At the heart of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) mission is ensuring the right of all people to use and enjoy a healthy, sustainable environment and a full range of outdoor opportunities, and bringing together people of diverse perspectives to carry out the public will. To fulfill this mission, the DNR is bringing a climate change and equity lens to its work. That includes ensuring we are addressing environmental and climate change hazards, in particular those that disproportionately impact people with low income, people of color, tribal nations, and other underserved Wisconsinites... ...more
Ken Notes: Not a lot of details and no mention of farming, factories, or PFAS but a commitment to trees and working together was nice to hear...
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Farmers for Sustainable Food, a collaborative,
industry-supported effort to promote and support farmer-led solutions to
environmental challenges, released its first annual progress report
The nonprofit organization of food system partners grew to 40 members
in 2021, up 14 from 2020. Through partnerships with six farmer-led
conservation groups across Wisconsin, FSF supported 231 farmers who
represent 288,925 acres and 243,720 head of livestock. Through an annual
member conservation practice survey, FSF was able to document practices
these farmers are implementing and analyze the potential impact on the
- Reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 49,830 tons. This equals the emissions from 10,737 cars driven for a year.
- Reduced sediment from leaving farm fields by 106,846 tons. One dump truck can carry about 10 tons of soil.
330,471 pounds of phosphorus from leaving farm fields. One pound of
this nutrient that reaches a waterbody can feed 500 pounds of algae...
MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural
Resources (DNR) encourages those with an interest in our natural
environment to participate in the upcoming Wisconsin Summit for Natural Resources Volunteers from October 6-8.
The Summit’s theme is Nature and People: Nurturing Each Other. The
three-day event will feature a choose your own adventure format at
several venues in Waukesha, focusing on small group outdoor workshops,
field explorations and presentations. The event is open to adults 18 and
older. Master Naturalist certification is not required...
A lifeline could disappear due to a pollution lawsuit that has implications for the 1.7 million Wisconsinites who rely on private wells.
They moved in 1979 to Wisconsin`s French Island, an unincorporated community of 4,300. Sandwiched between the Black and Mississippi rivers in the town of Campbell, it forms a picturesque piece of the Driftless Area where people toss tennis balls to their dogs at the beach and cordgrass rustles in the breeze. Visitors can catch water ski shows on Wednesday nights during the summer and grab battered haddock at Tom Sawyer`s Bar & Grill during lunch breaks...
...An industry group sued the Department of Natural Resources in 2021, arguing that the agency can`t force polluters to clean up hazardous PFAS spills without first creating rules. The agency currently oversees the remediation of PFAS from at least 84 sites statewide, including French Island. But environmental rulemaking can take more than two years in Wisconsin due to bureaucratic hurdles Republican lawmakers enacted a decade ago...
Ken Notes: I did suggest exactly this would happen. We must sit down with all the players and affected parties and come to an agreement that we can implement now. There are solutions, but without everyone at the table we are years away from implementation.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) —
A federal judge will allow an oil and gas pipeline to continue to flow
on a northern Wisconsin American Indian reservation while its operators
work to reroute the line around the tribal land.
Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa sued Enbridge in 2019
demanding it remove the section of line that runs across the tribe’s
reservation in Ashland County. The tribe is concerned the pipeline could
rupture and contaminate its drinking water.
Enbridge has been working on a 40-mile reroute around the reservation... ...more
Ken Notes: This will be interesting, like the line under the straights in Michigan, the line, in serious need of repair, may remain operational for a long time. I wish we could sit down and get them upgraded or replaced ASAP. I can see it not when a failure occurs everyone will be blaming everyone else.
Armed with new data on potential health impacts, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is again attempting to regulate toxic “forever chemicals” in the state’s largest source of drinking water.
The DNR is proposing to set groundwater standards for four fluorinated compounds collectively known as PFAS that the Environmental Protection Agency has said are harmful at levels too low to detect with current technology.
The synthetic chemicals, which do not break down naturally, have been linked to health problems including low birth weight, cancer, and liver disease...
Ken Notes: Try try again. This time there are federal standards in place so the going should be easier....
In Wisconsin, some keystone plants stand above all the others: oak trees.
Keystone oaks for the Dairy State include white, bur, swamp white, chinkapin and black.
In fact, the white oak Quercus alba
is listed as the No. 1 keystone plant for nearly the entire state,
according to the National Wildlife Federation’s list of keystone plants
by ecoregion. This is because the white oak amazingly acts as a host
plant for up to 450 species of caterpillars, according to the NWF.
