Thursday, October 6, 2016

BCLF meeting this Saturday 9am at the Drummond Community Center.
John Richter on Shoreland Zoning will be the main speaker.
Please come if you can. Also discussion and information re: the CAFO in the Chequamegon Bay watershed.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Update of Pigeon Lake campsite - by Trish Bantle

Following is an e-mail thread between myself and Jason Bodine regarding PLFS.
I feel like we are getting a little more info.....
I will keep publishing as I find out more.

From: Jason Bodine [
Sent: Monday, September 19, 2016 3:54 PM
To: Trish Bantle
Subject: RE: PLFS
I did hear back from the Forest Service.  They have submitted a request to purchase (I believe as a joint project with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Parks Service…thought that part was unclear).  He had no idea on a timeline or odds of receiving funds.  I know BCPL is eager to divest.  Will let you know if/when I hear anything else.  Sorry I really couldn’t find out anything you didn’t already know.

From: Trish Bantle 
Sent: Monday, September 19, 2016 5:02 PM
To: 'Jason Bodine'
Subject: RE: PLFS
That the Forest Service has SUBMITTED a request to purchase is significant I would think…
Who is he? (as in: He had no idea on a timeline or odds of receiving funds. ….)

And Submitted to who?
Also, who/what is BCPL….oh I think I have it Bayfield County Public Lands? Am I correct about this?
Jason you are getting much further than I was…or perhaps you understand the lingo more.
I really appreciate your efforts and also keeping me informed, and answering my questions. (I know there is no such thing as a dumb question, yet I know some of these might seem dumb to you!)
Thank you,
Trish Bantle

From: Trish Bantle [
Sent: Monday, September 19, 2016 5:02 PM
To: Jason Bodine <>
Subject: RE: PLFS
That the Forest Service has SUBMITTED a request to purchase is significant I would think… Yes.  It definitely means they value the property enough to try for it.
Who is he? (as in: He had no idea on a timeline or odds of receiving funds. ….)  Forest service contact who is familiar with the project.

And Submitted to who?  Not exactly sure where it was submitted or if it was part of a specific grant.  I suspect it was submitted through internal Federal channels that would compete with other internal projects for Federal dollars.    

Also, who/what is BCPL….oh I think I have it Bayfield County Public Lands? Am I correct about this?  Wisconsin Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (a state agency).  They are the ones selling the property.  Believe the appraised value is $1.32 million.
Jason you are getting much further than I was…or perhaps you understand the lingo more.
I really appreciate your efforts and also keeping me informed, and answering my questions. (I know there is no such thing as a dumb question, yet I know some of these might seem dumb to you!)  Not a problem.  Only wish I had more information to share.
Thank you,
Trish Bantle

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Enjoy 2 important speakers at the Bayfield County Lakes Forum 2016 ANNUAL MEETING, Saturday, Oct 8, 9 AM, at the Drummond Community Center in Drummond. All lake groups should send at least one rep.
This year’s meeting will feature Mary Dougherty, key advocate of protecting our region from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Mary will provide handouts featuring the main highlights and will follow up with a Q&A. Because of the potential impact of CAFOs on Bay Co’s waters and Lake Superior, and because of many of our legislators seek to allow a CAFO in Bay Co, your BCLF places this issue high on our priority list.
Your BCLF Board has learned that John Richter will also speak. John leads the Wisconsin Shoreland Initiative (WSI), the primary force working to return local control of shoreland zoning to our counties while trying to fend off other assaults on our lakes such as private dredging, mining under our lakes, and other insults. BCLF, Northwest Waters, and many area lake associations have contributed to the WSI effort in anticipation of worse things to come in the 2017 legislative session.
The BCLF business meeting will be brief in order to allow our speakers ample time. It is very important that your lake association send at least one rep to this meeting, more if possible. If you have not yet made your 2016 contribution to BCLF, our treasurer will graciously accept your check. Individual donations are also welcome.
Although there will be no election of directors on October 8, BCLF encourages those who value our waters to show their willingness to protect them by supporting BCLF however possible. Come share a snack, have a cup of coffee, and learn more about how you and BCLF can protect your waterfront property values.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Here is the first of several reminders that Oct 8th at 9am in Drummond at the Community Center, the Bayfield County Lakes Forum will hold their annual meeting.
The main speaker will be Mary Doughty regarding the proposed CAFO near Iron River.

