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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

November Newsletter


GROUNDWATER POLLUTION FORUM: About 70 people attended an October 24 Coulee Region Sierra Club forum on groundwater pollution in La Crosse county. Manure spills from a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) in the Holmen-Onalaska area as well as runoff from lawns, farm chemicals, and faulty septic systems have caused problems for well owners.

Lax enforcement of water quality regulations, poor oversight of CAFOs, an “open for business” atmosphere, and reduced funding and staffing at the DNR have added to the problem.


We are very grateful to forum panelists for volunteering their time: State Rep. Steve Doyle, La Crosse County Board member Mike Giese, and La Crosse County Health Department director Jen Rombalski. Each addressed a different aspect of the problem and then took questions from the audience. The DNR could not spare a representative for the event.


Watch for more details in our December newsletter. In the meantime, if you have a private well, get it tested! And view handouts, maps, and other forum materials at 

cr-sierra.blogspot.com/p/groundwater-pollution-forum-october-24.html

INDUSTRIAL HOG SLAUGHTER FACILITY FORUM: As Holmen-Onalaska residents gathered to learn about water pollution from an industrial hog farm, concerned citizens
from the Westby-Viroqua area met to discuss a proposed industrial hog slaughter facility in their region. The meeting was hosted by the new group Concerned Citizens for Smart Growth with presenters from the Cornucopia Institute (cornucopia.org), and the Crawford Stewardship Project.


Gayle Nielsen (CCSG) gave a presentation on the potential impact of Premium Iowa Pork locating in the Town of Viroqua, in Vernon County. This included the impact on jobs, businesses, community, and tourism, with the focus on the proliferation of industrial, factory farms (CAFOs) that will be required to locate to the region and the ensuing contamination of groundwater, air quality and general health of the population. Forest Jahnke (CSP) spoke about the susceptibiity of water contamination in a sensitive karst area. Members also heard about some of the health impacts of industrial farming.


A video of the meeting is available on youtube. And a copy of the petition is available at www.citizensforsmartgrowth.com/petition/


ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION GRANTS: Again this year, the Coulee Region Sierra Club is offering grants of up to $200 for environmental education projects involving young people at the elementary and middle school level.

The application and more detalis are available online OR email crsierraclub at gmail and we can mail you an application. The application deadline is JANUARY 5, 2018. Please spread the word about this opportunity available to those in Crawford, Grant, Jackson, La Crosse, Monroe, Richland, Trempealeau and Vernon counties.


In September, we highlighted two of three 2017 grant recipients. Look for a report from the third recipient in our December newsletter.  


SIERRA CLUB CALENDARS:  Again this year, your purchase of Sierra Club calendars will benefit our club and environmental programs and protection activities. The calendars cost
$14.95 for the wall calendar and $15.95 for the engagement book.


Get your calendar at our December gathering or order from Maureen Kinney: 608 784-9324 or 608 784-5678 or email maureen at johnsflaherty -dot-com. SIERRA CLUB NOTE AND HOLIDAY CARDS are available at the online store


PLEASE HELP!  There are major environmental issues happening in the Coulee Region that require our attention and action, from air and water quality to protection of sensitive wetlands and recreation areas. We really need YOUR HELP to work on the water team or the Ready for 100 team or a team near to your heart. These issues need our attention now.
Please consider what is most important to you - why you are a member of the Sierra Club - and volunteer to help by emailing us at crsierraclub at gmail. Please indicate which issue you want to work on.


READY FOR 100:  As we reported in August, La Crosse mayor Tim Kabat signed the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 pledge to transition the city to 100% renewable energy. 

The Coulee Region Sierra Club is seeking members for a Ready for 100 team to help prepare suggested steps the city of La Crosse, and possibly others in the Coulee Region, can take to move quickly from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

Recent developments in Minneapolis and Madison, where agreements with utilities target renewable transitions, and Winona, where an ambitious citywide solar garden plan has been finalized, have provided real life area examples of what La Crosse could do. Please email by November 20 if you can help! crsierraclub at gmail


 COULEE REGION SIERRA CLUB WINTER GATHERING: Club members Don & Barb Frank will host our winter gathering/potluck at their home, N1965 Valley Road, La Crosse at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, December 19. Bring some food to share if you wish. The Franks will provide beverages. Their home is in Wedgewood Valley, just off Highway 33 (a little east of Schmidty's). From La Crosse, just past Hagen Road (on the right) turn LEFT into Wedgewood Valley onto Wedgewood Drive West and stay on Wedgewood Drive West to Valley Drive. Phone 608 788-3914 with questions. You DO NOT NEED TO BE A SIERRA CLUB MEMBER TO ATTEND.



