosystem...


Ken Notes: Since my Digestor request seems to be falling on deaf ears, could we at least limit the amount of water we mix into the waste to make it more "pumpable". This is especially frustrating when we are using well water from our aquifers to do this. This liquefied waste is exponentially more likely to enter our watersheds and pollute our streams, rivers, and lakes not to mention our wells and drinking water.

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Destination Door County first Wisconsin tourism firm to partner with outdoor ethics group

DOOR COUNTY - Beyond local businesses and entertainment, Door County`s scenic landscapes draw tourists to the area in droves every year. With that in mind, the county`s tourism bureau has created guidelines for tourists and locals alike to explore these natural treasures responsibly.

Destination Door County joined forces with Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, a Colorado-based environmental education nonprofit, to draft seven principles aimed at lessening human`s impact on the local environment, according to a press release from the organization...


Ken Notes: I love this type of partnership. I would go a step further and try to bring more families into Door County from lower socioeconomic groups to interact with nature. I believe that a campground can be the great equalizer in race, economics, and trust. Wisconsin should build more affordable places for everyone to visit and interact. One upon a time there were trains that ran from Chicago to the North Woods and entire families would "Summer" up north. Now you need to be fairly wealthy to even visit. We should also offer "how to camp Programs...

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SCS Engineers

SCS Engineers Search

SCS - At the forefront of sustainable environmental solutions for over 40 years

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Norbertines say deal has been reached to sell Monona friary

MONONA, Wis. (AP) — Saint Norbert Abbey said it has made a deal to sell the San Damiano Friary, a historic property on Lake Monona, to the city of Monona, which hopes to preserve the green space for the the public.

The parties began discussing a sale of the 10-acre parcel at 4123 Monona Drive earlier this year. The city’s agreement to buy it for $8.6 million was approved unanimously by the Monona City Council on Tuesday, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

The Norbertines said they also need to seek the approval of the Vatican.


Ken Notes: This is an amazing property, I wonder the the building could be used as a bed and breakfast or restaurant? The lake front is amazing...

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State AGs challenge new rule limiting environmental review

Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford joined a multistate coalition in filing a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s final rule curtailing requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act that federal agencies review and assess the impact of their actions on the environment.

The final rule also limits public participation in the review process, robbing vulnerable communities of the opportunity to make their voices heard on actions that are likely to have adverse environmental and health impacts. In the lawsuit, the coalition argues that the final rule abandons informed decision making, public participation and environmental and public health protections in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act and NEPA...

...Nevada was joined by the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, the District of Columbia and Guam, as well as the City of New York, the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in filing the lawsuit.


Ken Notes: As long as this remains a political football we will swing back and forth with no long term policy in place. We need bipartisan legislation and policy that works with business and industry to protect the environment.

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Lake Michigan Water Pipeline: Waukesha receives federal loan for water supply project

The city of Waukesha, Wisconsin, was recently awarded a $137.1 million dollar loan from the federal government for its construction project to switch the city’s municipal water source to Lake Michigan. Andrew Wheeler, administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, announced the loan on August 12 in Waukesha alongside Mayor Shawn Reilly...


Ken Notes: We will see lots of dollars flowing our way in the last months of this election cycle. Waukesha county has always been viewed as one of the communities that can offset the wealth of votes from Milwaukee and Madison/Dane. I predict a Fox Valley project is in line for some federal stimulus...

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DNR: 2/3 of Wisconsin fire departments storing PFAS foam; 62% lack usage policy
Nearly two out of three Wisconsin fire departments are storing foam containing hazardous PFAS chemicals that could cost millions of dollars to safely dispose of, according to a state Department of Natural Resources survey.

Based on the survey conducted this spring, the DNR estimates there are between 63,200 and 96,300 gallons of foam on hand, including more than 30,000 gallons of expired or unwanted foam. That’s significantly more than the agency had previously predicted...

See Also:

Nearly Two-Thirds Of Wisconsin Fire Departments Stock Firefighting Foam That Contains PFAS


Ken Notes: We will need to educate the departments as to alternatives to foam and this is difficult because when foam is needed water can be deadly and the firefighter are aware of this. They have all seen video of water mixing with chemical to produce a deadly gas....

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We Energies, many citizens at polar opposites on fuel facility

IXONIA — In light of what it says are “scare tactics” and a “misinformation” campaign, We Energies has issued more details and clarifications on the liquified natural gas facility it is proposing in the Town of Ixonia.

