A highly successful Six-County Lakes Meeting Lake association leaders and lake advocates from northeast Wisconsin gathered at Nicolet College on July 13 for the annual Six-County Meeting. A total of 67 participants represented Oneida, Vilas, Lincoln, Langlade, Oconto and Iron counties.
Patrick Goggin of the UW-Extension lake specialist gave an introduction and described the wealth of lake education materials available on the website at www.uwsp.edu/cnr-ap/UWEXLakes.
Michael Engleson, executive director of Wisconsin Lakes (www.wisconsinlakes.org), outlined his organization’s involvement in state legislative matters including small-scale dredging in impoundment lakes, shoreland zoning, recreational watercraft, boating safety, and others.
The featured guest speaker James Brakken, who shared advice on lake protection from his book, Saving Our Lakes and Streams: 101 Practical Things You Can Do Today. He observed that, “Governments tell us what to do, but don’t tell us why.” His book, he explained, gives the “why” of the various lake protection tips and helps people understand healthy ways to live with their lakes. More information is available at www.badgervalley.com .
The concluding presentation featured OCLRA president Bob Martini, representing the Wisconsin’s Green Fire group (https://wigreenfire.org/) advocating for science-based environmental regulation of water, he drew on his long career with the Wisconsin DNR to describe how responsible regulation on controlling dams, cleaning up the Wisconsin River, and dealing with acid rain helped the environment, the public’s interests and the economy, while also benefiting the industries regulated by helping them save energy and in some cases create new revenue streams by turning what had been waste materials into valuable products.
OCLRA Annual Meeting The six-county session was followed by the Annual Meeting of the OCLRA Board. President Bob Martini outlined the accomplishments of the past year, including:
Monitoring of the Oneida County Planning and Development (P&D) Committee meetings, mainly by Bob and Sue Thome.
Testimony to the P&D committee on timely issues.
Continued distribution of the booklet, “Doing the Right Thing for Our Lakes and Streams.”
Submission of weekly articles on lake stewardship to the Lakeland Times.
An active Education Committee working on projects that include supplying information on shoreland best practices to the county planning department for distribution to building permit applicants.
Ongoing newspaper, radio and TV publicity about OCLRA activities and good lake protection practices.
Work on these priorities will continue in the year ahead.
In other business Jean Roach resigned from the board and will be replaced by Larold (Lud) Lodholz, who will also succeed Jean as president of the Pelican Lake Property Owners Association. Jean received a hearty thank you from board members for her years of service.
Trout Lake Station Open House
The University of Wisconsin Center for Limnology’s Trout Lake Research Station will hold its annual Open House on Friday, August 3, from 1 to 5 p.m. The event includes boat rides, arts and crafts, fish and aquatic plant exhibits, demonstrations, and free Babcock Dairy ice cream. The station is on Highway N, one-half mile west of the intersection of Highways M and N near Boulder Junction.
-------------------- OCLRA eNews: June 20, 2018
“Saving Our Lakes and Rivers” is topic for July 13 meeting of northern county lake groups
Leaders of lake groups from six northern Wisconsin counties will discuss “Saving Our Lakes and Rivers at a meeting on Friday, July 13, at Nicolet College in Rhinelander.
The meeting, from 9 a.m. to noon, will explore ways to encourage lake residents and lake users to take actions to protect lake and stream water quality and the scenic values of the Northwoods. The featured speaker is James A. Brakken, author of the book, “Saving Our Lakes and Streams: 101 Practical Things You Can Do Today?”
Brakken is president of the Northwest Water Consortium, a past president of Wisconsin Lakes, and a Wisconsin lakes Stewardship Award member, as well as an award-winning writer. The meeting is expected to draw attendees from Oneida, Vilas, Forest, Langlade, Lincoln, and Iron counties.
Steve Budnik, president of the Vilas County Lakes and Rivers Association, will start the meeting with a welcome. Michael Engleson, executive director of Wisconsin Lakes, will outline current statewide lake-related issues.
Bob Martini, president of the Oneida County Lakes and Rivers Association, will report on progress with Wisconsin’s Green Fire, an organization of scientists and others devoted to natural resource policies based on sound science. Patrick Goggin, UW-Extension lakes specialist, will lead a discussion of current issues and best management practices for lake property owners.
The event will include exhibits from lake-related organizations, along with pre-meeting coffee and refreshments. Annual meetings of countywide lake associations will follow the session. For more information, contact Bob Martini at 715-282-5896 or Steve Budnik at 715-686-7852.
-------------------------- OCLRA eNews: May 15, 2018
Oneida County looks to craft mining ordinance to protect water resources The Oneida County Planning and Development Committee is at work crafting a mining ordinance to meet a state-imposed deadline of July 1. That is the date set by the state legislature for counties to adjust their local mining ordinances to reflect changes in state mining laws. A large metallic mineral deposit lies under county-owned forest land in the Town of Lynne, and the concern is that mining, if not effectively regulated, could damage lakes, streams and other valuable resources.
The county has hired an attorney, who is also a geologist, to help examine the existing county mining ordinance and recommend improvements. This issue is important to anyone who cares about the future of the county’s waters.
-------------------- OCLRA eNews: January 23, 2018 In the past two years, OCLRA has worked to educate Oneida County residents about good property management practices that can help protect our lakes. Now we are entering a new and exciting phase.
The Oneida County Planning and Development Committee has agreed to allow the county zoning department to work with OCLRA on educational materials for shoreline property owners. The materials will be created by the OCLRA Education Committee in cooperation with county staff. They will emphasize not only what is and what is not allowed under zoning regulations but what residents can do voluntarily to limit their impact on lake water quality.
OCLRA president Bob Martini noted that since the state legislature has limited the county’s ability to protect lakes through regulation, the best course is to emphasize enforcement of the zoning protections that remain, while relying on education to help people do the right things in their self-interest and for the lakes’ benefit.