Saturday, October 28, 2017

Environmental Education grants

Once again the Coulee Region Sierra Club will offer grants of up to $200 for environmental education projects involving young people at the elementary or middle school level or in a community organization

The local group, in keeping with the Sierra Club's purpose of exploring, protecting, and enjoying our environment, invites teachers or leaders in all areas of study, as well as youth group advisors, to involve tomorrow's decision-makers in making their world a better place in some small way. 

Projects must:
  • Provide hands-on experience for students to learn about and explore our environment
  • Do something to promote a world which allows all life forms to live and prosper
  • Show students that they can make a difference in their environment, whether urban or rural
  • Be completed within the 2017-2018 school year. A follow up report will be due upon completion of the project
Project may:
  • Consist of environmental displays or other creative works
  • Benefit the land, water, air, plants, animals, and/or birds
  • Be a new project with lasting value or the potential for ongoing activity

Applications are due January 5, 2018 via email: maureen[at]johnsflaherty[dot]com. Grant recipients will be notified shortly thereafter.

Call Maureen Kinney with questions: 608 784-5678.

Application form is available at: https://tinyurl.com/crsc-2018grantapp

 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Report on groundwater pollution forum

[Please view the event page for display files and links to sites, resources, and groups mentioned during the program.]


About 70 people attended the groundwater pollution forum hosted by the Coulee Region Sierra Club on Tuesday evening, October 24 at the Holland Town Hall in Holmen. CRSC board president, Pat Wilson, provided a short introduction, noting that pollution of drinking water is among Americans'  top concerns in Chapman University's 2017 Survey of American Fears.

The state Sierra Club (John Muir Chapter) has been very active in water quantity and quality issues, producing five water white papers this year. The CRSC would like to be a resource for those seeking ways to connect with others around the state advocating for better enforcement of existing water protections and better staffing and funding for the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Thank you to our panelists and to the Town of Holland for letting us use their wonderful facility (which produces more power via rooftop solar than it uses).

State Representative Steve Doyle, whose district includes the area where high levels of contamination from a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) and other sources have been found in La Crosse county wells provided a background of CAFO development in the state; information about the DNR's spotty record of inspecting, regulating, and enforcing state laws; and recent legislation dealing with water quality.

La Crosse County Board member and chair of the county's Health and Human Services committee, Mike Giese, discussed the background of the county's long and difficult quest to get accurate information from the DNR about CAFO contamination. The county was forced to resort to Freedom of Information Act requests in order to learn how much contamination had been present (thaough the latest data was dated April 2016) and for how long. Mr. Giese noted that some important data is still not available.

La Crosse County Health Department director, Jen Rombalski, talked about well testing, trying to serve the public with partial information, and health effects of different kinds of contamination including nitrates and bacteria.

There were many audience questions and at 8:30 p.m. many stayed to continue the discussion. We hope to have an audio or video of most of the session up by October. 27.

In the meantime, view the event page for links to display information and websites mentioned during the program.

Thank you to all who participated. We will have more about this issue in our November newsletter.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

For immediate release

October 3, 2017

Forum on Groundwater Pollution in
La Crosse County

October 24 forum to examine priorities & policies that allow pollution without accountability

La Crosse, Wisconsin - The Coulee Region Sierra Club is hosting a public forum on La Crosse County ground water pollution on Tuesday, October 24 from 7:00 to 8:45 p.m. at the Holland Town Hall, W7937 County Road MH, Holmen. The forum is free and open to the public.
Panelists include Wisconsin State Representative Steve Doyle, La Crosse County Board member
Mike Giese, and La Crosse County Health Department Director Jen Rombalski. Those who attend
will be encouraged to ask questions, share their concerns, and find out how to join with others to
work on local and statewide water solutions that prioritize the health of Wisconsin’s people and
environment.