Brendan Conway, media relations manager for WEC Energy Group, We Energies, said Wednesday that some residents’ claims that the utility is not communicating sufficiently with them is inaccurate and went on to say that a website set up at saveixonia.com in opposition to the construction of the facility is rife with inaccuracies.


Ken Notes: Again we need to talk about this. Liquified natural gas is clearly a bridge (not a solution) to a cleaner environment. Solar and Wind are the answer but both require peak facilities or storage to maintain the grid. Storage is not economical so gas becomes the alternative. If we stop the flow of gas we are back to coal. I am not a fan of carbon fuels at all but if I have to choose between gas and coal...

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Dairyland Power Cooperative

Our commitment to preserving the quality of our environment is not just a program at Dairyland. It reflects a deeply held view that good environmental practices reflect sound operations and contribute to the overall economic and social health of the communities we serve.


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Green Power Tomorrow

We make it easy to be green

Clean electricity is available right now for homes and businesses in our electric service territory. Through MGE`s Green Power Tomorrow (GPT) program, wind power generated from our wind farms in Wisconsin and Iowa and solar power generated from local arrays can be purchased. For every kilowatt-hour (kWh) of green power purchased by our customers, there`s a kWh of electricity that won`t be generated with non-renewable fuels.
An option for those who want 100% renewable energy now

GPT is probably the easiest and most effective step you can take to advance renewable energy and protect the environment. You can choose a monthly cost that`s comfortable for you. GPT is only one cent* more per kWh...

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Hard times afflict Massachusetts’ iconic cranberry bogs, as economic and environmental changes reshape the industry

PLYMOUTH — For centuries, the ruby-colored fruit was like gold: tart gems that brought hard-earned wealth to generations of families in Southeastern Massachusetts.

In recent years, however, the state’s billion-dollar cranberry business has soured.

Environmental groups blame the bogs for draining ground water and harming ecosystems with dams, pesticides, and other pollution. Increasing competition from Canada to Chile has created a surge in supply, causing prices to crash. More recently, the Trump administration’s trade war with China has led to a 40 percent tariff on US cranberries, draining tens of millions of dollars from the industry....


Ken Notes: Great read, I have not seen much on Wisconsin production but I am sure the tariffs have to sting a little bit. I hope we can keep cranberries a domestic product, we know very little about how foreign product are produced.

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The Midas Disease: Corruption Puts World In `Mortal Danger,` Author Says

Sarah Chayes Offers Advice On How To Combat Corruption She Says Is Running Rampant At Home, Abroad

To help explain corruption in America, Sarah Chayes leans heavy on Greek mythology — namely, the story of King Midas....

...."In today`s world, people afflicted with the Midas disease are touching our waters and our mountains and our forests," she said. "And they`re turning them into gold right there, turning them into zeros in their bank accounts."...

Ken Notes: Interesting read. I would suggest my yoyo effect is as bad or worse than the Midas effect. We create opportunities for businesses to thrive unrestricted and the we create restrictions so intense they take their business to another country and we dive into recession. We need jobs, economic stability, and a protected environment.

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Focus on nature: Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin
There are many organizations worthy of our support and sometimes it is difficult to decide which ones to support when one has limited resources. However, for those interested in nature and preserving it for future generations our state is fortunate to have one of the best organizations possible working for us, the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin (NRFW). I would like to tell you about the organization and share with you some of their accomplishments from their 2019 annual report.

One can tell a lot about an organization by looking at their mission and what they believe in. NRFW’s mission is to connect generations to Wisconsin’s lands, waters, and wildlife through conservation, education, engagement, and giving. They believe that nature has inherent value, and that people can make a positive difference. Together they work with others and partners to build a healthier, more resilient, Wisconsin for future generations to enjoy. These are ambitious goals and NRFW has done an outstanding job of achieving them over the years in my opinion. Here are some examples of what they are doing from their Annual Report...

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ONLINE: Sustainable Breakfast Series
How can we reimagine our built environment while prioritizing health, equity, and accessibility? Join us for an opportunity to learn about how intentional design and operation of our buildings can impact environmental and social wellbeing. Our panel of local experts from the architecture, engineering, and facility management fields will explore how we can respond to a rapidly changing world by creating a resilient built environment for our community.