We also are hoping that John Richter will be able to speak on what is happening with the new Shoreland Zoning Law.

Both are issues that could have a huge impact on the future of Bayfield County's waters.

Snacks will be served!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Pigeon Lake Camp Update - Trish Bantle

I spoke with Tom German of the Public Lands Office again yesterday. He had not heard anything further from the USFS. He has been in a holding pattern while waiting for a letter of intent from them. Tom said he will not wait much longer. If he doesn’t hear from them in the next couple weeks the camp will go up for Public Auction. He said the way this happens is that he has to publish the sale for 2 weeks in at least the local news publications. Then, the 3rd week is the auction.  To bid an offer must be made with a check for either 10 or 20% of the purchase price. He said the lowest price considered would be the appraised value. (3.1 million I believe) I asked for a name of someone in the USFS I could speak with and he gave me the name of John McNeil in Rhinelander. I tried to call their office, but had no luck getting through. I then spoke with Jason Bodine with Bayfield County. The county had mentioned they would possibly be interested in a partnership. I gave Jason the information regarding the USFS and he said he would call John McNeil and see what they are thinking. Jason said he would share any information he hears from John with me and I will pass it on!

Fish habitat improvement on our lake....

Hi Trish – The timeline for Pigeon Lake will be the summer of 2017 or 2018.  We did some tree drops on other lakes this year.  I believe we will be using tree drops for Pigeon Lake as well. 


Forest Service Shield
Matt Bushman
Botanist and Acting Wildlife Biologist
Forest Service
Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest,
Washburn Ranger District
p: 715-373-2667 x246
f: 715-373-2878
113 Bayfield Street East
Washburn, WI 54891 Twitter Logo Facebook Logo
Caring for the land and serving people

Monday, September 12, 2016

Minutes of Annual Meeting - by Trish Bantle

Minutes from the Pigeon Lake Association Meeting on 9/2/2016

The picnic and meeting was hosted by Karen and Les Watters. In attendance were:

Linda Auchue
Trish Bantle
John and Jane Donner
Doug and Julie Hayes
Andrew Hong
Marge Hotter
John and Diana Hutter
John and Sandy MacLaughlin
Marilyn Miller
Mary Ringelstetter
Lance and Susan Ritchie
Liz Wandrey and Dave

John called the meeting to order and announced his attention to retire from the board. Trish Bantle volunteered to take on the duties of President. The group voted to approve. Linda Auchue volunteered to take the position of Vice President which the group also voted to approve. Audrey Hutter was not in attendance but communicated that she would like to step down from her position as Secretary/Treasurer. Susan Ritchie volunteered to take over the treasurer’s position while Sandy MacLaughlin volunteered to be secretary. Lance Ritchie volunteered to take the depth readings and report them to the state. 

Trish started a discussion regarding some of the issues that have come up over the past year that could affect both the quality of the lake itself as well as the quality of life on the lake. These issues include the potential sale of the Pigeon Lake Field Station and development of that land, the effect of the gravel pit on the aquatic plants in the lake, the noise level of the gravel pit and the legislative changes regarding building set backs on class 3 lakes. 

Lance and Susan Ritchie brought up some of the ways they are approaching these types of issues on Bear Lake. Lance also mentioned the dark color of the water in Pigeon Lake is from the decaying vegetation. It should clear up in a year or two. 

Trish suggested putting together an information folder for new lake residents. There are quite a few properties for sale on the lake and it would help to inform new residents about where the loons nest, the boating rules, etc. There were incidents this summer involving boats chasing the loons and parking on the island to swim.

Les communicated information regarding boating operation and safety rules. The narrows should be a no wake zone. 

Please take a moment to thank John MacLaughlin for the time he spent as President and all the work he put into keeping the group informed and the association together. It was a much longer tenure than he had intended when he took it on and we all appreciate his willingness to stay until someone else stepped up. 

John mentioned that Jim Auchue passed away last May. Jim served as Vice President for the association and was very committed to preserving the quiet and natural beauty of the lake, along with the fish population. 

