Kohler Permits Have Been Submitted
Mar 24, 2017 — The Kohler permits have come in for their joint State and Federal applications. The permits are expected to go to the Town of Wilson in April.
PERMITS are located here:
Kohler-Andrae State Park will NEVER be the same if this project is approved. The loss of this last remaining remnant of a post-glacier Lake Michigan forest dune community would be an incredible nation-wide loss for everyone. This is not a property that can be replaced with the payment of $$$ and imitation habitat mitigation in abandoned cornfield miles away.
Areas of concern:
1. The entire plan hinges on Kohler's ability to STEAL four(total impact will be more than 20 acres) acres of publicly own state park land. Kohler arrogantly describes this land as "not being used by park visitors." Not true. This land is is being preserved for its value for wildlife and to protect the unique and valuable open and forested sand dunes formations. All of which would be permanently destroyed by Kohler and forever off limits to future park visitors.
2. Kohler intends to build their maintenance facilities(to house pesticides and golf carts) and parking lot on public owned land. Why should the Wisconsin taxpayers host a Kohler maintenance shed and parking? Again Kohler arrogantly states this is an upgrade to our Wisconsin State Park. We strongly disagree.
3. There would be clear cutting of more than 50% of the woodlands. This destruction will disrupt wildlife, ecosystems, wetlands, runoff, and aquifer levels.
4. Wetlands will be destroyed. When Kohler states wetlands lost will be mitigated they are relying an area outside of Amsterdam Dunes mitigation site. This would be accomplished by artificially creating dunes. How exactly Kohler intends to recreate what took the ice age thousands of years to create using an old farm field is not addressed.
The changing of the entire hydrology of the site has been avoided by Kohler in its Impact Statements and by the DNR. Kohler seems to pride themselves in only destroying 3.69 acres of wetlands. What Kohler does not describe is the total combined destruction of hundreds of small wetland ecosystems that will be filled in for the golf course. No Practicable Alternate Analysis (PAA)was done in regard to avoid wetland destruction.
5. Water usage of more than 25,000,000 gallons/year. This will draw down the local aquifer. Our State Park and neighboring landowners will be left to whatever happens once Kohler starts drawing water from their high capacity wells to irrigate this sand based site.
6. We have been asking the DNR for the need to re-notice (have a hearing again) the Draft Environmental Impact Study hearing as the study was lacking critical information. This was unprecedented in its incomplete, non-scientific approach to presenting impacts.
The DNR is mandated to provide complete information to the public on impacts. Therefore the public was denied its right to make informed comment.
7. The USACE (Army Corps) sent the Phase II Archaeological Study to the Wisconsin Historical Society before it received a permit application from Kohler. They then overstepped their role of giving only preliminary help to Kohler by contacting Native American tribes and asking them to consult with Kohler before any applications were submitted.
We ask for full evaluation of the "no build" alternative including the alternative to construct on other sites and alternatives which modify and reconfigure the project to avoid ALL wetland impacts and absolutely no use of a Wisconsin State Park.
More information can be found at http://www.friendsblackriverforest.org/
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