What type of spaces promote environmental health and employee health? How does our built environment intersect with equity? What will it take to create healthy buildings? Learn how we can enhance the built environment at our offices and homes.

Wellness & The Built Environment

Tuesday, October 13

Program 8:30AM—9:30AM

Networking 8:00—8:30 & 9:30—10:00

Online Webinar, access link available upon registration.


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Community Shares: Local leaders in social and environmental justice to be honored
Madison, WI – On September 17, Community Shares of Wisconsin will celebrate the work of three community leaders who are working to build a better community for all. The virtual celebration will begin on the Community Shares of Wisconsin Facebook page at 5:00 p.m. and will include stories and highlights of Change-Makers award winners as well as the volunteers, advocates, and Madison-based nonprofit organizations that have overcome challenges during the COVID crisis to work for social and environmental justice.  

Community Shares of Wisconsin nonprofit groups nominated the following awardees:
  • Mark Richardson, nominated by Sustain Dane – Winner of the Liesl Blockstein Community Leadership Award (sponsored by Baer Insurance)

  • Dee Sweet, nominated by Wisconsin Conservation Voices – Winner of the Linda Sundberg Civil Rights Defender Award (sponsored by Heartland Credit Union)

  • Marcia Caton Campbell, nominated by Rooted – Winner of the Sally Sunde Family Advocate Award (sponsored by Zendesk)

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Wisconsin affiliate of the U.S. Green Building Council

WGBA has combined forces with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and together we will pilot a new model for USGBC chapters and local market engagement...


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Paul Fanlund: ‘2020 Changes Everything’ is the apt title for Cap Times Idea Fest this year

For the obvious reason, the upcoming Cap Times Idea Fest won’t be the in-person, weekend extravaganza it was in its first three years.

That doesn’t mean it won’t be excellent.

Starting Sept. 26, we will deliver about two dozen carefully designed virtual sessions over two weeks, many of them about Madison’s and Dane County’s future. You can watch them on demand on any device, from your phone to your big-screen television...


Ken Notes: I agree with the title, but the presentations may be a little one sided. I love Cap Times but they can clearly tilt left with the rest of Dane County. I will tune in for Bob Woodward because he has written some great books. I highly recommend Shadow...

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Green Fire: Announces 2020 Annual Meeting series, ?Sept. 9-26

Wisconsin’s Green Fire (WGF) is an organization promoting science-based natural resources conservation. WGF’s 2020 Annual Meeting will be a series of five programs in September highlighting themes including: youth-led conservation movements; racial inequities in conservation; the challenges and opportunities facing policy makers as they address a budget and economic crisis caused by the global pandemic; and a keynote program by former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold framing Wisconsin conservation challenges in a global view.  The five virtual programs in September are all open to the public and registration is without charge.

Registration: https://wigreenfire.org/annual-meeting/2020-programs/

See Also:

Age, Race, Politics and Conservation: Addressing the Elephants in the Room


Ken Notes:Several great online opportunities for online presentations.

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Wisconsin seeks input on managing special natural areas

The DNR’s Bureau of Natural Heritage Conservation has revised the State Natural Areas Program’s long-range strategy for the protection of Wisconsin’s highest quality ecological communities.

This new document incorporates current scientific views on preserve design and climate change projections to address major environmental challenges for SNAs. It also identifies primary objectives to guide the program for the next ten years.

Review the updated plan here (PDF)

Email your comments to the State Natural Areas Program at DNRFWPNHCStateNaturalAreas@wisconsin.gov. Comments accepted until Sept. 17, 2020....


Ken Notes: I suggest we use these areas to create Eco Tourism opportunities. Trails, more campgrounds, and the potential to create ownership opportunities on lands adjacent to the protected natural ares will provide economic resources to protect these lands. This is an area we have not fully explored and it does not seem to be on anyone`s radar. I have an Eco TIF plan if any one is interested...

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Federal protections denied for moose in 4 states
A moose subspecies native to four upper Midwestern states will continue to be left off the federal Endangered Species List.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday ruled that “the northwestern subspecies” is stable, The Associated Press reports. The moose are historically found in Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin. The agency also said the subspecies has no notable biological differences from moose across the U.S.-Canada border, where the population is healthy.

Ken Notes: I would love to see a herd develop in Northern Wisconsin, if not protected, maybe a reserve or refuge of some sort. I always visit the small reserve in Gaylord MI when I am and in town and believe these are one of the most majestic animals in North America.

