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Wisconsin Citizens Demanding Policies To Protect Water Resources

More Than 400 People Head To Madison For Citizen's Water Lobby Day


People across the state are hopping a bus to Madison on Wed., Feb. 8, for Citizen’s Water Lobby Day. They’re calling on lawmakers to support policies that protect the state’s water resources.

Bayfield’s Mary Dougherty said 400 people are making the trip to the state capitol, but she expects to see 600 people at the event. Dougherty, president of the Sustain Rural Wisconsin Network, said they’ll speak with lawmakers on a variety of issues.

“Our common ground is that we are demanding responsible water policy,” she said. “As far as what are people going to ask, it is truly up to them. We have given some guidelines on how to act with your elected officials. We have asked them to write their own stories to create a specific ask.”

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Dougherty said she’s concerned about the state’s oversight of concentrated animal feeding operations or CAFOs.

“There is a proposal for a 26,000 hog CAFO in the Lake Superior basin and that 26,000 hog CAFO is going to produce upward of 10 million gallons of manure a year,” she said. “And I’m very concerned and alarmed at the amount of manure and the lack of DNR regulation, lack of DNR enforcement that we have seen across the state as it relates to CAFOs.”

Dougherty said she hopes to see more people take part in civic engagement.

“The democracy goes off the track because the elected officials aren’t aware what our wishes are,” she said. “And so the hope of this action or Citizen’s Water Lobby is to bring citizens back into this conversation, to have a communication with our elected officials, to give them the most information they can.”

Dougherty said that way lawmakers will be able to make the best decisions when they take up bills affecting water resources. The Citizen’s Water Lobby will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the State Capitol in Madison room 412 east.