From Farms Not Factories: An action alert on the mega hog-feeding operation proposed in Bayfield County

Mary Dougherty | Farms Not Factories

Dear friend of Farms Not Factories, 

Thank you for all your support over the past year! We’ve come a long way since the Bayfield County Board meeting on Feb. 18, 2015, when the supervisors passed a year-long moratorium on siting CAFOs in Bayfield County.

The members of the Large Scale Livestock Study Committee have completed the Herculean task of determining both the risks to public health and safety posed by CAFOs — as well as gaps in the current regulations and legislation— and have produced a report with recommendations based on clear and convincing scientific data.

I’m writing again to ask you — if you haven’t already — to contact the Bayfield County Board of Supervisors before Jan. 26.  It is critical that board members hear a wide range of perspectives from both county constituents and non-county residents so that they appreciate the breadth and depth of support for stringent regulations to protect Lake Superior.

The proposed Badgerwood CAFO remains a threat to the health and welfare of the area. Existing CAFO regulations do not provide adequate protection and are not well enforced by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.  Further, Bayfield County is required by state law to allow a CAFO applicant to locate (site) within the county, so it is not possible to simply “say no to the CAFO.”  

Therefore, Bayfield County is considering an operations ordinance as a means of regulating potential adverse impacts to the community including risks to public health, safety, pollution and nuisances. The supervisors also will be reviewing an animal waste storage and management ordinance that will need to be approved by the DNR and is intended to protect South Fish Creek, one of the sources of Ashland’s drinking water.  

Please call or write to Bayfield County supervisors to express your concerns regarding the CAFO and your support for stringent standards such as those provided by the proposed ordinances. It is critical that board members hear a wide range of perspectives from both Bayfield County constituents and non-Bayfield County residents. 

If you are not a Bayfield County resident, please contact Dennis Pocernich, Bayfield County Supervisor Chairman.  

Here are some tools to help:

  • Tips for letter writing and suggested topics to include
  • An executive summary of the proposed operations ordinance
  • An executive summary of the proposed South Fish Creek Manure Management and Storage Ordinance
  • A district map and contact information for Bayfield County Supervisors 
  • The Large Scale Livestock Study Committee (LSLSC) Report and Recommendations to the Bayfield County Board of Supervisors

It is very important that the county board feels supported as the operations and manure storage ordinance moves forward. Please encourage your friends and neighbors to write letters as well. 

Also, please plan on attending the Bayfield County Board Meeting at the county courthouse in Washburn on Jan. 26 at 6 p.m.

And thanks for lending your voice to this important issue.