COURTESY OF BING IMAGES
“(T)he highest role of the law is the protection of human and natural communities, rather than protection of the ruling elite.” ~ Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, Breaking the Planet.
Wisconsin’s Fellow Mortals Wildlife Hospital describes the work it does with wildlife as “ethical, compassionate, and professional rehabilitation.”
“Fellow Mortals Wildlife Hospital was created as a special place for injured and orphaned wildlife to heal and be acclimated for return to the wild. 40,000 animals and over 100,000 people have received help — at no charge — over the last 30 years,” according to the organization, which is located near Lake Geneva.
American Transmission Company had scheduled a June 20 clear-cut of an easement near the sanctuary, 84 feet from the center of an adjacent highway. The proposed cut included a 100-year-old spruce tree that has been trimmed for 50 years to facilitate the easement.
Over 80,000 people have signed a petition asking that the easement be trimmed, not clear-cut. The petition explains: “The property is located on a rural road that becomes very busy in the summer months, and very noisy. The noise and human activity is detrimental to the wildlife in outdoor flights and habitats who require a peaceful, quiet and natural environment to prevent injuries caused by stress, and to prevent habituation to humans and human activities prior to release. … The trees and other vegetation provide a buffer from traffic noise, human voices and provide security and privacy.”
The sanctuary posted a short video and description of the bird habitat and small mammal nesting area that is threatened by clear-cutting.
People can sign and network the petition to social media, and contact American Transmission Co., based in Waukesha, at 866-899-3204 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The town board has informed ATC that they cannot proceed without a planning commission approval of their cut, so for now, it is on hold. But Alissa Braatz, corporate communications for American Transmission Lines, wrote me, “Even if the town ordinance seems to apply, the laws and regulations of the State of Wisconsin take precedence … public utilities like ATC are exempt from obtaining a permit to cut trees.” An ATC flyer states: “A tree does not need to make direct contact with a transmission line to create a hazard or a dangerous situation … and power outages.”
ATC has control of 9,940 acres of easements in four states and plans to clear-cut all of it, according to Steven Blane, co-founder of the wildlife sanctuary. These lands contain ancient trees, vital wildlife and bird habitat, carbon sinks of vegetation that mitigate climate change. Trees and natural wild systems buffer people’s property from roads and power lines all along the toxic power line system. We humans and all mammals are electrical beings. “Living close to power lines has been shown to increase the risk of leukemia and other cancers since 1979,” EM Watch reports. Many other detrimental health effects have been well–documented, including brain cancer, childhood and aduklt leukemia, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Alzheimer’s, fatigue, and heart disease, the group says.
The DNR and state of Wisconsin offer no financial compensation or support to wildlife rehabilitators. Of course, the DNR and Legislature should financially support wildlife rehabilitation because many innocent wild beings suffer the result of state policies promoting special-interest trapping, lead shot, hunting injuries, and sport-killing that leaves wildlife orphaned.
State Sen. Fred Risser, D-Madison, once told me that if a legislator received 10 citizen contacts on an issue, it is a red flag that the issue is important. A letter, followed by a call to your legislator, would call attention to the need for state support of our wildlife rehabilitators who give their time and compassion to traumatized wildlife.