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CAFO WDNR says EIS needed for proposed CAFO Tribes urge for additional scrutiny By Sue Erickson Staff Writer OdanahWis.Aprocessusinganenvironmentalimpactstate- ment EIS will be used by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources WDNR for the proposed Badgerwood swine operation in Bayfield County Wisconsin. This announcement on June 30 drew a sigh of relief from tribes citizens and local governments who had urged the WDNR for an EIS on the proposed concentrated animal feeding operation CAFO in the Town of Eileen. GLIFWCs Voigt Intertribal Task Force raised concerns about the proposed CAFO in Bayfield County during a regular meeting last spring. Those concerns were addressed in a letter dated June 22 2015 to theWDNR fromAnn McCammon Soltis Director GLIFWC Divi- sion of Intergovernmental Affairs. Both the Bad River and the Red Cliff Tribes submitted letters each with the same requestprepare an EIS on the proposed CAFO. In GLIFWCs letter McCammon Soltis urged the WDNR to prepare an EIS which would reveal potential impacts from the swine feeding operation 26000 swine on surface and groundwater as well as the air. Proposed by Reicks View Farms of Lawler Iowa to be located in the heart of the 1842 ceded territory the Badgerwood CAFOs operation is in proximity to the Fish Creek and White River water- sheds both tributaries to Lake Superior about ten miles downstream of the proposed site. McCammon Soltis points out that most of the waste would not only be spread out over 800 acres in the south Fish Creek watershed but also in the White River watershed. The soils in both those areas are deep clay increasing the likelihood that storm-event runoff will increase eutrophication in downstream waters she states. Future problems arising due to an overload of nutrients running off into the regions waterways and Chequamegon Bay are also a major concern of the Bad River Tribe. Potential nutrient overload was also discussed in a letter from the National Park Service NPS. NPS Superintendent Robert Krumenaker wrote due to potential water qual- ity impacts related to spreading manure on Fish Creek Chequamegon Bay and ultimately in Lake Superior and other protected natural resources of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore I strongly encourage the state to conduct a detailed environmental analysisrather than rely on an equivalent analysis. Krumenaker noted earlier that the phosphorous levels are already very high in Fish Creek waters which drain into Lake Superior and have the potential of negatively impacting nearshore waters of Lake Superior. In particular he drew attention to the protected piping plover on Long Island shores. Central to tribal concern is the continued ability to exercise treaty rights to harvest clean and healthy natural resources in the ceded territory. The proposed CAFO has the potential to jeopardize the wellbeing of the resources upon which the tribes depend resources such as fish and manoomin wild rice. McCammon Soltis reminded the WDNR that they must be accountable for impacts on the treaty rights of GLIFWC member tribes and that they do not have the discretion to issue permits or make management decisions unconstrained by the existence of those rights. Shecalledforgovernment-to-governmentconsultationinthedecision-making process and also points out that state regulations call for the preparation of an EIS when certain criteria are met. Bad River points out that of the eight criteria needed to justify an EIS seven are already met. The criteria include 1. The project involves multiple department actions. 2. Theprojectmaybeinconflictwithlocalstateorfederalenvironmental policies. 3. The project may set a precedent for reducing or limiting environmental protection. 4. The project may result in deleterious effects over large geographic areas. 5. The project may result in long-term deleterious effects that are prohibitively difficult or expensive to reverse. 6. The project may result in deleterious effects on especially important critical or sensitive environmental resources. 7. The project involves broad public controversy. 8. The project may result in substantial risk to human life health or safety. The Tribe points out that numerous state and federal designations intended to protect Lake Superior and the Chequamegon Bay as well as the Fish Creek Water- shed and the Whittlesey Creek National Wildlife Refuge are already in place. The Tribe also notes that it has water quality standards in place that are enforceable under the federal Clean Water Act. While excessive nutrient run-off could cause long term problems in the watersheds and Lake Superior Bad River also suggests that ammonia could cause additional health problems related to air quality and human inhalation of ammonia. Localjurisdictionsare also takinga cautionaryapproach and BayfieldCounty has established a 12-18 month moratorium on siting a CAFO in the county and the issue has also given rise to significant public debate. The WDNR will be releasing details on the scoping process for the EIS and methods to provide input in the near future. Pigs in a CAFO. reprinted from AAAAAAAAAks3N3ncbq8sCss1600HogConfineBjustrom5.JPG area.Thinkingaheadforthechildrenand grandchildren requires keeping the land and water clean. We need to do all we can to preserve these gifts for the future generations McFaggen emphasized. The Sandpiper route favored by Enbridge Energy runs a few miles south of Sandy Lake. The historical and cul- tural significance of Sandy Lake is a sensitive topic for many Ojibwe and the proposed pipeline has the potential to reopen still-healing wounds. The 1850 Sandy Lake Tragedy resulted in the death of around 400 Ojibwe people who were lured there by government officials. The officials designated Sandy Lake as the place for theOjibwetoreceivetheirannuitieslate in the fall attempting to force a removal from Wisconsin and Michigan to the Minnesota territory.When thousands of Ojibwearrivedthereweretotallyinade- quateprovisionsandnoannuities.Partial payments finally arrived in December but many perished of disease during the long cold wait. Several hundred others perished on the snowy trek home. AccordingtoRepresentativeAubid Sandy Lake community members con- tinued to experience ethnic cleansing and violations of their rights what happened in 1850 never relented it just took on more subtle forms. In 1855 the reservation at Sandy Lake measured about one mile around but by 1910 all of the tribal land had been sold to non- Indiansettlerswithonlyasmallgroupof community members remaining. Indian agents continued their efforts at moving community members to cities or other reservations and in 1940 they burned the last remaining village. Still community members came back drawn back to their homelands to harvest manoomin every year and visit with friends and family members at the community powwows held six to eight times a year. Aubid believes that along with being a reminder of the unfulfilled promises of the Great White Father Sandy Lake represents the dream of an ancient homeland. Today Mille Lacs Band members are looking forward to a good crop of manoominonSandyLakeandsurround- ing waters. They remain firm in their commitment to protect the manoomin and their waters even with the news that the PUC granted Enbridge Energy its Certificate of Need on the same day the hearing was held. ChiefExecutiveBenjaminpledged that the Band will fight all activities that threaten their culture health natural resources and rights to harvest. Mille Lacs Band elder Misk- waanakwadofferedhope.Herecounted When I was a baby I had a vision of a spring at Sandy Lake. This spring is going to flow so that the Indians have clean water to drink. I learned that that waterisnevergoingtobepollutedbythe white man. The pipeline is not going to be here. The water is going to be clean. Concerns voiced about manoomin wetlands sacred placesContinued from page 2 MAZINAIGAN PAGE 10 FALL 2015