OCLRA eNews – May 2024

OCLRA eNews – May 2024
Please share this information and the OCLRA website (www.oclra.org)
with the members of your lake association, district and/or friends
group and with your personal networks.
The next OCLRA Board meeting is Monday, June 10, from 9 to 11 a.m., at
the ADRC building in Rhinelander, across the parking lot from Trig’s
grocery. You will receive the agenda in advance and there will be an option
to attend via Zoom. All are welcome.
Reminder: Six-County Lakes and Rivers Meeting
Help make a difference for our waters. Join OCLRA
Do you like clear-cutting of lake shorelines?
Enhanced wake regulation: Dominos falling
Green Fire updates report on wakeboat ecosystem impacts
Conservation Congress wake questions gain overwhelming support
EPA reports on health of the nation’s rivers and streams
Glacial Lakes Partnership issues Shoreline Living Volume 2
2024 Lights Out events set for June and August
Wisconsin Lakes and Rivers Partnership honors lake stewards
Webinar highlights linkage between water quality and property value
Wisconsin Wetlands Association presents Coffee Breaks
The Underworld: Dives into the deepest recesses of the oceans
Reminder: Six-County Lakes and Rivers Meeting
“Protecting Our Waters: We’re All Connected! is the theme for the
Northwoods Six County Lakes and Rivers Meeting on Friday, July 12, at
Lakeside Center on the Nicolet College campus in Rhinelander. The
meeting opens at 8:30 a.m. with refreshments and exhibits. The agenda
includes an update on state government policy related to water resources,
a talk on climate change and its effects on our lakes and rivers, a
presentation on PFAS contamination of surface waters, and a panel
discussion on the interconnection of water resources. The meeting is free
of charge, there is no need to register, and all are welcome.
Help make a difference for our waters. Join OCLRA

OCLRA has embarked on another busy working on behalf of our county’s
water resources. Now is the time to show your support and commitment by
joining our organization or renewing your individual or lake group
membership. The bigger our OCLRA community and the stronger our base
of support, the more we can accomplish in protecting our waters, natural
shorelines, scenery, and property values. To establish or renew your
membership, visit www.oclra.org.
Do you like clear-cutting of lake shorelines?
Did you know that in Oneida County (unlike Vilas) it is legal to clear-cut the
trees and shrubs within the strip of land known as the access and viewing
corridor on waterfront properties? OCLRA believes that such clearcutting is
detrimental to aquatic ecosystems, harmful to Northwoods scenery, and
detrimental to property values and the county’s tourism economy. We
would like to see the county’s Shoreland Protection Ordinance include a
prohibition on clear-cutting on waterfronts. Please watch for developments
on this issue. Meantime, if you would like to express an opinion on the
topic, send an email to oclra100@gmail.com.
Enhanced wake ordinances: Dominos falling
There are several recent developments in local regulation of enhanced
wakes. The Newbold Town Board (Oneida County) has voted unanimously
to prohibit generation of enhanced wakes on all town lakes and on border
lakes that have at least 60% of their shoreline in the township. The Lake
Tomahawk Town Board has passed a ban on enhanced wakes covering all
lakes entirely within town borders (Lake Tomahawk is not included because
it is not entirely within the township). The Lac du Flambeau Tribal Council
passed an emergency rule to ban any operation of a wakeboat within the
reservation boundaries. Two Waupaca County towns have scheduled a
public hearing for June 9 on ordinances that could restrict the use of
wakeboats on the Waupaca Chain within their borders.
Green Fire updates report on wakeboat ecosystem impacts
Wisconsin’s Green Fire has updated its report, “The Effects of Wake Boats
on Lake Ecosystem Health: A Literature Review.” It compiles findings from
more than 200 scientific studies and enumerates negative effects from
wakeboat use in lakes, including spread of invasive species, shoreline

