Wisconsin’s Green Fire Short Term Priorities Summary

July 30, 2018 Download PDF Version

Work Groups

Air Quality Work Group

Jon Heinrich

  • Respond to State Legislative Proposals and Policies and Rule Changes.
  • Monitor Significant Air Permit Applications in Wisconsin – consider whether WGF will evaluate.
  • Develop a history of Wisconsin’s air quality management
  • Issues to watch: possible legislation to rescind all state-only air pollution regulations more stringent than federal requirements, Foxconn Non-permit Related Issues, Limitations on WDNR regulatory authority.
  • Support the Climate Change Work Group.

Climate Change Work Group

Mike Meyers

  • Produce and share science-based climate information with Wisconsin’s citizens.
  • Form Partnerships with scientists at the University of Wisconsin and WDNR who are associated with the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICCI) and with other groups
  • Update the previously-established recommended actions (no cost, low cost, and high cost actions), which, if implemented, could reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Wisconsin, and evaluate whether Wisconsin’s strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are sufficient.

Environmental Education Work Group

Dolly Ledin and Meta Brandt

  • Monitor policy changes in K-12 environmental and science education and involve WGF members in providing information to policy makers on these issues.
  • Explore the uses of WGF products, such as issue papers, in educational settings. Adapt products for use with broader range of audiences.
  • Explore ways to diversify the perspectives and membership of WGF. Help recruit educators, education researchers, and social scientists to join or collaborate with WGF.
  • Longer Term goals include Develop a mentoring program for youth and aspiring Professionals, Develop outreach to K-12 and college students, Expand WGF’s education scope through outreach to Citizen Science and other educational groups.

Fisheries Work Group

David Vetrano and John Lyons

  • Integrate with other WGF work groups on aquatic ecology issues (e.g., wetlands and wildlife, water quality, water quantity, climate change) to emphasize an ecosystem management approach.
  • Network with state (Wisconsin DNR), federal (USGS, USFWS, GLIFWC), and non-governmental organizations (Trout Unlimited, other sportfish groups) about current and emerging fisheries issues.
  • Recruit members for the Fisheries Work Group with varied and broad experiences and expertise, including retired agency professionals, current academics, and informed citizens.
  • Mentor students and young professionals.

Forestry Work Group

Ron Eckstein

  • Develop the foundational principles for the Forestry work group
  • Seek funding for an economic/ecological study of the impact of deer on forests
  • Contact WGF members who have expressed interest in the work group

Public Lands Work Group

  • Identify co-chairs
  • Develop Foundational paper regarding the importance of public lands, the values WGF holds regarding public lands, and what WGF believes should be the goals and actions for addressing public lands
  • Participate in coalitions to support continued funding for Stewardship program

Public Trust Work Group

Michael Cain and Ron Grasshoff

  • Provide analysis and comments on proposed legislation that will impact water and wetland resources.
  • Develop education and outreach materials for an active Speakers Bureau and other outreach opportunities
  • Diversify our membership, expand our pool of expertise, and find opportunities where students or practitioners can assist in gathering and synthesizing data documenting the long-term impacts to Public Rights from recent legislation and legal action

Water Resources / Environmental Rules Work Groups

Paul LaLiberte

  • High capacity wells (George Kraft, lead) Create a video from WGF issue paper on high-capacity wells (posted on website). The video will empower WGF members to share this information widely.
  • Mining (Tom Jerow, lead) Develop a foundational document stating the principles of the WGF position on mining so that members can speak about mining ordinances on behalf of WGF.
  • CAFO & nonpoint source pollution (Paul LaLiberte, lead) Continue to investigate the relationship of agriculture with water quality—phosphorus impacts on surface water, nitrogen impacts on groundwater, and health effects in both surface and groundwater.

Wildlife Work Group

Tom Hauge

  • Chronic Wasting Disease: Increase outreach to decision makers on the disease to encourage a more active response.
  • Deer management: We are concerned about the rapid growth of Wisconsin’s statewide deer herd and the impact on forest regeneration, plant diversity, and deer herd health. In the last decade, legislation has heavily limited harvest management regulations and policy.

Board and Standing Committees

WGF Board

Terry Daulton, President and Jim Perry, Vice President

  • Past year accomplishments: In 2017-2018, the Board accomplished many formative tasks: achieved 501c3 tax exempt status from IRS and incorporation in Wisconsin (June 2018); acquired directors and operators insurance for WGF; contracted with part time administrative coordinator; recommended amendments to WGF Bylaws to be voted on by membership at 2018 annual meeting; participated in an organizational alignment facilitated exercise as a first step to strategic planning; oversaw a successful fundraising and membership drive in 2017-2018 which allowed us to make progress on many steps for the organization; developed guidance and operating procedures for work groups and WGF work products; recruited work group leadership; considered and deliberated appropriate role for WGF regarding science in advocacy; presented two “summits” in 2018 with attendance over 100 members, to work on the science in advocacy issue and to organize work groups; maintained business relationship with WI Wildlife Federation to serve as our fiscal agent pending non-profit status approval by IRS; authorized purchase of Zoom and NEON CRM systems to facilitate remote meetings and membership databases respectively; conducted several media interviews and responded to requests for information about WGF.

Short term Priorities for Board

  • Through ad hoc nominating committee, identify interested candidates to run for Board seats for 2018-2019
  • Through ad hoc planning committee, plan and carry out 2018 annual meeting in September 2018 “The Art of Effective Science Communication – Reaching Outside the Echo Chamber.”
  • Continue to oversee WGF efforts to establish effective management systems.

Communications Committee

Bruce Neeb and Jim Perry

  • Support work groups in developing effective informational materials
  • Maintain and develop content for WGF’s web site and social media outlets
  • Produce quarterly membership newsletters
  • Maintain media contact lists and develop WGF style guides
  • Develop and edit media releases
  • Work jointly with Education work group on proactive information and education initiatives

Development Committee

Fred Clark

We identified two strategic needs in a 3-5 year time frame:
(1) a WGF Action Fund (a reserve fund to respond rapidly to priority issues, e.g., by hiring consultants with specific expertise)
(2) increased staffing (perhaps an executive director and/or communications coordinator).

To raise money for these needs we will

  • Apply for grants from foundations
  • Reach out to individual donors
  • plan two initial “friend raisers” (one in Madison, one in conjunction with the annual meeting)
  • Request donations through our year end appeal (to new individuals and our current members and supporters.

To help with these requests, we will update our “case for support” and create a year-end review to show what donations has accomplished.

Membership Committee

Jim Perry

  • As of mid-June 2018 WGF had 390 members
  • We have added two new categories of membership: Family (General or Professional) and Sustaining (General or Professional).
  • In the near future, we will be able to accept membership fees electronically. Eventually, we would like the capability for monthly electronic transfer of funds.