Dan Iverson passed away on August 21st. A link to his obituary is below:

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Pigeon Lake Camp Update

Trish just spoke with Tom German at the Public Lands Office.   608-267-2233
His latest on PLFS is that now the Forest Service may be interested in acquiring it with Federal Grant Monies.
He said he has repeatedly asked the FS about acquiring the camp and has always gotten a definite "No." Then out of the blue heard from a Jenny (last name unknown)with the USFS out of Park Falls and Jeff Nell who he believes is out of Park Falls and Rhinelander that the Forest Service has an interest.
This was as a couple of weeks ago. He asked that they send him some kind of intent of interest in writing, and at this point has not received that.
I asked if there had been any other interest and he mentioned "a gentleman" out of the MSPLS, but had no further information about the gentleman. I asked him if he was the person I should be talking to, to gather information about the camp and he said yes, but he would need to talk to co-workers to find info on "the gentleman."
I sent him my email and phone numbers, and asked that he please share any information he receives about camp with me.Forest Service would be awesome, fingers crossed that happens!
Wanted to share. I have not had a chance to follow up on the folks in the USFS (Jenny and Jeff) who are looking in to this. School is starting......but will keep you all informed as I become informed. Please do the same for me!
Thank you!Trish 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

 I just got off the phone with Matthew Koshollek, our game warden, who continues to follow up on the loon situation from a couple weeks ago. He has been on the lake but has yet to spot the boat. I think I gave him better information this time since we got to have a real conversation, not just messages left. He says he will try to get out on the lake again today. Of course those folks could have been on the lake for just a brief time and are now long gone....hopefully for good!

Matthew also mentioned he has been getting information that small (short) bass are being taken from the lake, and that the lake is being overfished. If you see any evidence of this he is asking that you please give him a call. His number is 1-715-209-7184.

Thank you!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Interesting article regarding PIgeon Lake.
Thank you Gary!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Timeline and Summary of Pigeon Lake Camp

note the timeline at the end
JUNE 2016
REQUEST: Authority to sell a 0.9 acre parcel of land located in the Town of
Drummond, Bayfield County, and all buildings and infrastructure
improvements on adjacent leased land.
This action will allow the university to work cooperatively with the Board of Commissioners of
Public Lands (BCPL) to dispose of an underutilized property and improvements known as the
Pigeon Lake Field Station (PLFS). The field station is located approximately eight miles west of
Drummond or about 40 miles southwest of Ashland. As part of a lease and associated sale
agreement with the United States (US) Forest Service in 1959, the Board of Regents of State
Colleges purchased several cabins, support buildings, and other site improvements from the US
Forest Service, then leased the underlying land from the Forest Service and later from the BCPL
when the ownership changed in 1989. The camp closed and has been vacant since 2014 due to low
program enrollments, a lack of available programming, and escalating operating costs. Because of
this, the university has declared it underutilized and wishes to dispose of the assets, and BCPL is
also desirous of disposing of the property on which the field station lies. This property sale also
includes an adjacent Board of Regents-owned 0.9 acre parcel of land purchased in 1966 from a
private party. That parcel is surrounded by the BCPL-owned property to the north and the
shoreline of Pigeon Lake to the south.
The BCPL is acting as the lead agency that will execute the sale of the property and
improvements through a public sale process. The property will be offered at a minimum bid price
equal to the appraised value of $1,325,000. The proceeds will be distributed proportionally to
BCPL and the Board of Regents based on each agency’s appraised land values, buildings, and
related improvements. Appraised values as of April 13, 2016, are as follows:
BCPL Land: $487,025
BOR Land: $4,950
Improvements: $838,102
Total: $1,330,077
The Pigeon Lake Field Station is comprised of twenty-one cabins, five academic buildings, and
eleven support buildings sitting on 89.45 acres of land with 1,750 feet of shoreline. Infrastructure
includes a well and water distribution system, an on-site sanitary waste disposal system, electrical
service to all buildings, gravel roads, and parking. From 1959 to the early 1980s, the camp was
primarily used for biological research and other instructional programs that took advantage of the
camp’s rustic natural setting. Since the early 1980s, programming has been in decline and is no
longer a thriving sustainable business model.
In 2014, in an effort to ward off further operating expense deficits, the camp was closed and
mothballed. Efforts were made to transfer the management responsibility of the camp to another
UW university during that year, however no other university was interested in running and
managing the camp. In 2015, a joint decision was made by UW-River Falls, UW System
Administration, and BCPL to sell the land, buildings, and improvements.
No funds are needed for this action.
May 2016: Board of Commissioners of Public Lands approved
June 2016: Board of Regents approval
July 2016: Public sale bidding process
Sept 2016: Closing

Loons in danger.