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OPINION: Wisconsin should call for a federal carbon fee and dividend policy
Dear Editor: The Climate Change Task Force commissioned by Gov. Evers last October has been diligently working on finalizing recommendations by Oct. 31. The public has been included through open virtual committee meetings, by accepting public comment via email, and through five “listening sessions” that occurred this summer. Kudos for running an inclusive process.

One topic that has been discussed by the task force and was a consistent theme in public input is carbon pricing, and more specifically a carbon fee and dividend (CF&D). To honor that input, one of the most powerful recommendations by the task force would be for the state of Wisconsin to call for a federal CF&D policy, the benefits of which are manifold:
• reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 40% by 2030.

• revenue neutral and market driven; does not represent new government regulations.

• revenue collected will be equally distributed as a dividend to all Americans which benefits low-income people more than others, and thus integrates environmental justice.

• conversion to renewables will lead to reduced air pollution and improved health of all Americans.

• potential for broad bipartisan support.

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Miron Construction

Miron Construction News Search

Miron specializes in providing innovative pre-construction, construction management, design-build, general construction and industrial services.

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DNR seeks public input on waterways

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is responsible for safeguarding clean waters. The public is an active participant in helping identify protection and restoration priorities and implementing solutions, and the DNR is soliciting public input on 25 new Clean Water Act Targeted Watershed Assessment (TWA) reports...

...Each of the TWA reports provides water quality priorities, recommendations and a list of detailed local plans and contacts related to protection or restoration of the watershed. The reports can be found on the DNR’s Water Quality Plans & Reports webpage...


Ken Notes:Speak up!

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With apathy in government task forces, Wisconsinites need to advocate for environmental action

When considering environmental, social injustice in events leading up to elections in November, people must be active in seeking equity

This past summer, I worked as a Statewide Intern for the Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin (LOPPW). My time with LOPPW mostly centered around the environment, as  Gov. Tony Evers’ Task Force on Climate Change held special virtual listening sessions this June and July.

These sessions began with a few presentations that highlighted certain issues and solutions, such as the city of River Falls discussing their path to renewable energy and programs like Groundwork Milwaukee focusing on environmental justice and health....

Ken Notes: Interesting read, the problem with the task force and listening sessions is that only the motivated fringe show up. So you have environmentalists who suggest we close all the power plants and large companies, and business lobbyists who suggest the solution is to remove all the environmental protections. Of course the solution lies in the middle but those people have little motivation to show up. When I host a community listening session, I make sure we invite the stakeholders so we do not focus on the fringe. You have to make sure the actual people who will be effected are involved....

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Plague of frogs? Abundance of leopard frogs in Wisconsin likely a product of wet springs

I remember a reference from the Bible in Exodus 8, where the Lord instructs Moses and Aaron to invoke a plague of frogs from the Nile that came up and covered the land. It was, apparently, something you didn`t want if you were an Egyptian at the time, but eventually Aaron convinced the frogs to return to the Nile. It must have been considered a minor plague, as apparently it took a lot more to convince the people of Egypt of Moses` and God`s resolve in the matter...


Ken Notes: Do not know if it is a biblical plague, but we did have two in the house recently...

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In Wisconsin’s Green Bay, Walleye Swim Healthy Again

A 30-year effort to clean up the Lower Fox River by a coalition of local officials, business owners, educators, environmentalists, and outdoor enthusiasts is bearing fruit.

As spring limped slowly into Green Bay, Wisconsin, Bruce Deadman pulled two walleye from Lake Michigan’s Green Bay. Pulling off such a feat was unheard of a decade ago, says Deadman. The walleye were simply not around, and even if fishermen were lucky enough to snag one, they would have been restricted from eating it due to high levels of toxic polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs in the fish.

But all that has changed. By 2019, PCB levels in Green Bay walleye had dropped 68 percent, and on this day in early May, as the thermometer hovers just above freezing, Deadman can catch fish. And he isn’t alone. Dozens of boat trailers line the parking lot of the boat landing. The fishermen are all trolling for walleye....


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Major Lake Michigan tributary removed from polluted site list
MENOMINEE, MI — A river that marks the border between Michigan and Wisconsin has been removed from a federal list of heavily polluted sites in Great Lakes waters, although it continues to have contamination issues with toxic fluorochemicals.

Michigan and Wisconsin officials joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in announcing last week that the lower Menominee River has been de-listed as a Great Lakes Area of Concern (AOC) following more than three decades of cleanup...


