Putting Wetlands to Work for Your Community

On October 18th at 6:30 pm at the Oma Town Hall the Iron County Lakes and Rivers Alliance and the Iron County Citizens’ Forum are co-sponsoring a program titled “Putting Wetlands to Work for Your Community”.  The speaker will be Kyle Magyera – Local Government Outreach Specialist for the Wisconsin Wetlands Association. Sounds interesting! For more information, visit http://ironcitizensforum.blogspot.com/

In case you missed it

We’re very grateful to Wendy Thiede for recording Zach Wilson’s excellent presentation about shoreline buffer zones at The Pines last Wednesday night. In case you weren’t able to attend,  you can watch it here.

 

Two things to do this week

Thing one: Buffer zones and the critters that inhabit them with Zach Wilson at The Pines
Iron County Lakes and Rivers Alliance (ICLRA) will present their next educational program on Wednesday, August 31st at 6:00 PM at The Pines Beer Garden in Mercer. Our own Iron County Conservation Specialist, Zach Wilson, will speak to the group.

Leopard frogZach’s program will be on buffer zones and the lesser-known critters that live in and around them. Riparian owners are required to leave buffer zones along the lake shore, but what is a buffer zone and why is it important for habitat? In discussions of the health of our lakes, we often talk about fish and large mammals, but turtles, frogs, dragon flies and other inhabitants also influence the delicate balance in our watersheds. These will be the focus of Zach’s presentation.

Thing two: Fill out this quick survey from the Wisconsin DNR, and tell them what you think!

Are you interested in outdoor recreation in Wisconsin? Do you have thoughts about what is currently available and what’s most needed?  Complete a recently released survey on outdoor recreation in Wisconsin.

Information generated from the survey will be used to develop the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP).  SCORPs are intended to evaluate outdoor recreation trends and issues and set forth ideas about recreation’s future role in the state. Put simply, they are the blueprint for outdoor recreation in the state and provide broad guidance to governments at all levels, communities, businesses and organizations on recreation needs and opportunities.

ICLRA newsletter with program dates

(Edit: more information about the shoreland zoning issue is now available under the “Beyond the Lake” tab at the top of this page, or just click here.)

Dear ICLRA members and friends,

As many of you know 2015-16 was not a good year for protection of our lakes, rivers and the wetlands that feed them. The Wisconsin legislature has made it easier to fill, pollute, and destroy these water resources circumventing Wisconsin’s historic public trust doctrine while appeasing developers, big agriculture and the real estate industry. For over a year ICLRA cooperated with the Iron County Planning and Zoning and Land and Water Conservation Departments to improve shoreland protection. To our dismay, the state government has negated these efforts by overriding all existing Wisconsin county shoreland zoning regulations, taking local control of these policies away from all of us.

Though decades of progress have been reversed, we haven’t surrendered. Please come to the ICLRA summer programs to learn how together we can work to regain those protections and continue to celebrate our greatest resources.

On Wednesday June 29th the first of three ICLRA summer programs will address these issues. Join us at the Pines Beer Garden in Mercer, at 6:00PM, when District 25 Wisconsin state senator Janet Bewley will discuss the loss of local control over our waters. Bob Martini, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, retired, will explain how the new laws effect shoreline protection. It is important for citizens to understand how the legislation enacted in the past five years influences not only protection of water and wildlife and fish habitat, but also the value of real estate. The presentations will be short enough to allow plenty of time for discussion.

ICLRA’s second program, Saturday, July 23rd at 9:00 AM at the Mercer Community Center will feature Zach Wilson, Iron County Land and Conservation specialist, and Sandy Wickman, WDNR, presenting information on resources for riparian owners. This presentation will precede our annual business meeting. At the third program, Zach will talk about the creatures, other than fish, that reside in and around our lakes at a location and date in August to be determined.

All ICLRA programs are free and open to the public, but because our lakes, rivers and wetlands need your support, please join the Iron County Lakes and Rivers Alliance either as a lake association or as an individual.  It only costs $5/year.  Become active in protecting our waters by attending our meetings as well as local and state government meetings and hearings.  Write to your legislators and your governor.

To receive an ICLRA membership forms please email us at ironcountylakesandrivers@gmail.com

Don’t forget our annual Kid’s Free Fishing Day, now changed to Family Free Fishing Day, Saturday, June 4th at Lake of the Falls Park on the Turtle Flambeau Flowage at 10:00 AM. To help us prepare enough food, please register in advance. Please see the attached poster and go towww.ironcountylakesalliance.blogspot.com for more information. Hope to see you at the Pines on the 29th.

Best regards,

Bob Collins

President, Iron County Lakes and Rivers Alliance, Inc.