Hi, with the recent Loon's episode, here is what you can do to help the beautiful loons on Pigeon Lake. Call the warden if you see anything that is threatening the wildlife:

Warden is Matthew Koshellek
715 209 7184Thank you. 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Loons in danger - help!!!! (Posted by Trish)

At about 5:30pm I walked down to our dock and observed a smaller white boat with a rounded prow speed across the lake from the north to the south shore. (We are at the western section, along Whispering Pines, north shore)
The boat headed directly towards the loons swimming with their baby on the southern shore. The loons immediately began a distress cry which was repeated through the whole ordeal. I really couldn't believe my eyes as the boaters moved closer and closer even as the loons swam away. I'm not sure if they swung a paddle, but there was a big splash visible from across the lake. At that point I yelled and whistled. The boaters obviously knew they were doing something wrong, Since they immediately turned the boat and motored to the far west section of the lake where O could no longer see them. With my bad eyes I could not see the occupants of the boat. 
When I got here today, about noon, the loons were making quite a ruckus, and I thought that was an odd time of day for that. I am wondering if the same harassment was occurring then too.
Please be vigilant in watching and let's educate and discourage folks from approaching and actually harassing the loons. If you observe a smaller white boat with a rounded prow (it kind of reminded me of an inflatable) plz keep an eye on those individuals and make certain they are not engaging in this behavior. 
The loons are ok thank goodness.
Thank you for your help with this.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

This is a letter to the Editor from John Richter of the Wisconsin Shoreland Initiatve:

The WSI is our front line defense against the new legislations that threaten our waters.

July 21, 2016 Update
Summer greetings!

Fund Raising

It is time for us to ask all of our partners to consider contributions to WSI.  Our funding is at low ebb now and we will need to replenish it for the next session.  I am in hopes that Lake Association Boards will also ask individual members to contribute.  We have been the grateful recipient of four figure donations from some of our Plum Lake people as well as a couple from outside our area.  I hope that others who are capable from around the state will consider making a donation to our efforts.  Financial updates are available on request.  We are working on a PayPal donation capability for the website, but in the interim, please send contributions to Wisconsin Shoreland Initiative, P.O. Box 193, Sayner, WI. 54560

Speaking to Associations

We have been asked to speak to lake associations frequently and there are now two of us to get around the state.  Bill Scott, a member of the steering committee of WSI has volunteered and joined me in Mercer recently for an address to the Turtle Flambeau group.  Bill is an attorney from Milwaukee and has a depth of experience in water law issues.  He was the lawyer to set the strategy on the Lake Beulah high capacity well case that is perhaps the most notable recent Public Trust Doctrine case in Wisconsin.  He is a geologist as well as a lawyer and is well placed for the challenges on our road ahead.  We are both available for a quick update on the last year and our plans for next session as well as what we can expect from both Rep. Jarchow and Sen. Tiffany. In addition, Mary Panzer has volunteered to fill in where needed in this effort.  She will be speaking to Geneva Lake Association later this month at their annual meeting.  If we can help you with a presentation to your meeting, please let me know.


Some of us have been writing letters to the editor and I am attaching one here for your information – it has appeared in 4 or 5 papers s in the last couple of weeks and I plan to continue to send it out.  I sent it personally, not from WSI.  I would encourage you to get your writers together and send them out regularly.

Steering Committee Meeting
We are going to have our first face-to-face meeting of the Steering Committee on August 18th, right after the Wisconsin Lakes/River Alliance advocacy training session in Manitowish Waters at the Discovery Center.  There are two locations for this worthwhile session, the first being in Shell Lake on the 17th and the second being in Manitowish Waters on the 18th. I would encourage you to participate.  Sign up is required @

                                                                                                   John Richter



They are starting to call us names.  Rep. Adam Jarchow calls us “radical left wing extremists” on WPR.  His partner, Sen. Tom Tiffany, is accusing us on TV of Gestapo style intrusions on private property doing “sweeps”.  The sweeps he refers to are looking for invasive species in the water, which apparently neither of these legislators understands belongs to the public.  Both of these statements are just simply untrue.

