A six-county conference looking at the area lakes and rivers convenes Friday at Nicolet College.
The Oneida County Lakes and Rivers Association is holding it's annual meeting, but preceding that meeting will be a discussion sponsored jointly by the Oneida County organization and the Vilas County Lakes and Rivers Association.
Bob Martini, president of the Oneida County Lakes and Rivers Association, says the meeting is designed to discuss the state of our plentiful water resources.
He says local groups will focus on some changes in state law...
".....Local control of shoreland zoning was taken away from the counties a few years ago. We had a change on July 1 of this year that prohibits counties from protecting wetlands. Those things used to be the purview of local county boards and local county committees. Not any more, they are statewide and they've been watered down significantly. We want to make sure the lake associations in our six-county region understand that these protections are eroding...."
The featured speaker is James Brakken, author of the book, “Saving Our Lakes and Streams: 101 Practical Things You Can Do Today?” Brakken is president of the Northwest Water Consortium, a past president of Wisconsin Lakes, and a Wisconsin lakes Stewardship Award member, and an award-winning writer.
Martini says the meeting is open to the public and they hope to educate about the need to protect the water...
"...and it's really important to understand that if you don't protect those lakes and they deteriorate, the economy will also deteriorate. We've got a lot of evidence to support that..."
The meeting is Friday, July 13 from 9:00 a.m. - noon at Nicolet College in Rhinelander. More information is at oclra.org