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Monday, July 2, 2018

July Newsletter


NEXT EVENTS    Because of schedule conflicts, the next Coulee Region Sierra Club highway clean up has been rescheduled to Tuesday, July 17. We will meet at 6 p.m. at the water pumping station just northwest of the intersection of Gillette Street and River Valley Drive. Bags, gloves, and reflective vests will be provided. We have had great turnout recently. This makes things easier for everyone. For more info, contact Pat or Bobbie at 608 788-8831 or pbwilson AT centurytel.net.

On Saturday, August 18, we’ll tour Chrysalis, the organic farm of Marcia Halligan and Steven Adams, on the west fork of the Kickapoo River near Viroqua. Marcia and Steven have farmed the land since 1985 and the farm is described in her book, “Hidden in the 13th Moon.” They helped form what is now known as Organic Valley, helped grow the Viroqua farmers’ market, and are long time members of Valley Stewardship Network and the Seed Savers Exchange. Their house, built in 2005 with local architect Roald Gundersen (described in this Mother Earth Living article) uses whole trees, straw bales, local wood and stone, recycled materials, and solar panels along with other sustainable and ecologically friendly materials and techniques. The farm is out of production this year due partially to last year’s floods. We’ll observe flood damage along with natural marsh, woods, and grassland areas.


Details are still being finalized and will be available in the August newsletter and at our web page (sierraclub.org/wisconsin/coulee) and our blog site or you can contact Pat at 608 788-8831 or pbwilson AT centurytel.net. In the meantime, mark your calendar and consider car pooling with your neighbors. 


Our Tuesday, September 25 meeting will include a presentation on the Sustainability Indicators for the City and County of La Crosse by Anders Olson, Sustainability Analytics. We’ll have a full description of the meeting agenda in our September newsletter.

ENVIRONMENTAL VOTER PROJECT Did you know that 20.1 million registered US voters identify climate change or other environmental issues as one of their top two priorities? However, only 10.1 million of these environmentalists voted in the 2016 presidential election which was decided by just 770,000 votes.

The sole purpose of the non-partisan non-profit Environmental Voters Project is to get these nonvoting environmentalists to the polls consistently! It’s described as, “a sophisticated Get Out The Vote campaign with canvassers, phone banks, text banks, and direct mail, all tailored specifically designed with messages specifically designed to get our identified environmentalists to vote.”


The group has an online environmental voter pledge that anyone can sign. Please consider signing and sharing the pledge with your contacts. Learn more at environmentalvoter.org.
Let’s get an army of green voters to the polls this year and every year!


[Reminder - the Wisconsin gubernatorial primary will be held on Tuesday, August 14. Absentee in person voting begins on Monday, July 30. More info about voting, registration, polling places, absentee voting at myvote.wi.gov.]


Seeking Coulee Region Sierra Club members to submit items for our newsletter and blog site! Email crsierraclub AT gmail.com for details!

JUNE PICNIC  Thanks to those who attended our June 26 potluck picnic at Onalaska’s Rowe Park. Despite an iffy forecast, we enjoyed beautiful weather to accompany the good food and motivating conversations.

FAMILY FRIENDLY CANOE CAMPING TRIP JULY 14-15  This favorite kid-friendly paddling trip is offered to encourage young families, families with kids, and the young-at-
heart to join us on the water.We’ll take it slow, stop to play/explore as frequently as desired, cookout and sleep in tents on a sandbar and engage in creative outdoor play. All camping gear/food must fit in your boat. Contact: Kevin or Carol Olson at 608 963-2678, 608 356-8992, or olsonfam44 AT centurytel.net or Pat or Bobbie Wilson at 608-788-8831, 608 397-2531 or pbwilson AT centurytel.net. Online details at https://sierraclub.org/wisconsin/river-touring-section/trips


NEW BILL - FOSSIL FREE BY 2035   A bill introduced last fall - the OFF Act (Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act) is highlighted in a recent Food and Water Watch communication. The bill calls for a national transition to 100% renewable energy by 2035. It would end fossil fuel subsidies, place a moratorium on new fossil fuel projects, ban the export of oil and gas, and call for an equitable transition for people who would be most impacted. The bill’s co-sponsors include 35 US Representatives (none from Wisconsin so far). This is an example of legislation that could make a major environmental impact
if a new environment friendly Congress is elected. For more info, see www.offfossilfuels.org/off-act


THE FOXCONN CONTINUES   The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign reports that owners
and employees from six of eight businesses chosen to construct a Racine Foxconn building contributed nearly $180,000 to Scott Walker’s campaigns between January 2010 and December 2017. So far the Walker administration and local governments have awarded Foxconn $4.5 BILLION in tax breaks, grants, worker training, highway changes, and other giveaways. More at wisdc.org/pr062718.php


DNR ISSUES NEW MANURE RULES   Beginning July 1, manure spreading rules will change to address widespread water pollution. Unfortunately, the rules will only apply in a relatively few counties. Problems in southwest Wisconsin are not addressed in this limited
rule. As Midwest Environmental Advocates said in its June 27 news release, “For DNR to delay action until widespread contamination causes another public health crisis is both
unwise and irresponsible.” See the release at crsierra.blogspot.com/2018-06/new-dnr-cafo-rules.html 


WILTON HEMLOCKS HIKE   On Saturday, July 14, the Mississippi Valley Conservancy
will host the first hike at the newly protected Wilton Hemlocks nature preserve! Hikers will meet at 25690 HWY 131 Wilton, WI at 10:00 a.m. to begin the hike. This is a Season's in the Coulee Region event sponsored by Gundersen Health System. For more information and detailed driving directions, please see the website


KARST GEOLOGY EXPLORATION   The Crawford Stewardship Project will host a family friendly Karst Geology Exploration outing on Saturday, July 28 beginning at 1 p.m. Meet at the Crawford County Highway Department, 21515 WI-27, Seneca. CSP is a non-profit headquartered in Gays Mills that works to protect the evironment of Crawford County and neighboring regions.

CONNECT WITH US online at tinyurl.com/crsierra,cr-sierra.blogspot.com, or crsierraclub@gmail.comcrsierraclub@gmail.com

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