Sounds pretty impressive for this long-lived, low-maintenance, native Wisconsin tree... ...more
Ken Notes: The spring 2023 ordering season will begin on October 3, 2022 contact your county forestry department for information in your area.
All this hour, we`ve been talking about issues where Americans seem to agree on something, say they want something done, but nothing happens. We`re hearing from scholars and journalists who report on these issues and from you. You`ve told us about your frustrations, about issues where you don`t see progress being made despite consensus, and you wonder why. In Wisconsin, we heard about one topic in particular that has many people worried...
Ken Notes:Worth listening...
Americans everywhere facing the impacts of a changing climate on weather, infrastructure, public health, crops and livestock, and the environment finally received the major federal response they’ve been waiting for when President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law on Aug. 16.
It`s been 36 years since members of Congress were first briefed on the risks posed by climate change by NASA’s top climate scientist Dr. James Hansen. After years of increasing urgency but no congressional action, the new law is the first major piece of federal legislation to directly address what is a full-blown climate crisis.
The bill provides $369 billion in new climate-focused funding that will create significant opportunities for families, farms, municipalities, businesses and state governments to play a more significant role in the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. Taken as a whole, the bill is projected to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% below 2005 levels by 2030...
Ken Notes: Imagine if we spent just a fraction of that money on Digestors for CAFO`s where it would really make a significant difference in carbon output, create usable energy, and make our farms safer for our grandchildren....
Sept 8 (Reuters) - In 2007, the U.S. Congress mandated the blending of
biofuels such as corn-based ethanol into gasoline. One of the top goals:
reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
today, the nation’s ethanol plants produce more than double the
climate-damaging pollution, per gallon of fuel production capacity, than
the nation’s oil refineries, according to a Reuters analysis of federal
average ethanol plant chuffed out 1,187 metric tons of carbon emissions
per million gallons of fuel capacity in 2020, the latest year data is
available. The average oil refinery, by contrast, produced 533 metric
tons of carbon...
Ken Notes: I sooo wish we could move away from ethanol fuel and find a global market for our corn and grain products. The program now is not really in the best interest of the environment or our grandchildren but farmers are dependent on the income from it.
GREEN BAY, Wis. — The partners in a new broad climate-smart initiative today touted the potential of the project to greatly expand farmer-led conservation practices and business opportunities.
The groups learned on Wednesday they will receive up to $50 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the initiative through USDA’s new Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities program. The initiative aims to help farmers implement sustainability projects that reduce their carbon footprint, document the improvements and demonstrate value in the supply chain...
Ken Notes: Strange bedfellows and no mention of CAFO`s, Digestion, or other solutions that could make a HUGE difference. We need a "tear down that wall" initiative...
Wisconsin is banding together with six other Midwestern states to promote development of a “clean hydrogen” economy.
states, which also include Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Kentucky,
Ohio, and Indiana, will work together to identify opportunities for
advancing sustainably produced hydrogen, which can be a carbon-free
energy source, according to a non-binding agreement signed by the seven
governors, including five Democrats and two Republicans.
According to a memorandum of understanding, the states view clean hydrogen as an opportunity to leverage existing industry and infrastructure to promote economic growth and energy independence while lowering greenhouse gas emissions...
Ken Notes: Hydrogen is a clean fuel not on many radar screens. A distribution network will be a huge challenge but if we could develop this the potential is there. I have driven a hydrogen car and have seen hydrogen buses and am impressed...
What will it take to bring people together again?
As I watched the annual State of Education address last week I found myself wondering, is bipartisanship dead? ...more
Pushing back on Republican culture war talking points, state schools superintendent Jill Underly used the word “racist” to describe recent Republican efforts to rewrite school curriculum purging so-called critical race theory. Likewise, high-profile campaigns against LGBTQ and transgender education are “harmful and dangerous to students’ emotional safety and mental health,” she said, adding, “pronouns save lives.” And she promised LGBTQ students, “I have your back” against school bullies. Some of those bullies presumably, reading between the lines of the speech, are the Republican legislators Underly was asking to approve $1 billion in new state funding for schools in the same address...
Ken Notes: Ruth outlines the real problems with partisanship and I would agree it is the largest problem in America today! Using one senator to discuss the issue does not help even if the points were valid.
In the past the environment was an area where there was some agreement and bipartisan support but now it is among one of the more polarizing issues. We should create some realistic environmental goals that bring substantial majorities of voters to the table and then ask politicians to get on board.