It is a sign that we are starting to make an impression as we struggle to recover the rights that they ripped away with their attack last year on local control of our lakes.  It is also a measure of their level of disrespect for lake resident volunteers as citizens, constituents and stewards of our lakes.   We are the lake association members who have selflessly volunteered to care for our lakes and protect them from harm.  We are your neighbors, or your customers, or your friends.  We come from all walks of life and political parties.  Our work is non-partisan because the health of our lakes is not a political issue.

The privilege of living on a lake carries extra responsibilities.  Prime among them is a commitment to do nothing on our property that could negatively affect the water we live next to, that is co-owned by every citizen, and our neighbors.  Our lake associations take on many responsibilities including invasive species, habitat projects, shoreland restoration, water quality and chemistry monitoring.  The list goes on and on - I could fill a page with our efforts.  None of them deserve a political label, because the health of our lakes is not a political issue.

Our lakes and rivers, our shorelands and ground water, are the greatest asset of our state and belong to the people.  They are the foundation of our tax base and our economy in the north.  In my home county of Vilas, riparian property pays 77% of the cost of county government.  You may not know this but tourism increased more than ONE BILLION dollars last year - not many sectors of our economy can match that number.  The waters deserve protection for reasons of economics as well as preserving our natural gifts for our kids.

We have one goal:  to maintain healthy lakes for the people, for our economy and for the kids and grandchildren of every citizen, all the owners of our lakes.   Private property rights include the rights to maintain a safe and healthy environment for our families.  If one of my “rights” damages my neighbor or my states’ waters, it ceases to be a right, and becomes a responsibility for me to fix.

Sen. Tiffany and Rep. Jarchow are hiding behind a curtain they call “private property rights”.  It’s a disguise.  Don’t be fooled by that.

John Richter, Sayner

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Here is a link to the new shoreland zoning rules of Wisconsin.

Very informational....

 you may have to edit/copy /paste the link to view, or else go to and search for shoreland zoning.

minimum lot size is now 65 feet on "sewered" lots.....
setback is shortened, shoreland building heights increased

Through-out Wisconsin all shoreland development is now one size fits all.

Also great info on shoreland development/mowing etc vs leaving undeveloped shoreland and the positive/negative impacts.

I am attending NW WI Lakes Conference in Spooner this Friday.

Friday, May 20, 2016

The Passing of James Michael Auchue (Posted by Gwen Samp)

Mazomanie--James Michael Auchue passed away on Wednesday, May 11, 2016 after a two year battle with brain cancer.
Jim was born at St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison on February 13, 1954.  He spent  his grade school years at St. Raphael’s Catholic School where he was proud to be appointed the president of the Acolyte Society.  He graduated from Madison East High School in 1972.  He earned his BA in Vocational Rehabilitation from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his Master’s degree in Industrial Recreation from the University of Minnesota.

Jim is survived by his wife, Linda (McGinley) Auchue; sisters-in-law, Laurie McGinley and Judy (Jim) Melton;  brother-in-law, Richard (Jen) McGinley; nephews, Chris (Sarah Nelson) Wilson, Andrew (Rhiannon) Wilson, James Gottschalk, Brett (Kara) Gottschalk; nieces, Danielle Wilson and Alyssa and Amanda McGinley; great-nieces, Adyson and Amelia Wilson; and great-nephew, Charlie Wilson; as well as his many cousins and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Clayton and Florence Auchue; his sister, Patricia Wilson; and brother-in-law, John Wilson.

Jim was devoted and loyal to his family and friends.  He celebrated their accomplishments and encouraged them when life took a wrong turn.

Jim’s spent over 30 years working to improve the employment environment and personal lives of disabled individuals.  He started working in Human Resources for Minnesota Diversified Industries in St. Paul in 1978. He and Linda relocated to Siren in 1989 when Jim was hired as Director of Diversified Services.  They moved back to the Madison area in 1999 when Jim took over management of Valley Packaging.  In 2008, Jim left the rehab business and started Blue Sky Painting.  In 2012, with his dog Lucy, he added canine bed bug detection services to his business.

Jim had a zest for life that led to numerous hobbies and interests.  He played hockey and golf.  He started playing hockey on the outdoor rinks on Madison’s north side and moved on to play at East High, on the UW JV team and the Madison Capitals.  He continued to play organized adult hockey until he was 55, although his favorite games were the pickup games at Tenney Park.