Ken Notes: Just in time for the Back 40 mine to mess it up again...

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Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council

WI Sustainable Business Council Search


The WI Sustainable Business Council is a network of Wisconsin businesses and organizations that are interested in, or actively responding to, the challenge of sustainability.

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The EPA Awards Funding To Restore Environmental Areas Of Concern In Twin Ports
SUPERIOR, Wis. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it will be providing nearly $14 million in funding to help rehabilitate environmental areas of concern along the St. Louis River and the Great Lakes.

The financial support is part of the EPA’s five-year plan to restore environments within the great lakes.

The St. Louis River in the Twin Ports has been an area of concern for quite some time.

The money given by the EPA is expected to help fund the expansion of current restoration programs in the twin ports.

It may also help find solutions to prevent future harm for this area of concern, which could provide several possible advantages.

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Ken`s Pick - Electric Automotive Stories

The Age of Electric Cars Is Dawning Ahead of Schedule


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Some of our links... Many more at WDNGreen.com
Links we like supporting Wisconsin`s Environment and Business. More will follow each week...

USGBC Wisconsin
Focus on

The Water Council

WI Sustainable Business Council

Sustain Dane

Midwest Energy

Focus on Energy

Renew Wisconsin

Clean Wisconsin


Search News
Natural Heritage
Land Trust

University of Wisconsin Sustainable Management

USGBC Wisconsin

Ken Notes: Share this and if you want to be included:
Call us - 608.334.2174 or Editor [at] WDNGreen.com....

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State Launch of Wisconsin’s Clean Energy Toolkit
Communities across Wisconsin are looking to develop clean energy plans to do their part against global warming, and La Crosse is getting in on the action as well.

The Wisconsin Clean Energy Toolkit will launch statewide today, with La Crosse, Madison, Eau Claire, Green Bay, and Milwaukee all participating. The Toolkit is a comprehensive guide to energy policy options in the state, and is designed to help communities of any size achieve their goal of going green.


Ken Notes: I will keep this link for awhile...

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Wisconsin and National Links for GREEN Resources
We try to include links to help you consider your GREEN economic development options in Wisconsin. Businesses feel free to send us your information here.   ...more

Ken Notes: Feel free to include this link and logo on your website. Our Tools and Resources are always a click away. Also a new easy to use address:


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ABOUT - Wisconsin Development GREEN News
Ten thousand environmentally minded business professionals, 500+ News outlets and reporters, and even a treehugger or two now read WDNGreen each week. Thank you!
Please share WDNGreen with a friend...   WDNGreen Network of Links... or Search WDNGreen...

Ken Harwood
Advocating for Wisconsin
Editor [at]  KenHarwood.com


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Ideas for Consideration - Please forward, share and discuss!

An agenda for the new administration...

An overriding principal - Restore Wisconsin to the bipartisan national environmental leadership it once enjoyed...

  • Building and Design

    • Work with developers, architects, communities, and business to ensure the highest and most cost effective Green building practices are used in new development.
    • Expedite projects who guarantee the best environmental practices and make sure the systems are in place to ensure this. Trust but Verify.
    • Avoid costly mandates and restrictions that will move businesses to other states or regions.
  • Mining

    • Explore the restoration of the sulfide mining moratorium or...
    • Work with counties to create and enforce new mining regulations, restrictions and enforcement.
    • Delay approval of any new mines until counties have their regulation policies in place.
    • Restore DNR environmental staff and expertise to levels that can review any requests in a timely manner.
    • Require a site reclamation fund be established from the onset of any approved project with a plan in place for complete site reclamation.
    • Allow municipalities to enact special utilities in lieu of or in addition to regular taxes for issues like impact on roads, utilities, infrastructure, and public safety.
  • Renewable Energy and Fuels

    • Work with the utilities, business and communities to encourage the use of renewables, reduced carbon output, and better reporting and measurement.
    • Establish a PSC willing to work with business and power companies while progressing to a lower carbon renewable future.
    • Do not impose legislative mandates on renewables but rather incentivize use of new technologies while maintaining an open dialogue among all parties involved.
  • Our Watersheds and the Great Lakes

    • Become a strong partner in Great Lakes–St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact.
    • If water is removed from the watershed, require that it be returned cleaner that it was taken. Again make sure DNR has the resources to monitor and ensure this policy.
  • Land Use and Transmission / Pipe Lines

