The year 2020 has been another active year for Citizens for a Scenic Wisconsin, and we continue to defend and advance our scenic principles.
We have brought on two new highly motivated and qualified board members.
Jay Salinas of Reedsburg is experienced in promoting agricultural tourism, an activity that depends on attractive rural scenery and increases respect for that scenery. Jay is director of the Wormfarm Institute, an organization working to integrate art, agriculture and ecology for improved agricultural life-style. Jay organized this year’s Farm Art DTour, an event with exhibits of sculptures and sales of local delicacies along a 60-mile figure-eight of scenic country roads near Reedsburg that took place Sep 26-Oct 4 and attracted 22,000 people.
Frank Shansky of St.Francis has been deeply involved with the citizens’ drive in recent years to save Sanctuary Woods on the Milwaukee County Grounds in Wauwatosa, an old growth hardwood forest. He has spoken repeatedly before the common Council in Wauwatosa and the Milwaukee County Board to conserve the Woods by making it part of recently created County Grounds Park. Now that the Woods it is part of the park, he continues in an activist, leadership role to make sure that elected officials respect zoning that prevents commercial building adjacent to the Woods and to the nearby Monarch Trail butterfly habitat.
A cooperative relationship has been established with the Wormfarm Institute.
A new strategic relationship has been established between the Wormfarm Institute (described above) headquartered in Reedsburg, Wisconsin, whereby both organizations cooperate to support and advance initiatives, such as agricultural tourism, that encourage conservation of scenery.
Scenic Wisconsin leadership is engaged in re-building at Scenic America.
In discussions with Scenic America President Mark Falzone and new Progarm Director Nathan O’Neill at the September Affiliates meeting, President Gary Goyke and Secretary Charlie Mitchell reported on our activities and presented the History of Citizens for a Scenic Wisconsin and a report of States with Good Billboard Regulation. Scenic America will make the History available in their library, and the report will be the basis for a bulletin intended to support strengthening billboard laws.
We have become active in support for Rustic Roads in Wisconsin.
Scenic Wisconsin was invited by the Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation to participate in the stewardship of the Rustic Roads program. Gary will be consulting with the Rustic Roads board about improved signage and other upgrades, and will advocate for funding in the WisDoT budget in the upcoming state legislative session. Rustic Roads are scenic rural back roads designated and managed by the WisDoT to keep them scenic.
We advocated for the Billboard Reform Bill in the state legislature.
Known as the Billboard Reform Act, the bill was intended to prohibit new off-premises advertising signs known as billboards along state and federal highways. Scenic Wisconsin officers and board members had been instrumental in drafting this bill sponsored by Representative Amanda Stuck of Appleton. While the bill stalled in the Assembly Transportation Committee, it had the effect of blunting advances by the aggressive Outdoor Advertising industry.
The board of directors have been very active personally informing legislators and candidates, making them aware of our scenic values, and will remain steadfast in pressing for billboard reform in the upcoming legislative session.
It takes financial support to continue to defend scenery against self-serving actions of the well-funded outdoor advertising industry. Please contribute as much as you are willing and able to, however much fits into your budget. Return the slip provided here with your check or credit card number in the enclosed envelope.
Thank you and happy holidays.
Gary Goyke, President
Charlie Mitchell, Founder
P.S: The History of Citizens for Scenic Wisconsin and the Report of States with Good Billboard Regulation are exceptional works authored by Charlie that will not only aid our efforts, but influence the national scenic movement. The History is an example and the Report is a reference for other state scenic organizations. Nice job, Charlie! Gary