He was an avid fisherman.  He always looked forward to the annual fishing trips with his buddies and would spend hours hunting those elusive perch and walleye.  In fall he could be found walking the woods and fields hunting pheasant and grouse with his beloved golden retrievers.

When not playing hockey, golfing, fishing or hunting, Jim could be found in his workshop.  Many of his friends and relatives have enjoyed a cocktail sitting on one of his double Adirondack chairs.  He loved to find new uses for old wood and paneling and was very generous with the products that came out of his workshop.

Jim is known for his sense of humor. He liked to laugh and he loved to make others laugh.  He entertained his many, many friends and relatives throughout his life and those memories will live on.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 18, 2016, at ST. PETER CATHOLIC CHURCH, 5001 N. Sherman Avenue with Msgr. Charles Schluter presiding.  Visitation will be from 5-8 p.m. on Tues. May 17.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

AGENDA - AIS Round Table

LWCD logo.pngLake Group AIS Round Table

Where:   Drummond Civic Center, at the end of Wisconsin Ave on Front St.

When:    Saturday, 30 April 2016, 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 


8:30   Meet & Greet – Coffee & Refreshments Provided

9:00     Welcome & Introductions       Andrew Teal, BC AIS Project Coordinator

                                                            AIS Committee Members

                                                            Lake Groups

                                                            Tim Kane, Event Facilitator

                                                            UW Extension, Community Development Educator

9:15     Outline for Morning & Expectations - Resource Binder
9:30     Major projects-Hydraulic Conveyor, Invasive Species ID Day

10:00   Details of Watercraft Inspection Programs; Getting & Keeping Program Volunteers

10:45   Lake and Shoreline Monitoring Efforts - Planning, Early Detection & Rapid Response

  11:45   Wrap-Up and Announcements

12:00   Adjourn.  Thank you and be sure to use the resources!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Trish Bantle - Round Table meeting

Trish will be up on April 28th (Thursday evening) hopefully get the dock in on Friday! Then my tall paddleboat will be set to go!!!
I will stay until Sunday morning. Please send good weather!

Hello everyone,
This is a friendly reminder that on April 30th, 2016 we will have our AIS Round Table discussion at the Drummond Civic Center. Coffee and registration will start at 8:30 AM, and we will conclude at 12 PM. Refreshments will be provided. I have attached the flyer, and our tentative agenda. If there is anything you would like put on the agenda that does not fall into one of the topics listed, please let me know.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Trish Bantle's summer invitation!

A picture of Trish and Andrew.
Trish Bantle has a great idea for this summer. Here is what she said  "In the summer I have my own “happy hour” out front of the cabin on our paddleboat, (Frequently alone!!!)…thought it might be fun to have a “regatta” or flotilla or floating happy hour with many PL folks! That’s just one idea for socializing".     Watch out for her. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Posting by Trish Bantle

Hello everyone,

This is a friendly reminder that Bayfield County’s AIS Round Table Discussion will occur on Saturday, April 30th, 2016 from 8:30 AM—12 PM at the Drummond Civic Center. Please RSVP by April 8th, 2016, so we can get a head count. Walk-ins are welcome, we simply want to ensure there are enough refreshments for everyone. I encourage all lake groups to send representatives.  This will be an informative meeting that will benefit everyone.  Furthermore, if there are any lake-related topics, updates, and concerns you would like added to the agenda and addressed at the Round Table, please send them to me. The more input you can provide, the better we can utilize our time.

I also encourage you to attend the upcoming Wisconsin Lakes Partnership Convention in Stevens Point, March 30-April 1. Early bird registration is open until March 9th , after that regular price registration will be open. The Convention is also held in conjunction with the Citizen-based Monitoring Conference and Water Action Volunteers Annual Symposium. This year is the 30th anniversary of Wisconsin’s Citizen Lake Monitoring Network and the 20thanniversary of Water Action Volunteers, so celebrating volunteers will be greatly highlighted.

Thank you all for your hard work and continued support of the Bayfield County AIS Project!