    • Require the need and or profit for new systems to Wisconsin citizens. If a system like tar sand or electricity is for other states or regions, require that the land uses benefits all citizens in our state in lower utility costs, additions public facilities and reduced air and water pollution.
    • Require that any new system create an environmental offset equal to or greater than the land they take. This can be done in two ways: One additional Parks, Public Lands, Trails, Access to Waterways, Etc. OR Two reduced carbon emissions through the elimination or older less efficient production facilities or the conversion to renewable or exponentially lower emission fuels.
  • CAFO`s and Agricultural Issues

    • Address and regulate CAFO`s like the "cities" that they are.
    • Develop regulations and controls to address the scale of effluent that these facilities produce.
    • Consider using CAFO`s as a model for new waste treatment like digestion and pasteurization.
    • Preserve the small farm in Wisconsin by encouraging sound environmental practices in a cost effective way.
    • Work with all farms, businesses, and communities to improve watersheds, runoff and source point pollution focusing on results rather that penalties or mandates.
  • Transit and Mass Transit

    • Improve our transit and shipping corridors like rail and interstate access to encourage Wisconsin to become an efficient  distribution hub for the Midwest.
    • Encourage communities to adopt new and more efficient mass transit systems.
    • Encourage the use of more efficient buses, trucks and vehicles in the state.
  • ECO Tourism

    • Explore ECO Tourism as an option to preserve our vast agricultural heritage and natural waterways and woodlands.
    • Allow ECO TIF financing to pair tourism development with land and watershed preservation.

Ken Notes: Just a few ideas, please feel free to pick and choose then share with those on both sides of the isle that will be making decisions.

We now have an opportunity to grab the pendulum in the middle and make a real long term difference in how we manage our resources and what kind of Wisconsin we leave to our grandchildren!

These are personal viewpoints shaped by your feedback. They are not the positions of my sponsors or partners.

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AgSTAR’s New Digester Project Development Handbook
Hot off the “press,” AgSTAR’s updated handbook is a comprehensive compilation of the latest knowledge in the industry on best practices for anaerobic digestion and biogas systems.

For 26 years, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) AgSTAR Program has been helping farmers and communities across the United States develop and implement anaerobic digestion (AD) biogas systems. These systems are critical to reduce methane emissions from manure management operations, while also providing other environmental and economic benefits. As a trusted partnership program, AgSTAR helps educate the public on best practices for designing, implementing and maintaining digester projects and brings together leading experts to discuss opportunities and challenges for advancing the biogas industry.

AgSTAR’s newest resource, the Anaerobic Digester Project Development Handbook, is a comprehensive compilation of the latest knowledge in the industry on best practices for AD/ biogas systems. The goal of the Handbook is to ensure long-term project success for AD biogas systems by providing background and a framework for AD project development.

Ken Notes:I would love to see Wisconsin become the leader in this technology! Every farmer and elected official in the state should download this.

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Coverage of local and national eco news for commercial development, home, transportation, food and community. We search for environmentally friendly news that makes economic sense for Wisconsin. ONLINE HERE. Please share with a friend. To receive WDNews GREEN on Monday of each week as an email you must subscribe - secure link to subscribe is here.

Want to comment, or have an idea: Ideas[at]WisconsinDevelopment.com

We may now need to build a coalition that is willing to lobby from a "greener" yet pro business perspective. Lots of HUGE issues: Sand Mining, CNG, LEED Alternatives, Focus On Energy, LED Lighting R&D, Cleaner Power Generation, Recycling, Power Lines, Electric Cars, Wind, Solar, Bio Fuels, Digestors, Green AG, Business Incentives...And of course the Greenest and Happiest of Holidays to you!

Please consider sponsoring WDNGreen!

WDNews GREEN will be emailed on Mondays, included in WDNews on Thursdays, and online all the time at: WDNGreen.com Each week we will find 10 to 20 articles from Wisconsin and across the Nation dealing with environmental issues. Our goal is to promote environmental excellence from a sound business perspective.

Our resource guide at the bottom of this publication will continue to grow, and you may add links, suggest articles, include your press releases, or comment by eMailing Me. As always thanks for reading, and if you would like to sponsor or get involved call 608.334.2174...   ...more

Ken Notes: Please forward this to friends and colleagues who have an interest in our economy and environment. You may eMail Me Here.

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