erosion, damage aquatic plants, resuspension of sediment, and harm to
birds and fish. Meanwhile, Green Fire’s May Compass Points newsletter is
available on the group’s website.
Conservation Congress wake questions gain overwhelming support
Three citizen-submitted questions regarding wakeboats and the regulation
of ballasted wake sports were overwhelmingly approved at the Wisconsin
Conservation Congress Spring Hearings, according to information released
by the DNR. The questions included requests to either ban wakeboat
ballast tank use in Wisconsin or limit their use to tanks that can be
adequately decontaminated to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive
species. A question also asked whether the state should enact standards
limiting where ballasted wake sports would be allowed in the state. All three
questions received votes in favor at a margin of 3-to-1. With passage,
these proposals will work their way through the Conservation Congress
process, and may be presented to DNR and legislators to consider. The
results are advisory only.
EPA reports on health of the nation’s rivers and streams
The U.S. EPA has released its National Rivers and Streams Assessment
report, presenting the results of the 2018-2019 survey of perennial rivers
and streams in the 48 contiguous United States. The survey provides
information on the extent of stream miles that support healthy biological
conditions and recreation. Among much else, the report indicates that
healthy habitat occurred in over half of river and stream miles but that less
than one-third of river and stream miles (28%) had healthy biological
communities.
Glacial Lakes Partnership issues Shoreline Living Volume 2
Building on the success of its original Shoreline Living booklet, the Midwest
Glacial Lakes Partnership has released Shoreline Living Volume 2. Both
publications tell the stories of lakefront property owners who have applied a
variety of best stewardship practices on their shorelines. Practices featured
in Volume 2 include woody habitat restoration in the water (fish sticks),
wildflower plantings, and conservation easements motivated by waterfowl
protection and family traditions. These booklets are beautifully written and

illustrated and deserve wide distribution. You can view them online or order
print copies from the Extension Lakes Bookstore.
2024 Lights Out events set for June and August
Save the Dates for 2024 Lights Out! One of the best things about living in
the Northwoods is enjoying the starry skies. The weekends of June 7-9 and
Aug 2-4 are reserved for voluntary Lights Out! events to help bring
awareness of darkness as a natural resource. For information contact Quita
Sheehan at mashee@vilascountywi.gov or 715-479-3721. In the meantime,
check out some great info on why dark skies are important.
Wisconsin Lakes and Rivers Partnership honors lake stewards
The Wisconsin Lakes & Rivers Partnership presented four 2024 Wisconsin
Lake Stewardship Awards at the Lakes & Rivers Convention in April in
Stevens Point. The winners are:
 Jeff Meessmann, Last Wilderness Alliance, Excellence in Public
Engagement Award
 Kerry Romsa, Pelican Lake Association, Excellence in Building
Partnerships Award
 Big Doctor Lake Association, Programmatic Excellence for Lake Health
Award
 Tracy Arnold, Portage County Land & Water Conservation, Excellence
in Professional Service Award
The winners are nominated to the North American Lake Management
Society’s award program for potential national recognition.
Webinar highlights linkage between water quality and property value
The Midwest Glacial Lakes Partnership Lake held a webinar, “Valuing lake
water quality in the United States using a national dataset on property
values.” A recording of the webinar is posted on YouTube.
Wisconsin Wetlands Association presents Coffee Breaks
The Wetland Coffee Break series sponsored by the Wisconsin Wetlands
Association helps keep wetland lovers connected and learning about

wetlands throughout the year, from anywhere. Participants learn about
wetlands, the plants and animals that call them home, and the many
natural benefits they provide. Sessions are held on Zoom and feature time
for audience Q&A.
The Underworld: Dives into the deepest recesses of the oceans
A vast space on our planet remains largely unexplored: the bottom of the
ocean, and especially the deepest reaches. Susan Casey’s book, The
Underworld: Journeys to the Depths of the Ocean, describes the
challenges of deep exploration, the intrepid explorers who take them on,
and the abundant and fascinating life then find at depths down to 35,000
feet. Today’s technologies allow scientists and explorers to dive miles
beneath the surface to a place of soaring mountains, smoldering
volcanoes, and valleys deeper than Everest is high. Casey tells how vital
the deep is to the planet’s future and why we need to understand it in a
time of threats from climate change, industrial fishing, pollution, and mining.