Andrew Teal
Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator
Bayfield County Land & Water Conservation Department

Monday, February 29, 2016

Pigeon Lake Campsite Update

The Pigeon Lake Field Station is not up for public sale.  When it is, you will see an advertisement in the local paper.  We are required by law to advertise the public sale for at least three weeks and one of the places we will do that is in the newspaper of record in Bayfield County.

Where we are to date is as follows.  We have determined that no other public agency/entity is interested in purchasing the property or has the funds to purchase the property.  We are working with the Board of Regents to determine the next steps necessary with regards to moving forward with the public auction.  I think the process regarding putting the property up for sale will take quite some time yet based upon the way this project has progressed to date.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Parcel for Sale - additional info.

Parcel recommendations submitted to Natural Resources Board for second phase of DNR land sales

Under the direction of the 2013-15 state biennial budget bill, the Natural Resources Board will review Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources recommendations for the second phase of land sales when it meets Feb. 24 in Madison.
State law directed the Natural Resources Board to offer 10,000 acres of land for sale by June 30, 2017 - proceeds from these land sales will repay outstanding public debt related to the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship program. The department currently owns approximately 1,517,454 acres in fee title ownership and 300,267 acres in easements. The sale of 10,000 acres represents less than one percent of the department’s total land ownership.

The Natural Resources Board approved a policy for reviewing parcels for possible sale under this new law in December 2013. The department released an initial list of 118 parcels being reviewed under the policy in July 2015. During the review process, an additional 31 parcels were identified for possible sale. Final department recommendations include 82 parcels, totaling 5,900 acres to be offered for sale. 

Specific information related to the marketing of parcels available for public bid will be made available as the marketing occurs.  In addition to phase two land sale recommendations, the department recommends that 35 parcels, totaling 1,632 acres, be retained by the department and  32 parcels, totaling 2,195 acres, be held for further study in the next phase. 

Recommendations regarding each of the parc

Friday, January 22, 2016

Bayfield county decided not to pursue it.

The Pigeon Lake Field Station property near Drummond was sold by the state after many years of operation by the University of Wisconsin-River Falls as a recreational and educational campground.  The 85+ acre parcel of land includes 1750 feet of frontage on Pigeon Lake.  Originally this was a CCC Camp.  The property was recently appraised at $1.32 million dollars.  

The Bayfield County Forestry & Parks Department looked into the possibility of acquiring this property, but the County has decided not to pursue it.  Check up the article on the property that appeared in the January issue of the Bottom Line News & Views.

This is a very unique property.  Would the Nature Conservancy have any interest in purchasing it?  It's worth exploring.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Pigeon Lake Camp Ground update by Karen and Les Watters

Last night, January 11, 2016, Les and I attended the Bayfield County Forestry and Parks Committee Meeting, which was held at 6:00 p.m. in the County Board Room of the Courthouse in Washburn, WI. Pigeon Lake was the 5th item on the agenda.
        5.    Pigeon Lake Field Station Property.  Discussion and possible action regarding the State of Wisconsin, Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL) sale of the Pigeon Lake Field                         Station (former UW summer camp) located in the Town of Drummond.

Bayfield County Board Members were present and, speaking for the Bayfield County Forestry and Parks Department, was Jason Bodine.

        A map was shown of the lake front property and images of all cabins, buildings and roads on the over head power point.
        Appraisal of property is $1.325 million - at this time nothing less than $1.325 million is being considered as a selling price.
        No interest in the property is seen at this time and the board is open to ideas for a county take-over (obviously money to purchase the property by the county would be a problem).

            Les Watters (property owner on Pigeon Lake)   history and support of PL Camp
            Tim Kane (community development educator)   support of PL Camp

We left the meeting feeling as though the county board members were in favor of keeping the PIGEON LAKE FIELD STATION  as a public domain should a viable plan for use of the property arise and monies for purchase of the property be attained.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Posting by Trish Bantle.

When are we going to have a million water lover march on the Capitol?  I carry a canoe paddle, duck hunters carry shotguns, fisher persons fishing equipment, swimmers ....etc.  Do a jet ski rampage in front of the governors mansion on Lake Mendota!  Boat and trailer procession around Capitol Square for days...

