For rural Republican voters who think government regulations are suffocating their growth, well, maybe they've changed their minds...I hope.
While Republican legislators complain wind farms are unsightly and hurt property values around them, they're perfectly fine destroying property values with very large smelly dairy farms drawing down nearby water levels with their high capacity wells and spreading manure that eventually pollutes nearby residents drinking water. Oh, and they can now take their tax cut savings and spend it saving their communities by going to court to cancel out those high capacity wells. What a deal?
This is a rural American horror story:
Pleasant Lake in Waushara and Marquette counties ... 120-acre lake — located mostly in the town of Coloma about 60 miles west of Oshkosh — is ideal for swimming, fishing, boating and other simple pleasures. For more than a century, full-time and seasonal residents and tourists have enjoyed the central Wisconsin lake, which can be accessed from public boat landings.
However, the issuance in 2016 of two permits by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources — for a high-capacity well on a nearby farm and a new dairy farm — posed imminent threats to the lake’s water level and even the lake itself. That’s why owners of lakeside and other nearby properties decided to purchase and conserve the 105-acre Bula Farm to protect Pleasant Lake and its watershed lands — and to challenge the DNR permits in court. In May 2017, Pleasant Lake Management District members voted to purchase the land for $400,000 through a 20-year loan.
The proposed Richfield Dairy has not yet been built, but ... the Bula Farm was registered as a designated receiver of manure from the dairy — another concern for the residents. Manure spreading has been found to cause groundwater and surface-water pollution from nitrates and other contaminants of concern, especially in vulnerable areas such as Wisconsin’s Central Sands.
The Wisconsin State Journal reported Nov. 16, 2017, that the “Wisconsin Department of Revenue has found that homes near large dairy operations have been selling for as much as 13 percent below their assessed value in Kewaunee County, where odor, noise and water pollution from the sprawling feedlots have been a big problem.” PLMD president Tom Kunes said that either a high-capacity well or manure spreading “would have destroyed natural habitats and the quality of the lake. That would have been very destructive.”
Kunes noted long-term issues at stake: “Loss of lake water levels and contamination of private wells will result in degradation of both water quality and property values. This causes lake districts to spend money unnecessarily on legal actions to prevent water degradation and on purchase of nearby croplands to protect water resources.”