La Crosse County joins a growing list of counties around the state whose clean water supplies are
being threatened by unchecked contamination. A water quality health advisory issued by the County
Health Department in April 2017 warned some Holmen and Onalaska area residents that nitrate and
bacteria levels in their wells might exceed state health limits. Those whose wells test high for
nitrates are advised to use bottled water for drinking and cooking because of potential serious
health consequences including miscarriage, thyroid disease, diabetes, and cancer.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has faced criticism for failing to communicate with
the county or with residents living near a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) where test wells have shown excessive levels of contamination for several years, and for failing to properly
regulate that operation. A DNR spokesperson told the La Crosse Tribune in July of this year that, “The DNR doesn’t have a policy regarding notifying municipalities or private well owners in the vicinity when a CAFO violates a permit.”

“Somebody at the DNR needs to read their own mission statement,” said Pat Wilson, President of
the Coulee Region Sierra Club. “Their stated goals include protecting and enhancing our natural
resources, providing a healthy, sustainable environment, and ensuring the right of all people to use
and enjoy these resources. Letting polluters violate their permits without penalty does not protect
our natural resources nor provide a healthy environment.”

This year the John Muir (Wisconsin) Chapter of the Sierra Club released a series of white papers
about water quality and access in Wisconsin. The chapter’s state-wide water team is working to
empower citizens and municipalities through legislation and activism.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

October newsletter



THANK YOU, COULEE REGION ECOSCAPES! Thank you, Judson Steinbach of Coulee Region Ecoscapes for your wonderful presentation at our September 26 meeting. Judson detailed, in slides and story, the beginnings of the business, its commitment to sustainable and environmentally sound practices, and its “side business” - creating and connecting diverse communities to make lives better.

Judson talked about CRE’s work on the Community Food Forest at the La Crosse YMCA and their recent completion of an outdoor classroom/memorial at Myrick Park. He talked about changes in design and plant selection as effects of global warming grow. And he offered plants to those who attended.

We will post a link to the slideshow presentation as soon as it’s available. In the meantime, you can view a portfolio of the organizations work and services at their website: www.couleeregionecoscapes.com/


REMINDER - Our HIGHWAY CLEAN UP will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 3. Meet at the pumping station just west of the intersection of River Valley Drive and Gillette Street to get vests, gloves, and bags. Questions? pbwilson-at-centurytel-dot-net 

TAKE THE NEXT STEP IN ACTIVISM  The Sierra Club and other state and national organizations need all of us to step up and get more involved as our natural resources and environmentally sensitive gems are under assault from all directions.

If you are a member of the Sierra Club, that’s a great first step. Now, it’s time to do more. Here are a important actions that need your support.

MINING  Senator Tom Tiffany has introduced a sweeping Mining Give-Away Bill that removes Wisconsin's prove-it-first protections, undermines our wetland laws and sidesteps many of our existing safeguards. As our Mining Chair put it, "These giveaways to the mining industry are nothing more than direct subsidies that reduce operating costs while putting Wisconsin's sustainable tourism and agriculture at risk from pollution.” Learn more about the issue and call your representatives to stop this destructive bill. sierraclub.org/wisconsin/issues/mining

CAFO MORATORIUM  The Sustain Rural Wisconsin Network is leading efforts to pass a CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation) moratorium. “Wisconsin’s industrial animal factories generate more manure than crops can safely use as fertilizer leading to excess phosphorus and nitrate levels in the soil and groundwater. As a result, our local streams, lakes, and waterways are quickly becoming damaged beyond repair.” Learn more and join with SIerra Club and other environmental groups’ members to push for a moratorium. sustainruralwisconsin.org/advocate-for-a-cafo-moratorium/

GLOBAL WARMING  The Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 initiative is a way for mayors and communities to target a quick move to renewable, non-polluting energy use. Start a Ready for 100 push in your community, or, if your leaders have already signed on, offer to meet with them to help plan and implement a transition to renewables. Climate scientists say we have about 10 years to change! Learn more: sierraclub.org/ready-for-100/cities-ready-for-100
 

Friday, September 1, 2017

September Newsletter


NEXT MEETING:  7 pm Tuesday, September 26  Ho-Chunk House 8th & Main, LA CROSSE  SUSTAINABLE LANDSCAPING with Coulee Region Ecoscapes, LLC    Join us as we hear from Judson Steinback, co-owner of COULEE REGION ECOSCAPES,LLC about the work CRE has done in our community and why sustainable landscaping is important in this age of global warming. From the food forest at the YMCA in La Crosse to community gardens around the region, from prairies and rain gardens to classes and workshops, CRE has been a leader in educating about and promoting sustainable ways of working with the land.

We will also discuss next steps our club can take to support Mayor Tim Kabat of La Crosse who has signed on to the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 initiative.


