Letter From The Chairman
RKLD has once again retained Dr. Russ Kashian from UW-Whitewater to conduct an updated Economic Impact Report. For people like you who have followed our litigation against the WI DNR and their punitive water level order for Lake Koshkonong and the Rock River, you will remember the Administrative Law Judge threw out our data and accompanying testimony, saying the DNR was not required to consider the economic damage to businesses and property values when water levels are kept artificially low.
Last summer, the State Supreme Court said – wrong.
For the first time in the history of the WI DNR, they MUST consider the economic consequences of operating orders that mandate low water like we have during peak summer recreation season.
But the unreported truth to our epic victory is this – the DNR has no staff, no department, no division, no body – skilled and experienced to conduct this type of economic analysis. Left to their own operations, we know what the DNR will do – they will find a TA at the UW-Madison campus, who is getting a masters in economics, perhaps someone who needs a job post graduation, and slants the data in the DNR favor. After all, the Supremes simply declared the DNR must “consider” the economic impact of low water. Well, I am not a lawyer, but to “consider” something does not always lead to a fact-based decision. So, we will do the DNR work for them with the same expert we retained several years ago. Dr. Kashian will expand on his initial research, update his models, and conduct field interviews as well. RKLD will be so abundantly thorough, that even the DNR will be hesitant to throw-out the conclusions from an academic-driven effort.
It is a real shame that our taxpayers need to keep investing in the litigation process to prove what we have always known – 7.2 inches in the lake is not a flood, no one will be flooded, wetlands will not be drowned, recreation and safety will be improved, and our investments in our homes and businesses will receive their real value.
Brian Christianson, Chairman
Rock-Koshkonong Lake District
Supreme Court Decision
Watch for UW-Whitewater Interviewers at the Boat Launches This Holiday Weekend!
This first phase Dr. Kashian is launching for our Economic Impact Study is personal interviews with you who use the water for recreation. Students from UW-W will assist in collecting personal experiences and testimony at highly used boat launches – Anchor Inn in Newville, the DNR boat ramp on Ellendale Road, Harbor Recreation Marina, Rock County’s Dallman Landing, among others. So whether you are heading-out fishing, or pontooning, tubing or skiing this Holiday weekend, please give some of your time if you are approached by people carrying a clipboard. Future phases will also include data collected from business owners.
Slow NO WAKE order Still in Effect on River
It may seem a bit odd that we are fighting for more water when the current lake and river levels are high and are under a SNW order by the county. However, you have heard it here many times, only Mother Nature can control high water and flood stages. The Indianford Dam can only pass so much flow, and during our current stage, nearly every thing is flowing over the spillway. What the Dam can do though, is hold back water during low flow and drought conditions – which typically occur in summer and late fall. RKLD’s goal has been to extend the summer recreation season, improve safety and navigation, and foster a world class fish hatchery that nominally higher water levels would provide.
With a new team at the DNR; a new Secretary and Dep. Secretary leading the department, and the retirements of DNR staff who frankly, had their opinions of RKLD established long ago, we are very hopeful that this time next year will bring a new operating order for the lake and river.