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February News and Highlights

Challenges to CHC Continue

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ELPC and DALC continue to push against the costly, destructive, and unneccessary Cardinal-Hickory Creek Transmission line project. ELPC attorneys filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin on behalf of the National Wildlife Refuge Association, Driftless Area Land Conservancy, Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, and Defenders of Wildlife against the Rural Utilities Service for violating the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) by failing to sufficiently consider reasonable alternatives, and against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for violating the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act in approving the unneeded huge Cardinal-Hickory Creek high-voltage transmission line and 20-story high towers that will cut a wide swath through the protected Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, and the scenic Driftless Area’s vital natural resources. According to ELPC Executive Director Howard Learner:

The Upper Mississippi National Wildlife and Fish Refuge is a gem of the Midwest’s natural resources and landscape. Approving a huge unneeded high-voltage transmission line to cut across this protected National Wildlife Refuge is just wrong as a matter of both law and common sense. The Environmental Law & Policy Center is proud to represent these four conservation groups who are committed to protect vital natural resources and preserve this National Wildlife and Fish Refuge for all of us to enjoy today and for future generations.


and Jennifer Filipiak, Executive Director, Driftless Area Land Conservancy:

The Refuge is part of the unique Driftless Area of Wisconsin where we have been working to protect and restore land and habitat with many landowners and conservation partners for the last 20 years. DALC opposes this unnecessary and costly transmission line in part because it will permanently harm that Refuge. We should instead be pursuing better clean energy alternatives that can grow our local economies, support farmers and sustain our communities while avoiding the massive damage that this line and the others that could follow will have.


Two good articles can be found at:

https://www.fdlreporter.com/story/news/2021/02/10/environmental-groups-sue-over-cardinal-hickory-high-voltage-power-line/6703789002/


https://www.wiscnews.com/news/state-and-regional/conservation-groups-sue-feds-over-power-line-through-mississippi-river-wildlife-refuge/article_03714043-44c0-5d16-9418-5e971aa747ad.html

SDG Resource Offerings

Videos and references all at your fingertips!


Webinar recordings from the recent Southern Driftless Grasslands partnership meeting are now online. Click on the YouTube Channel icon to see all the offerings. While you are there, be sure to browse the extensive selection of resources and references curated by the SDG team under the "Resources" tab. There you can find helpful links and guides on Land Protection, Land Management, Landowner Services, Technical & Financial Assistance, and Managing Your Project. www.driftlessgrasslands.org/


Donor Highlight: David Kopitzke


We recently caught up with David Kopitzke, a Founding Board member, conservation easement holder and long-time friend of DALC, to learn about his conservation giving legacy. As part of our celebration of DALC's 20 years we are excited to share a bit of history through David's story. We are grateful for his ongoing generosity, kind presence, and continued support.


Read the full story.

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