Please come a bring a friend! You don’t need to be a Sierra Club member! Light refreshments and coffee/tea will be served. For more information, please contact us at crsierraclub-at-gmail.com.  The Board will meet at 6 p.m. before the general meeting.


OCTOBER 24: WATER QUALITY FORUM IN LA CROSSE COUNTY  Our state’s clean water resources are being threatened on many fronts. In La Crosse county, waste from a 4,000 pig CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation) operated by Babcock Genetics has contaminated many wells in the Holmen area. Worse, the state DNR did not notify anyone affected until nearly three months after the County’s formal request forced them to release six years’ worth of well tests revealing the widespread contamination. And even worse, records show the DNR did not cite Babcock for these egregious violations.

Join the Coulee Region Sierra Club at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 24 at the Holland Town Hall (W7937 County Road MH, Holmen) to learn more about how lax regulation of CAFOs combined with budget and oversight cuts to the state’s DNR have contributed to this situation and how we can fight against it. Our panel will include

  • Jen Rombalski from the La Crosse County Health & Human Services Department
  • Mike Giese, La Crosse County Board of Supervisors Representative for District 17
  • Steve Doyle who represents this district in the State Assembly
  • Also invited - a resident of the area whose well has been contaminated.
The DNR’s Remediation and Redevelopment Program for private well users affected by fecal bacteria contamination from livestock may provide some clean water and/or well compensation gransa (paid for by state taxpayers). But the DNR continues to not follow its own rules for enforcement and a recent audit found that ”notices of violations were issued to polluters in just 33 of 558 instances serious enough for such citations under DNR policies.” (tinyurl.com/laxh20regs)

Mark your calendar now so you can attend this important forum. It’s free and open to everyone.


COULEE REGION SIERRA CLUB ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION GRANTS  In December, the Coulee Region Sierra Club award three $200 grants to area organizations for environmental education projects. Here are reports from two recipients. (This year’s application will be available in October).

Hello Sierra Club Members!


We wanted to extend our sincere gratitude for the grant money that the Sierra Club gave Evergreen Elementary School. We used the money toward our school-wide Environmental Education day. Students were able to touch and hold animals, learn about forestry and survival in wildlife, and even skype with a Sea Turtle at an aquarium in North Carolina.
Students were engaged and learned several ways they can help do their part to keep our Earth healthy and strong. Your money helped us to secure the presenters and allowed them to have an incredible day of hands-on learning.


I'm attaching some photos of the day. Thank you, again, so much!


Christy Wopat & Evergreen Environmental Ed Committee



Dear Coulee Region Sierra Club,

Thank you again for the $200 grant award for Lincoln Middle 7th Grade this past school year. Your funds helped pay for bussing costs. Students were able to travel to Camp Salem near Black River Falls, WI for an overnight Outdoor Educational Experience that focused on Bird Banding, Water Monitoring, and Llamaology.


In addition, students were able to go on a "Waterfall Hike" in the Robinson Creek as part of the monitoring portion of the event. Students gained a personal experience that connects
them to the environment and has created a foundational learning base for all future environmental education and personal recreation in our wild places.


Sincere Thanks,
Tim Sprain and the entire teaching team at Lincoln Middle School and The 7th grade
students of Lincoln


HURRICANE HARVEY  In addition to the unbelievable toll Hurricane Harvey has taken on the people of the Gulf Coast, the environmental disasters continue to mount. To help hurricane survivors, the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club has set up a #HarveyHelp page (tinyurl.com/lonestarscharveyhelp). One hundred percent of funds raised will go toward relief efforts for people and the environment. Listen to an interview with Bryan Parras, organizer for the "Beyond Dirty Fuels" campaign with the Sierra Club in Houston, Texas and co-founder of the environmental justice group t.e.j.a.s. at www.democracynow.org/2017/8/28/as_catastrophic_flooding_hits_houston_fears

PRESERVE MINING MORATORIUM BILL  [from Muir Musings, August 21, 2017] Last week Sen. Tom Tiffany, R- Hazelhurst, introduced draft legislation designed to repeal the law and sweetened the deal for the mining industry by loading his bill with giveaways that
further reduce protections that threaten public health and our environment.


