On Sept. 22 it is expected the Vernon County Board of Supervisors will approve a Farmland Preservation Plan. Currently the Vernon County Land and Water Conservation Department is putting together a plan and map to designate future land use in Vernon County based on the language of Chapter 91 of the Wisconsin State Statutes.
The underlying principle is the notion that the community has the privilege and authority to designate how your land can be used. This is in violation of your property rights and privileges as guaranteed by the United States and Wisconsin constitutions.
If your land is designated for preservation under the plan, a covenant has been placed on your property. If you are also in a Farmland Preservation Zoning District, you are subject to any obligation required by the plan and Chapter 91.
Land cannot be included in the plan solely on the preference of individual landowners. There is also no provision that a landowner can opt out solely on individual preference.
Provisions exist under 91.46 for municipalities to require conditional use permits for numerous buildings and activities in a zoning district, including residences, businesses, non-metallic mining and even religious uses, which would be a direct violation of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
This law is a very complex minefield of regulation. It is an ongoing evolving law. It is not local control as presented, but instead you will find scattered throughout Chapter 91 that the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has the final say. DATCP can promulgate rules as necessary to keep municipalities in compliance with the law.
Participants who take the tax credits should be aware in ATCP 50 that they may have to comply with conservation and water quality standards whether cost sharing is available or not.
I encourage people to read carefully Chapter 91 of the Wisconsin State Statutes and all references to ATCP 49, ATCP 50 and all other related documents, rules and regulations.
If you are a liberty-minded individual, I would encourage you, under Section 1 of the Wisconsin Constitution that states “...governments are instituted, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,” to send or deliver a written notice to the Vernon County Clerk at Room 108, Courthouse Annex, Viroqua, WI, 54665, stating you do not give your consent to any elected official or employee of Vernon County, the state, federal government or their agents to enroll your real estate properties in any Farmland Preservation Plan or program under Chapter 91 or any similar program. Nor do you give consent to any local, state, regional, federal, global government or entities on their agents to do likewise.
Why the language?
Because the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rules are on the fast track to being implemented and in December there will be a United Nations meeting to create global climate change regulations and they could be imposed directly, by reference or through memorandums of understanding or memorandums of agreements.
If the language bothers you, at the minimum please write a complaint opposing the Farmland Preservation Plan. To quote Benjamin Franklin, “We’ve given you a constitutional republic. Let’s see if you can keep it.”
Subera is a member of the Vernon County Board of Supervisors serving Forest township and part of Union township.