My career has been about protecting our climate and water for over a decade. There have been few moments of optimism. In August, when President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act, he enacted the biggest climate investment in history. This is a rare moment to celebrate and seize.
The stakes — stability, safety, survival itself — could not be higher. This year, historic heat and droughts cover the West. Floods in Kentucky killed dozens of residents. Here in Wisconsin, we’ve seen record temperatures and rainfall this year, like many recent years. All the while, the cost of dirty fossil fuels keeps going up... ...more
Ken Notes: I agree, but we will not get the bipartisan support we need to move this plan forward long term. We need a plan that has some support on both sides of the isle.
If you ask Iowa farmer Robb Ewoldt about the federal dollars he`s received over the last few years to help make his land more sustainable, it`s clear he`s a big fan.
"It works out really well in our operation," says Ewoldt, who farms corn and soybeans on "just shy of 2,000 acres" near Davenport, Iowa. "We see tremendous benefits in conservation, water quality and carbon sequestration."
He`s been involved with the Conservation Stewardship Program, or CSP, for about eight years now. The program aims to help farmers improve yields, increase the resilience of their fields to extreme weather and maintain and improve their conservation systems — such as no-till and cover crops...
In the coming decades, the climate in the U.S. will heat up to
potentially disastrous levels. While Wisconsin’s long winters will turn
milder, summer temperatures will hit record highs.
That assessment is according to a new study from the nonprofit
research group First Street Foundation focusing on extreme heat events
nationwide. Jeremy Porter, chief research officer of the Foundation,
said climate scientists often warn temperatures will rise a few degrees
on average in the coming decades, and to many, that doesn’t sound like
much. But he said it spells out catastrophic heat.
“Today, about 7 million people are at risk of potentially hitting 125
degree heat index,” he said. “And in 30 years, that number is going to
rise to over 100 million people that are at that same risk. So you can
see not only are the average temperatures changing, but the exposure to
extreme heat events is also changing.”...
Scientists and environmentalists appeal for
more data, noting that research on the ammonia emissions from processed
manure raises troubling questions about a vital element of California’s
climate change strategy.
On summer afternoons, thousands of dairy cows at Bar 20 dairy in Kerman, California, seek shelter from the blazing sun under the shade of open-walled barns. After a frenzy of morning activity, the farm is quiet except for an occasional moo, a deep rumble from a tomato truck passing on nearby Highway 180 or the wind whistling through the barn, carrying the acrid manure scent that permeates the air on the farm. The scene is typical in the San Joaquin Valley, an agricultural region that produces more milk than any other part of the country...
See Also: ...more
Ken Notes: I never said it was easy. I do love California figuring it out for the rest of us...
Mark your calendar for September 22 at 5pm, that’s when the 2022 Community Shares of Wisconsin “Change-Makers” award ceremony
will be held. Today, Jan talks with the “Collaboration Award Winner”
recipients, which include Alison Werner from the Wisconsin River
Alliance, Hannah Mortensen of the Wisconsin Environmental Health
Network, and Tony Wilkin Gibart of Midwest Environmental Advocates.
These three groups, along with Citizens for a Clean Wausau, Clean Water
Advocates of NE WI worked together against the Wisconsin Manufacturers
and Commerce, who were trying to undermine the DNR’s “Spills Law”, which
requires companies who are responsible for hazardous spills to clean
It’s been a good week for beavers. On Monday, the New York Times ran an article highlighting the rodents’ position as “highly skilled environmental engineers” capable of mitigating threats like wildfires and drought. The same day, the San Francisco Chronicle dubbed beavers “one of California’s best chances to fight climate change.” And on Tuesday the Los Angeles Times reported that the Golden State is seeking applications for its brand-new beaver restoration unit to protect this “untapped, creative climate solving hero.”
And it’s not just California; pro-beaver policy changes are happening across the US. Here’s the Times:..
"In Wisconsin, one study found that beavers could substantially reduce
flooding in some of the most vulnerable areas of Milwaukee County."
Wisconsin utility regulators have approved a suite of electric vehicle charging programs that Madison Gas and Electric says will help it prepare for the emerging technology while lowering costs for consumers.
The Public Service Commission voted unanimously Thursday to approve three new charging programs for homeowners, apartment dwellers and fleet managers and cement a program that MGE has been testing over the past six years....
