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Municipalities call for extension of CAFO Moratorium
Crawford County
CC CAFO Study Group
PARTICIPANTS at the first meeting of the Crawford County CAFO Study Group were, from top center clockwise, Kim Moret, County Con-servationist David Troester, citizens Susan Collins, Edie Ehlert, and Forest Jahnke, Public Health Nurse Cindy Riniker and a student intern, citizen-member Janet Widder, UW-Extension Economic De-velopment Coordinator Jessica Spayde, Supervi-sor Dave Olson, and Land Conservation employee Becky Nagel. The other citizen member, Nikki Wagner participated by phone.

CRAWFORD COUNTY - Four municipal governments in Crawford County have either signed on to a resolution or wrote a letter calling for an extension to the County CAFO Moratorium, which was enacted in December 2019.

On Monday, Nov. 2, the Village of Gays Mills, and on Monday, Nov. 9, the Town of Clayton, unanimously voted to support the resolution as published below. Both the Town of Marietta and the Town of Scott, while declining to support the resolution below, voted to send a communication to the Board of Supervisors, expressing their concerns, and calling for an extension to the moratorium.

Resolution to extend CC CAFO Moratorium

The resolution



WHEREAS, opportunity for stronger local CAFO siting standards based on “reasonable and scientifically defensible findings of fact” that “clearly show that the standards are needed to protect the public health or safety” remains very limited; and

WHEREAS, the unique geographic features throughout Wisconsin make it necessary to assess the environmental impacts of CAFOs on a more localized basis; and

WHEREAS, Crawford County has predominantly karst geology, containing many rapid and direct conduits from surface water to groundwater; and

WHEREAS, there is known and documented environmental and public health impacts from CAFOs in sensitive areas around Wisconsin, including other regions with similar karstic geology;

WHEREAS, the Department of Revenue adjusted downward Kewaunee County landowners’ property taxes because of the properties’ proximity to a large CAFO and in 2016 the Department of Revenue did the same for a property in Green County; and

WHEREAS, in addition to affecting landowners, CAFOs impact local governments, which are seeing a deterioration of their property tax base because existing state siting standards are insufficient to protect neighboring properties; and

WHEREAS, in December 2019, the Crawford County Board of Supervisors enacted Ordinance No. 219-2019, a twelve-month CAFO moratorium for the purposes of studying and analyzing the impacts of large-scale livestock operations and making recommendations to ensure applicable regulations adequately protect “groundwater, surface water, air quality, public health and safety of residents;” and

WHEREAS, Ordinance 219-2019 included an option to extend the moratorium for up to twelve additional months; and

WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic prohibited or delayed CAFO Study Committee meetings and postponed the Driftless Area Water Study (DAWS), which would have provided valuable private well contamination data for the County; and

WHEREAS, a majority of the County CAFO Study Committee including the citizen representative and all involved county staff from the County Conservation and Health Departments, as well as UW Extension support the extension of the CAFO Moratorium; and

WHEREAS, public input at the September 1, 2020, “Community Dialogue on CAFOs” indicated overwhelming support for extending the CAFO Moratorium and concern that the county would take no action; and

WHEREAS, on August 10, 2020, fourteen local organizations signed a letter requesting that the Crawford County Land Conservation Committee and Board of Supervisors vote to extend the moratorium; and

WHEREAS, on September 8, 2020, the Crawford County Land Conservation Committee voted not to recommend a moratorium extension to the Crawford County Board with minimal discussion or public comment prior to the vote; and

WHEREAS, Crawford County Ordinances still do not adequately protect groundwater, surface water, air quality, public health and safety of residents;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, [the municipality] calls on the Crawford County Board to extend the CAFO Moratorium for an additional twelve months, in order to ensure due diligence in gathering scientifically defensible findings of fact off of which to base any additional regulations considered.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, [the municipality] calls on the Crawford County Board to act, based on the findings of the County CAFO Study Committee, to protect public health and safety from potential impacts by CAFOs.