Conservation Group Gives Northwoods Legislator Low Grades

Jul 8, 2014

Open-pit iron ore mine

One Northwoods legislator has gotten low marks from a conservation group.

The League of Conservation Voters each year rates how the legislature votes on conservation-related issues. League Program Director Anne Sayers says overall it was a mixed session for conservation. She says half  of the pro-conservation bills supported by them were signed into law. Conservation interests were successful three-fourths of the time in halting what they saw as anti-conservation measures. Sayers says this shows public pressure can change things..

" of the biggest stories is how impactful the work of Wisconsin citizens was in being able to stop or pass conservation policies. Sometimes we think there is no way to impact conservation policy as a citizen and this scorecard reports a very different story..."

Sayers says gains included improving water quality and preventing toxins like lead and prescription drugs from contaminating  drinking water, all of which passed with strong bipartisan support.
She says a loss was  Open-Pit Mining Bill, which exempted iron mines from having to meet most environmental laws.  It passed despite the historic outpouring of citizen opposition. That bill led one Northwoods legislator...Senator Tom Tiffany of Hazelhurst... to make their "Conservation Dishonor Roll"...

".....he was the author of the open-pit mining bill and authored bills that would remove local control. It was a very controversial position to take and was very unpopular among Wisconsin voters and fortunately, those bills were defeated, both of the local control bills were defeated...."

Republican Representative Scott Krug of Nekoosa was named to the Honor Roll for his work to help preserve ground water in the central sands area.