Help Us Protect Wisconsin’s Scenic Beauty
If you think that preserving and enhancing the unique scenery of our beautiful state is important, then Scenic Wisconsin would like you as a member.
Are you tired of unsightly billboards obscuring the views along our roadways? Some places have so many billboards that you would have to slow down to read them all. These roadside signs used to be small, wooden structures that were intended to eventually come down. Now they are large, steel structures – lighted and often converted to digital displays – and intended to last for decades.
In Wisconsin, billboard companies have gotten the legislature to approve cutting down vegetation, even when planted at taxpayer expense, if it obstructs the view of a billboard. Wisconsin laws have also been written so that compensating sign companies for removing billboards is a very expensive process. When signs need to be removed for roadway improvements or new development it can and does cost taxpayers millions of dollars.
All this to protect an industry that is increasingly becoming a dinosaur. Drivers that in the past have used billboards to find hotels and restaurants, now just use their smartphones and GPS. Businesses are turning to online advertising, TV, and social media for promotion. In fact, states that have banned billboards entirely – Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, and Vermont – have seen no adverse economic effect. For these and other reasons, Scenic Wisconsin has worked with legislators to draft bills that were introduced into recent legislative sessions. This proposed legislation seeks to impose more reasonable regulations on off-premises signs.
We also participated in a recent court case that was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court regarding such regulation. The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that billboards can be regulated, even banned. In this case, the court ruled in favor of the City of Austin (Texas), agreeing that sign companies could not use supposed First Amendment rights to avoid reasonable regulation. Specifically, Austin is allowed to continue to ban the conversion of static billboards to electronic display. We will continue to support similar measures in the future.
Scenic Wisconsin is also more than just an anti-billboard group. We are dedicated to preserving and enhancing all the scenic resources in our state. We have worked with legislators of both parties on legislation that would help to preserve barns and other structures and convert them to new uses (such as wedding venues). We actively support the Scenic Byways and Rustic Roads programs. We favor the use of smaller, directional signs that point drivers to local businesses and attractions without the use of large, intrusive billboards. If these efforts are things you can get behind, we can really use your help.
Thanks for helping to make Wisconsin an even better place to live!
Membership via USPS or Online with Paypal
There are two ways to join us now! Below is a membership form that you can fill out online and connect to PayPal to contribute. There is also a link to a form you can fill out to mail in with a check. Or you can print the blank membership form, fill it out manually, and mail it with a check. Whatever way you want to participate, your help is appreciated (and needed).
Option 1: USPS
You can print out your membership form and mail it in. Please click here.
Option 2: Online
Please STAY updated
If you change your mailing address, phone number, or email address please make sure to provide us with the updated information.
Our contact page has several ways to reach us.