Subject: Special action alert: why a polluter grab bag bill would be bad for public rights to water

Public access to those waters is constantly under threat of erosion and a recent legislative proposal getting a hearing this week at the Capitol is yet another example.
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Hearing Tuesday on AB 600, a giveaway of land and public rights

Wisconsin’s waters belong to the public and the state has the obligation to protect those waters. This is a basic idea in our state constitution. But public access to those waters is constantly under threat of erosion and a recent legislative proposal getting a hearing this week at the Capitol is yet another example.

The Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters is calling Assembly bill 600 and Senate bill 459 a “polluter grab bag” bill. It would simply give away public lake beds to developers for free and limit public access to those waters. The hearing on AB 600 will start at noon in room 417 North in the Capitol and WLCV is encouraging voters to contact their legislators or register in opposition to this bill.

Midwest Environmental Advocates is particularly concerned with the timing of this proposal. We are providing legal support for a citizen group in Door County that opposes a proposed private hotel development on public trust protected land in Sturgeon Bay. This bill would undermine the efforts by these concerned citizens to defend public access to waterfront property that we can demonstrate are constitutionally protected.

Take Action: Don’t let legislative favors rob us of our shared property; tell your legislators to oppose this land-grab.  

More on what’s wrong with AB 600: threats to wetlands

The legislation would make it easier to destroy the one million acres of wetlands—about 20% of remaining wetlands in Wisconsin—that are not protected by the federal government. Wisconsin citizens and the legislature worked hard to protect isolated wetlands after they lost federal protection through a state statute that received unanimous bi-partisan support. All wetlands, whether “connected” to navigable waters or not, provide critical flood protection, serve as habitat for threatened and endangered species, improve water quality, and allow for groundwater recharge.

Now these wetlands are under attack again. The legislature just made substantial changes to the wetland law in 2012, limiting review of alternatives for projects with a public economic benefit. Legislators told the public that the wetland law changes enacted in 2012 would lead to "more and better wetlands." But instead a recent investigation by the Wisconsin State Journal found that the average annual acreage of permitted wetland fill has nearly doubled since the new law took effect and the promised mitigation has not kept pace. This legislative proposal would be another blow to Wisconsin’s wetlands by allowing private development in isolated wetlands.

Planning to testify or contact a legislator about AB 600? Here's a summary of the changes:

There is a lot to be concerned about with this legislation. But here is a summary of a few of the changes that this bill would make that are bad for Wisconsin’s waters and the rights of citizens.

AB 600 allows property owners to dredge up to 30 cubic yards of lake bed from an inland lake or 100 yard from one of the Great Lakes per year. This is another giveaway of public trust land and also has serious water quality impacts.  

Areas of Significant Natural Resource Interest - The bill changes the process for designation of waters that possess significant scientific value. It would also automatically remove from designation all waters that have already been given this designation unless the DNR goes through the new process. 
  • The bill adds an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy by requiring joint finance approval before DNR can designate a water as possessing significant scientific value. This adds a significant burden to an already underfunded DNR. The DNR already has processes to designate such waters, which have been approved by statute or rule.
“Artificial” water bodies – The bill defines this term broadly and makes them exempt from Chapter 30’s requirements. This allows discharges and fill in artificial water bodies, which may include natural wetlands.
  • The bill makes it so that Chapter 30 generally does not apply to artificial waterbodies that are not hydrologically connected to a natural navigable waterway and do not discharge to natural navigable waterway except during storm event. 
    • It is unclear what the legislature means by “hydrologically connected.” Also, it would seem that all waters that discharge to navigable waters during storm events are “connected,” but this bill excludes those waters from Chapter 30’s protections.
  • The bill defines "Artificial water body" as a body of water that does not have a history of being a lake or stream or of being part of a lake or stream.
    • The term “artificial waterbodies” should be limited to waters that are actually manmade. The bill’s definition is too broad and could potentially include any wetland that doesn’t have a history of being part of a lake or stream.
Stormwater ponds in “artificial” waterways – The bill allows construction of stormwater management ponds in “artificial” waters, which may include natural wetlands.
  • The term “artificial” waterways is not defined in this section of the bill. The broad language and unclear definition opens the door for wetlands and other waters to be turned into storm water management ponds to treat polluted water.
  • This bill may allow the construction of a stormwater pond in a wetland or other water without a permit.
  • This bill also may exempt sediment-laden stormwater pond discharges to adjacent wetlands and other waters. This would have a significant impact on waters around frac sand mines and other industrial sites.