As a concerned citizen and landowner in Crawford County, I am grateful that the Crawford County Board of Supervisors listened to the concerns of their constituents and passed the Moratorium on the Expansion and Creation of New Livestock Facility Siting Operations, a CAFO Moratorium, in December 2019.
They recognized then, the importance of studying an issue that affects the health, safety, and welfare of all citizens and on Tuesday, they will once again have the opportunity to show support by voting to extend the CAFO Moratorium for one more year.
As we all know, 2020 was an unprecedented year and due to COVID restrictions, the appointed CAFO study committee did not have the time to do their due diligence researching and learning about CAFO impacts, in depth water studies could not be completed as originally planned, and Board members have not had the necessary time to read, learn about and discuss County options concerning the siting and expansion of CAFOs in Crawford County.
By extending the CAFO Moratorium, the CAFO Study Committee would have the time needed to thoroughly investigate the impacts that increased numbers of CAFOs within Crawford County may have on the County’s economy, environment, and citizens and it would give Board members adequate time to consider the information and how to best plan for the future of CAFOs in Crawford County.
In the Crawford County Code of Ordinances, the responsibility of public office is stated as such: “Public officials and employees are agents of the public and hold office for the benefit of the public. They are bound to uphold…and carry out impartially the laws of the …County to observe in their official acts the highest standard of morality and to discharge faithfully the duties of their office regardless of personal considerations, recognizing that the public interest must be their prime concern.”
In the past months I have read many letters and articles from concerned citizens, township governing bodies, and local organizations like the Sterling-Crawford and the Vernon-Crawford chapter of the Wisconsin Farmers Union and the Coulee Region Chapter of Trout Unlimited, to name a few, that all feel that it would be in the best interest of Crawford County citizens to extend the moratorium.
I, as a concerned citizen, am appealing to all County Board Supervisors to “recognize that the public interests”, the public’s concerns about the health, economic, and environmental impacts that increased numbers of CAFOs in Crawford County could have, “must be their prime concern,” and urge them to vote to extend the moratorium.Gina L. Holtz