Acid Mine Drainage is sulfuric acid and metal pollution produced when sulfide minerals in mines and mining wastes are exposed to air and water. AMD is toxic to fish and wildlife due to dissolved metals and contaminants such as mercury, lead, arsenic, cadmium, zinc, copper and many others that damage surface water and groundwater resources. The sulfide ores that companies are interested in mining in Wisconsin will produce AMD if developed into mines.


The Prove It First law is not a ban on mining, but has helped protect Wisconsin from unsafe metallic sulfide mining for many years. The Flambeau mine was permitted before the passage of the law, but the concerns about pollution from the mine were part of the reason the law was approved. Not surprisingly, the mine has been found to be violating the Clean Water Act by polluting a tributary of the Flambeau river at the mining site and groundwater is
highly contaminated from mining wastes buried in the former open pit.


This law has been in place for years for our safety and our planet’s safety. We must keep the Prove It First law in place for the good of everyone. It is common sense to choose
safety first. Show your support, sign this petition by the Sierra Club at www.sierraclub.org/wisconsin/issues/mining.  


THE FOXCONN CON  As of this writing, the state senate is set to pass a version of a Foxconn incentive package worth more than $3 billion, the largest ever granted in our state and one of the largest in the nation. Many analysts have warned that the state may never
recoup the costs of the incentives, but Republicans are determined to pass it with little public comment or scrutiny.


Former state representative Spencer Black, current vice president of the National Sierra Club, notes that there are serious environmental give aways in the Foxconn bill. In his August 15 Cap Times column, Black notes, “The plant will locate close to Lake Michigan and will be a very heavy water user. Foxconn has a very bad record of pollution at its other manufacturing plants. In China, Foxconn has been reported to have polluted nearby rivers with high levels of heavy metals. There have been major complaints about air pollution as well from Foxconn plants.” An even bigger concern is the precedent this will set.


Other special environmental exemptions for Foxconn, according to a July 28 Wisconsin Public Radio report, include being able to change the course of a stream, discharge dredge materials, or fill wetlands without a permit; not having to create new wetlands to replace filled wetlands; being able to build on a lake or stream bed with no permit, not needing pre-construction environmental impact statements; and allowing public utility projects for
Foxconn to go ahead without Public Service Commission approval. And the bill would borrow hundreds of millions of dollars to expand the southeast Wisconsin interstate.


With federal protection agencies now in the hands of climate change deniers and regulation opponents, we cannot hope that we will be saved by the feds. The state legislators who support waiving environmental regulations for favored businesses no matter how many pollutants are discharged, wells contaminated, or habitats destroyed, must be challenged and replaced.

We are the only ones who can save or not save. We are the ones who can act or not act. We can run for office, email and visit elected representatives (over and over if needed), write letters to the editor, talk to neighbors and community groups, and work and vote for
candidates who believe in environmental protections.


FALL HIGHWAY CLEAN UP  The fall highway cleanup on the Coulee Group’s adopted
highway – River Valley Drive in the La Crosse River marsh – will be on Tuesday, October 3 starting at 5:30 p.m. (Contact Pat to confirm if weather conditions are iffy). Meet at the city water well building at the intersection of County Highway B (Gillette Street) and River Valley Drive. Wear old clothes and bring work gloves. Safety vests and bags are provided. For more info, contact Pat or Bobbie at 608 788-8831 or pbwilson-at-centurytel.net.


OPEN STREETS: PEOPLE > CARS  On Sunday, September 3, several streets in downtown La Crosse will be closed to motor vehicle traffic and open to walkers, dancers, vendors, hopscotchers, hula hoopers, musicians, eaters, bicyclists, yogis, chalk artists, rain barrel painters, shoppers, and more. It’s the first annual (we hope) Open Streets La Crosse where participants can appreciate all the space normally taken up by cars and now
available to people. Included in the event is a sample woonerf (shared street) and a Protected Bike Lane demonstration. Many businesses, organizations, and community
groups will hand out information and host events and activities. If you can, attend. If you have a food truck or organization and want to get a spot along the route, see the event Facebook site: www.facebook.com/events/1937856956496160


DECEMBER BOARD ELECTIONS  We will hold board elections in December. If you are
interested in helping guide our club next year, please nominate yourself by emailing us with a short paragraph description of your experience and interest at crsierraclub-at-gmail-dot-com.