MARINETTE—Fincantieri Marinette Marine, a world-class shipbuilder, is making those ships in an environmentally friendly way.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on Thursday welcomed FMM as a Tier 1 participant of the state’s Green Tier program. The DNR’s Green Tier program recognizes organizations committed to going above and beyond compliance to improve their environmental performance and impact. Green Tier empowers organizations who are on the path to sustainability by requiring them to use a systematic approach to minimize environmental risk...
Landfill space is a precious and possibly finite commodity in an urban area.
The Orchard Ridge Landfill in Menomonee Falls, the largest in the state, was close to capacity in 2019 with a pile of waste nearly 16 stories high. It expanded its footprint by 40 acres, and now has plans for more capacity.
Nationally, about 108 billion pounds of food — equaling 130 billion meals and more than $408 billion worth of food — are wasted each year in the United States, according to Feeding America...
Managed grazing is one of several ways farmers can implement climate-friendly practices, and after a lengthy absence, a key source of federal aid has been restored.
Late this summer, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced up to $12 million to be shared by groups providing technical assistance for farmers considering managed grazing.
Laura Paine, outreach coordinator for the University of Wisconsin-Madison-based project Grassland 2.0, said managed grazing primarily relies on pasture forage for livestock...
Ken Notes: We need a marketing program for Managed grazing, like they do with free range chickens and eggs. Organic Valley is doing some of this now...
A project aimed at mitigating the amount of toxic chemicals leaching into Madison’s waterways from the Dane County Regional Airport has been delayed yet again, according to an airport spokesperson...
More electric cars will be sold in the country this year than in the rest of the world combined, as its domestic market accelerates ahead of the global competition.
Record amounts of greenhouse gas released into the atmosphere according to the latest State of the Climate Report. Data from more than 530 scientists in over 60 countries indicates climate change shows no sign of slowing. Symbiont, a Mead & Hunt company, is addressing this by leveraging innovative renewable natural gas (RNG) technologies. The engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) firm develops facilities that convert organic waste into RNG, a carbon-neutral energy source, throughout the country... ...more
VIROQUA - When Gail Frie moved to Viroqua in the 1990s, he noticed a divide in the small western Wisconsin city between older residents, many of them farmers, and younger progressives who`d come there seeking a quieter life.
It`s not an uncommon split, especially in more rural areas. But in time, Frie noticed the relationship improving — bolstered by a shared value of the land and a desire to protect it.
Those shared values, Frie suspects, are what has generated across-the-board excitement about a new venture for the local cemetery: green burial....
Bacteria, the smallest living organisms in the world, form
communities where unified bodies of individuals live together,
contribute a share of the property and share common interests.
The soil around a plant’s roots contains millions of organisms
interacting constantly — too many busy players to study at once, despite
the importance of understanding how microbes mingle.
In a study published in the journal mBio,
researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison learned that a
drastically scaled-down model of a microbial community makes it possible
to observe some of the complex interactions. In doing so, they
discovered a key player in microbial communication: the presence or
absence of an antibiotic compound produced by one of the community
members affected the behavior of the other two members... ...more
Ken Notes: This could be the next big thing and UW is leading the charge...
Agronomy PhD student partners with American Family Insurance to study best invasive species management methods
They’re fuzzy, they’re furry, they’re funny and they eat everything. But are goats the best option to manage Wisconsin’s invasive species? Agronomy Ph.D. student Stefania Cartoni Casamitjana is trying to find out. ...more
Casamitjana is a member of the Renz Weed Science lab and she is working on a multi-year study to determine the best invasive species management practices. The study includes two test sites — one in Prairie du Sac and another at the American Family Insurance national headquarters on Madison’s east side.
When you picture Wisconsin, setting aside our sports teams, you probably see green and blue.
Green as in the fields and forests, from the Driftless Region in western Wisconsin to the towering pines of Up North. Blue as in the waters of our Great Lakes, but also the sky over thousands of inland lakes, rivers and streams.
From camping to hunting, hiking to canoeing, we know that the environment plays a key role in the lives of state residents, who want coverage of places to go and things to do, but also want to know about threats to the environment, from harmful PFAS chemicals to algae blooms in Green Bay to invasive species in Lake Michigan.
And, of course, they want to know what government and other groups are doing to address those concerns.
That`s where our journalists come in... ...more
Ken Notes: Share this and if you want to be included:
Call us - 608.334.2174 or Editor [at] WDNGreen.com....
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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:
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.
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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