Greetings From The St. Germain
Town Lakes Committee
May, 2017  

We have some important information to share with you.  This message highlights three topics, two of which we encourage you to consider taking action on.  The third pertains to the apparent affect of climate change on fish populations in Wisconsin lakes.  While this topic is interesting, or perhaps alarming, there is less we as individuals can do to change its course than the first two topics.
     S H O R E L A N D    Z O N I N G 

The WI Legislature adopted a highly controversial Act as part of its 2015-17 biennial budget that prohibits counties and towns enacting shoreland zoning ordinances that are more restrictive than what had previously been a statewide minimum standard.  It also eliminated zoning restrictions based on lake classifications.

Many landowners throughout Vilas County objected to the new rules and urged the County Board to take action to try to appeal the act or at least amend some of its provisions.  A summary of the County Board response to this public appeal can be reviewed HERE on a document in the Town Lakes Committee Library on the town website.

Additionally, recent efforts by members of the Vilas County Land & Water Conservation Committee to urge further action by the County Board have been unsuccessful.  Marv Anderson, a member of the St. Germain Town Lakes Committee, serves on the County Board as the representative of St. Germain, Ward 1, and is also as a member of the Land and Water Conservation Committee..  Marv provides the following summary of  what has been happening at that committee:

In January, 2017, I brought up the subject of putting the issue on a subsequent Committee agenda. After discussion, it was agreed to seek input from interested entities, and schedule an agenda item as appropriate, possibly for a special meeting.

A special meeting was not set up, and the item was not put on the February Committee agenda by the Chair, as a result of her conferring with Corporate Counsel.

Prior to the March meeting, myself and Carolyn Ritter requested that the Shoreland Classification issue of Act 55 be put on the March Agenda.

  • The Chair did not do so, citing concerns of Corp Counsel, and that she did not think it appropriate or necessary for the Committee to do so.
  • At the point in the Committee Meeting for communications, Carolyn and Dennis Nielsen suggested that it is appropriate and should be on the Committee’s agenda.
  • I submitted and read a Resolution for which I asked to be put on the Committee’s June agenda, and after significant discussion, the Chair noted she questioned why it came up while she was gone, and itdhat she did not think it should be on an agenda. 
  • After further requests by me and 3 of the other Board members on there Committee to do so, the Chair noted she would discuss with Corp Counsel prior to doing so.

This is where the issue stands as of today with the Committee and the Board.

Your Town Lakes Committee encourages you to contact members of the Vilas County Board of Supervisors to express your views, whatever they may be, regarding how this topic is being handled.  The Board of Supervisors directory can be found on pages 8 - 10 at this LINK.

WI Assembly Bill 600/Senate Bill 459
Lake Dredging

Proposed legislation is currently being considered that would allow WI inland waterfront property owners to dredge up to 30 cubic yards per year from their lake bottom, equaling approximately three dump trucks.  Only a general permit would be required, which does not take into consideration the lake's unique ecology or the habitat it offers.

Use this link to learn more about this from a document in the Town Lakes Committee Library on the town website.

Your St. Germain Town Lakes Committee then urges you to contact your state representatives, wherever in the state you may pay property taxes, and let your voice be heard on this topic.  The opportunity to make a difference is now!
Lakes in Wisconsin are Getting Warmer, and FIsh Communities are Changing   

A recent report by the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) highlights shifts in fish habitat under climate change.  It can be accessed at CLIMATE CHANGE AND FRESHWATER FISH report. 
     Please visit the St. Germain Town Lakes Committee page of the town website