Bad River Watershed Association

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Full House for "Wisconsin's Mining Standoff" Screening

Over 200 people packed the Martin Hanson Theater at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center on July 24th to view a documentary called "Wisconsin’s Mining Standoff." The film was produced by a Milwaukee group, 371 Productions, and recently aired on Al Jazeera America’s Faultlines series.  The audience listened as a panel discussed the issue and responded to questions following the showing. Panelists were: Tracy Hames, Executive Director of the WI Wetlands Association; Pete Russo, Ashland Co. Board Chair; Devon Cupery, producer of the film; Charles Ortman, Ashland Co. Board and Impact Committee member; Mike Wiggins Jr., Bad River Tribal Chairman; and State Senator Bob Jauch. The event was sponsored by the Bad River Watershed Association.


Checking In On a Marengo River Subwatershed Restoration Project

By Kevin Brewster, Restoration Manager

The Marengo is the most erosion-prone subwatershed in the Bad River watershed, due to the amount of open agricultural land present and its erodible soils.  But a lot of positive things are quietly going on across this watershed, and it's great to get little reminders once in a while just how committed some landowners are to helping improve the health of our watershed's streams.  Recently, BRWA landowner contact contractor Erika Lang led a tour to visit several examples of improvements made on the landscape that help reduce sediment pollution and improve fish habitat.  I was able to join the group for a visit to Ted Mika's cattle farm, where innovative streambed crossings have been installed to allow passage of farm equipment and livestock across sensitive intermittently flooded drainage features that cross grazed fields.  In the past, a standard practice used to deal with intermittent stream channels on farm land was to fill the channel and install a culvert to allow water to move through during wet periods.  The filled area was often added into productive acreage, decreasing vegetative buffering capacity to slow runoff to filter out nutrient pollution from livestock and reduce erosion.  The relatively new approach involves leaving a vegetated channel zone in place, contouring the crossing to the approximate natural stream bed level and then creating a compacted surface consisting of a base of course rock, filter fabric, crushed gravel and a top layer of crushed or fractured granite.  Eventually, the crossing will be re-colonized by streambed vegetation.  The resulting hard-bottomed crossing allows cattle or heavy farm equipment to pass through the flooded channel without getting stuck or stirring up excessive sediment.  A typical crossing costs about $5,000, with the landowner paying about 10% of that, and federal and county conservation incentive programs covering the rest.  The Mika farm now has five of these crossings installed, virtually eliminating problems associated with wet weather operations, and greatly minimizing impacts to the intermittent stream that meanders across the property.

Hard-bottomed CrossingTour Attendees


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Adopt-A-Highway Clean-up this Thursday

Come join us as we clean up the BRWA Adopt-A-Highway section of US Hwy 2 near Saxon, WI, on the eastern side of the Bad River watershed. The clean-up is scheduled for this Thursday, June 12th. Volunteers should meet at 10:00a in the parking lot of the Frontier Bar, which is located near the intersection of Hwy 2 and Hwy 169 in Saxon. If possible, please RSVP to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 715-682-2003. Hope to see you there!


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BRWAs Priorities Poll

Please rank the questions below based on how you believe BRWA should prioritize emerging water quality issues in the region. (5 being the highest, 1 being the lowest - use the "+" selector to vote. 5 votes for highest rank, 4 votes for second highest, etc.)

Establish baseline water quality conditions
Outreach and education
Restore problem erosional areas
Work with local authorities to address water quality issues
Protective waterway designations
» Go to poll »
15 Votes left
Threats To Water Poll

Please rank the questions below based on what you believe is the greater threat to water quality in the region. (5 being the highest, 1 being the lowest - use the "+" selector to vote. 5 votes for highest rank, 4 votes for second highest, etc.)

Large-scale agriculture
Failing septic/waste treatment systems
Stream sedimentation, washouts and erosion
Forest management practices
» Go to poll »
15 Votes left

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