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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Wild Rivers, Clean Rivers

Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle gave his signing hand a workout today, inking his name to two important, river-friendly pieces of legislation. One gave the Brunsweiler River the state's first Wild River designation in almost 40 years. The Brunsweiler was a favorite of famed conservationist Martin Hanson, who lived beside it most of his life. Sadly, he passed away in 2007, but this designation is a recognition of his life and hard work for Wisconsin's environment. Paws way up to that. And in the "when it rains it pours" category, we're hoping that in a couple of weeks that signing hand will designate the Totogatic River a Wild River as well. Rivers are suddenly going wild all over this state...about time, if you ask me.

His second "Jim Doyle" signed the Clean Lakes Bill into law, banning the sale and use of phosphorous-based fertilizers. We've given flack to farmers on this blog for agro-runoff and its harmful effects on our trickling tributaries, but urban/suburban green lawn aficionados deserve a little blame too. Their beloved phosphorous fertilizers have wreaked havoc in our rivers, exploding algae growth and depressing oxygen levels. Not fun for fishies, to be sure...or anything else that relies on oxygenated water to breath. Now, thanks to a forward-thinking legislature and the Governor's ceremonial pen, phosphorous pollution in our rivers is one less thing about which we have to worry.

A good day to be a river rat, let me tell you.

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