Panel discussion: climate change and its effect on WI life & culture

MADISON—Whether it’s fruit from our orchards, winter recreation, water quality, wildlife habitat, or traditions we  cherish, aspects of life in Wisconsin are changing along with the climate. These changes will profoundly influence the way we live and do business in Wisconsin. 

Free and open to the the public, the panel discussion takes place at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, November 12, at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art lecture hall in Madison.

Patty Loew, author and former co-host of In Wisconsin, moderates a discussion with three panelists:
  • Michelle Miller: Associate Director, Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems, UW–Madison. Miller discusses changes in agriculture, with stories of orcharders, growers, and grazers whose multi-generational cultivation of crops such as cherries, apples, and cranberries are faced with increasingly extreme weather and other climate-related challenges.
  • Jim St. Arnold: Program Director/Traditional Ecological Knowledge Coordinator, Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission. St. Arnold shares the story of the challenges the Ojibwe face in continuing  taditions of gathering wild rice, harvesting birch bark, and making maple syrup that are central to their culture, food sources, spiritual practice, and economic stability.
  • Stanley Temple: Beers-Bascom Professor Emeritus in Conservation, UW–Madison, and Senior Fellow, Aldo Leopold Foundation. Temple frames the discussion with a description of what climate change adaptation and mitigation looks like through the lens of ecology, ethics, and economics, including how hunting, fishing, and other outdoor recreation is affected by a changing climate.
In addition to addressing questions from the audience, panelists will explore strategies for cultivating resilience in the face of rapid change, from shoring up food systems to conserving habitats that support vulnerable species.
Hosted by the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, & Letters. Please register in advance at www.wisconsinacademy.org/climatepanel
For those who cannot attend, this talk will also be live-streamed beginning at 7:00 pm. Follow this link to tune in to the live stream, or visit this link afterward for archived video: www.wisconsinacademy.org/climatepanelSTREAM.

Help design and plant a community rain garden !

Community meeting to learn more and share your ideas about a community project to clean up our environment and make our neighborhood a better place.

All ages are welcome!

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013
Time: 6:00—7:00pm

Catholic Multicultural Center
1862 Beld Street, Madison, WI 53713

Gain hands on experience designing and planting a rain garden Connect with resources for planting a rain garden in your own yard Learn more about environmental issues affecting our neighborhood Make our neighborhood a better place to live Become involved with the CMC.

Rain gardens are plantings of native plants that help protect our groundwater, lakes and streams and create wild-life habitat.

Interested in participating? Sign up now!
Laura Green at :
(608) 441-1180 or


Dirty construction site sucks the blood of Lake Wingra


The construction site for apartments, at the corner of Arbor Dr. and Knickerbocker St., has been consistently poor in its erosion control. It's just a stones throw from Lake Wingra.

On Oct. 26...
  • There was concrete slurry leaking directly into a stormwater inlet.
  • The street had not been swept--fine dust was blowing about.
  • Stormwater inlets were dirty and not maintained.
  • One stormwater inlet next to the construction entrance had no visible protection.
  • Construction entrances were not adequate.

More photos.


Important hearing Oct 24--help us to protect local control !!

Senate Public Hearing
Committee on Workforce Development, Forestry, Mining, and Revenue
9:30 am Thursday, October 24, 2013
Capitol Building, Room 411 South

"Healthy communities are built through local planning: neighbors working together to decide what they value, how and where growth should occur, and what problems they want to solve; citizens electing representatives to enact policies that reflect their priorities; and businesses working with local leaders to address concerns about the impacts of their operations.

Through our work with local governments and private landowners, we have seen just how effective communities can be in working together to protect their own public health, safety, and welfare.

This way of life is under attack in Wisconsin. 

Yesterday afternoon, the state Senate announced that a hearing will be held tomorrow (Oct. 24) on SB 349, a sweeping bill that removes the ability of counties, cities, villages, towns, and other local districts to enact or enforce independent ordinances that govern water and air quality, and water quantity.

The bill forbids local governments from establishing standards, requiring permits, or requiring monitoring to protect air and water quality or water quantity unless the policy is specifically authorized by the legislature. In one broad sweep, with no local debate, this would invalidate a wide range of existing policies, including protections for inland wetlands administered by Barron, Bayfield, Burnett, Langlade, Dane, Dodge, Door, Florence, Kenosha, Oconto, Price, Shawano, Waukesha, Washburn, and many other counties.

The bill also undermines local influence over the proposed Gogebic Taconite mine in northern Wisconsin and significantly erodes local governments' ability to protect citizens and local air and water from the ill-effects of non-metallic mining, including frac sand mining. In fact, it blatantly overturns a recent WI Supreme Court decision upholding the authority of Wisconsin towns to use tools other than zoning to regulate local industries.
 While we support enactment of statewide standards to ensure minimum land and water resource protections, we also believe that every community has a right to go above and beyond these minimum measures, as they see fit, to protect their citizens, natural resources, and quality of life.

Please join us in speaking against SB 349 and for maintaining local control of land and water resources by:

Erin O'Brien  
Wetland Policy Director