Talking point suggestions in communicating with your county board supervisor in support of one year moratorium extension on CAFOs in Crawford County
Make your engagement with your board supervisor (representative) an open two-way conversation. Some representatives will want to have more of a conversation than others. It is important to listen and give your supervisor time to respond.
Maintain an attitude of politeness and a respectful tone throughout your interaction.
Keep your comments short, respectful, and to the point. Thank them for taking time with you to discuss this matter.
This is not meant to be a script. Rather, suggestions that might be helpful in your interaction with your board representative. Please enter your communication with your representative with an open mind.
*Introduce yourself as a person, let them know you live in their district, ask them how they are doing.
*Thank the representative for his/her work on the county board.
*State your support for a one year CAFO moratorium extension (written into the original ordinance) and thank the County Board for their decision in passing the moratorium last year.
*The basic idea of the moratorium is to offer the county an opportunity to collect and review science-based research on CAFOs as they pertain to health, safety, and welfare of all citizens. This includes not only Livestock Siting, but road safety, and manure handling, for examples.
*Crawford County’s CAFO Moratorium Ordinance has now been heavily impacted by the pandemic. The County Board set enacted a CAFO Study Committee to compile studies, review data, aggregate public concerns, and find potential solutions. We all looked to the Driftless Area Water Study (DAWS) to provide critical missing information on the current state of our groundwater. However, a pandemic hit, and we were forced to cancel our county CAFO Study Committee meetings for months, and postpone the well testing to be done through DAWS until this October and next April.
*In favor of extension of the Crawford County CAFO Moratorium, we have:
– a majority of the County CAFO Study Committee
– all involved county staff from the County Conservation and Health Departments, as well as UW Extension
– overwhelming support from the public at the CAFO Study Committee’s public input Community Dialogue
– Midwest Environmental Advocates legal brief and County Legal Counsel advice supporting the legal soundness of such an action
– 15 organizations (focused on hunting and fishing, good governance, water and environmental protection, and agriculture, including unanimous votes of support by our local Farmers Union chapters).
*The Crawford County Board has resolved that our county is a special sensitive area due to our sensitive karstic geology (fractured bedrock) and the resulting groundwater susceptibility to contamination. The Wisconsin Natural Resource Board is in the process of considering such a designation for Southwestern Wisconsin.
*Crawford Stewardship Project has been participating in the monitoring of surface water quality in Crawford County for a decade. Through this water quality monitoring (WQM) we have seen increasingly disturbing results. Skyrocketing levels of phosphorus and E.coli, which are now routinely measured at levels literally off the charts.
*Increased frequency and severity of extreme weather events means we need to be extra prepared and careful with our land use practices. These now common precipitation deluges show us how a changing climate can negatively impact our ability to prevent runoff and infiltration of nutrients into our groundwater.
*We are in a rural and family farm crisis Wisconsin leads the nation in losses of family farms, threatening our rural communities and agricultural legacy. Economic circumstances and misguided policies have driven down prices and incentivized expansion and consolidation, again, at great cost to our rural communities and environment. We need local vision and planning to help us determine the future of agriculture in Crawford County.
*CAFOs are linked to drinking water and air contamination In eastern Wisconsin where detailed studies have been done, proximity to liquid manure lagoons, and spreading on row crops have been identified as the primary risk factors for drinking water contamination in karst areas, like Crawford County. A high concentration of CAFOs in eastern WI has coincided with a drinking water crisis. Neighbors bear the effects to quality of life, as well as health concerns from odors and other air emissions that include hydrogen sulfide and ammonia.
*We do not know the quality of drinking water in Crawford County The Southwest Wisconsin Groundwater and Geology Study done in Grant, Iowa, and Lafayette Counties has found concerning levels of contamination from nitrates and pathogens, in the first systematic study of regional drinking water. The Driftless Area Water Study, currently developing in Crawford, Vernon, and Richland Counties will finally fill this information gap locally in 2020.
*Wisconsin has recognized that the current rules do not protect drinking water, but has yet to act ATCP 51 “Livestock Siting” is a one-size-fits-all regulation that does not adequately protect groundwater in sensitive areas like Crawford County. Recently, the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) went through a revision process for ATCP 51. After three review periods, extensive expert and stakeholder input, and DATCP staff revisions, the agency prepared a proposed rule packet. However, the Deputy Secretary of DATCP pulled the proposed ATCP 51 revisions four days before the Board vote. Without board approval, it will likely take years to review and update this law. The WI DNR may soon begin updating their sensitive areas designations and creating targeted performance standards, likely to include Crawford County karst areas. A moratorium would help Crawford County bridge the gaps while state and local governments decide how to act.
*CAFOs have economic impacts Property values have decreased up to 27% in close proximity to a CAFO, with lesser reductions within a one and two-mile radius. CAFOs can also be incompatible with other businesses and land uses, affecting some business, tourism, residential and recreational development. This impact can more than offset any low-paid jobs likely to be brought in by a CAFO
If you have any questions or please feel free to contact:
Community Engagement Coordinator Eli Mandel, 608-632-4213, or firstname.lastname@example.org