HELP US COVER THE WHOLE COULEE REGION!  We’re still looking for CR Sierra Club members around the region to email with news of events and issues in their communities so we can get more people involved . Email crsierraclub-at-gmail-dot-com.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

August newsletter


AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL: TRUTH TO POWER WILL BE SHOWN AT THE MARCUS THEATER (Ward Ave. La Crosse) BEGINNING ON FRIDAY, AUGUST 11. This film drew two standing ovations when it was screened at the Sundance Film Festival. It’s an update, including the election of Donald Trump, to the award winning film, An Inconvenient Truth.

If you can, please attend (and take your friends, family, and neighbors). Find show times and get tickets at tinyurl.com/aislax (Friday before 5, seniors are $5)


OPEN STREETS IN LA CROSSE SEPTEMBER 3   As part of the annual Labor Day weekend La Crosse Bike Fest, the City of La Crosse will host its first OPEN STREETS event on Sunday, September 3 from noon to 4 p.m. La Crosse Open Streets is a partnership between the Wisconsin Bicycle Federation and Explore La Crosse with support from Downtown Mainstreet, Inc, the City of La Crosse and the La Crosse City Vision Foundation. The Coulee Region Sierra Club is also a sponsor.

Open Streets events create car-free spaces where people and families can exercise and play; at the same time, neighborhood businesses and vendors can engage the community and visitors in new ways. In La Crosse, the closed area will include Main Street from Ninth Street to Fifth Avenue South, Fifth Avenue from Main Street to King Street, and King to Fourth. The park-to-park event (from Burns Park on the East to Cameron Park on the west) will include artists, musicians, food vendors, retail activity, non-profit organizations and neighborhood groups. (And the Coulee Region Sierra Club!)


In addition, there will be a PROTECTED BIKE LANE (PBL) demonstration on Main (between Ninth and Seventh Streets) where people can see why PBLs are increasing in popularity around the world by providing bikes-only street lanes buffered from motorized vehicles by posts, blocks, planers, parked cars and/or other barriers, (This project is seeking
volunteers! Please email lacrossebybike-owner-at-yahoogroups.com


Open Streets is a worldwide movement modeled after Ciclovia, which began in Bogota, Columbia. Closing streets to car traffic promotes biking, walking and active living in the communal spaces that are otherwise dominated or made unsafe or unhealthy by moving and parked cars. Open Streets events are designed to be recurring and we hope that
this will be the first annual La Crosse Open Streets. 


If you would like to be involved as a volunteer, vendor, or sponsor, please contact Carolyn Dvorak (608 709-2945). You can follow updates at the event’s Facebook page: tinyurl.com/laxopnstrts

STILL Seeking BRF area members to help host Sierra Club display at the September 9 Green Life Expo in Black River Falls. Email crsierraclub-at-gmail.com

JOHN MUIR CHAPTER EXECUTIVE BOARD REP  Dave Wulf volunteered to represent the Coulee Region group on the state’s executive board but has had to step back temporarily due to health issues. Avery Van Gaard has stepped in to represent our group for now. The position may be shared once Dave gets back on his feet. Thanks to both for volunteering for this important position.

OCTOBER WATER ISSUES PROGRAM  The state Sierra Club  Water Team has released five papers highlighting Wisconsin’s most serious water problems (find them at sierraclub.org/wisconsin/protecting-water-resources). The Coulee Region group is working on a water quality program in October. More details in our September newsletter.

JULY'S BLACK RIVER CANOE TRIP  Thirty-eight kids and 'kids at heart' paddled, played, swam, camped on a sandbar, hiked up a waterfall, swam again, rolled down a sandbank, saw an eagle, learned a few things, paddled, swam, and played some more. Perfect weather. Fine water levels ranging from 1400 cfs to 1100 cfs. Sing-a-long, s'mores, and dramatic cloud displays, too. Thanks to Pat and Bobbie for organizing and leading this trip!!

COULEE REGION GROUP APPLAUDS MAYOR'S READY FOR 100 SUPPORT  In an August letter to Mayor Tim Kabat of La Crosse, the executive board of the Coulee Region group thanked the mayor for his support of the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 initiative and offered total support to help make La Crosse a 100% renewable city as quickly as possible. We hope the mayor will work with the Sierra Club and other environmental organizations and agencies in the area to work out an action plan and timeline.

CONNECT WITH US! online at tinyurl.com/crsierra, cr-sierra.blogspot.com, or crsierraclub-at-gmail.com. If you know of an environmental event or outing in your area of the Coulee Region group, please let us know so we can include it in our calendar. If your area needs support for an environmental issue, please contact us so we can activate our members.