News and Legislative Update PLEASE SUPPORT OUR TEAM! Friday is our day to bird 1000 Friends of Wisconsin represents people who care about Wisconsin's natural resources. We know that birds are an important indicator species for healthy lands so 1000 Friends wants to help ensure that birds who spend all or part of the year in Wisconsin have all the resources they need to survive and thrive. To raise support and awareness for Wisconsin's birds, the 1000 Friends team has joined the Great Wisconsin Birdathon. Visit our Birdathon page to learn more and support our birding team! A new blog series by Gregg May LAND USE & TRANSPORTATION Wisconsin communities have been perpetually changing. Before European settlement, indigenous populations lived in villages with complex trading networks. Early Wisconsin cities were compact centers of commerce. Now we live in sprawling communities supported by massive highway infrastructure. Throughout our history, development has been dictated by our ability to travel. Don't stop now - read the first in our new Land Use & Transportation series... SOCIAL DISTANCING - NO PROBLEM An opportunity to enjoy spring, commune with nature, plant healthy food and exercise. Go for a walk in the woods and spot some spring blossoms popping up. Take a bike ride and enjoy the nearly empty streets and beautiful flowering trees. Start planning and planting your garden. Build some raised beds. Plant herbs in pots for your deck. Go bird watching - this is prime migration time so you're sure to see some great birds. Capitol Update Response to COVID-19 in Wisconsin has been full of twists and turns with a strong partisan dynamic. We decided to share the significant events of the COVID-19 response timeline - what do you think of the process? Federal Updates Transportation Funds in the Federal Stimulus Package On March 27th, Congress passed the CARES Act, which included $25 billion for transit agencies across the country. Transit agencies in Wisconsin, much like those around America, have seen ridership plummet as shelter-in-place rules have taken affect. Our transit agencies are experiencing wide-spread fare box shortages as they strive to maintain critical service. In fact, according to Transportation for America, more than 2.8 million essential workers across our country rely on transit, including hospital staff, grocery store workers, and pharmacists. This $25 billion will be crucial in maintaining decent levels of service and to prevent catastrophic, long-term impacts on transit in Wisconsin communities large and small. Covid-19 Impact on Wisconsin Dairies Wisconsin dairy farmers have faced a rough five years and during the pandemic, business has gotten even worse. Business is getting so bad that dairies have been dumping milk because of even lower milk prices and because almost a third of their market, food-service, has been shut down. As milk dumping has become a necessary reality, the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have laid out specific protocol to reduce the impact on our land and water. Seven state Agriculture groups wrote a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture detailing necessary support for Wisconsin farmers. The ag groups are encouraging farmers to report all milk dumping to help determine how much financial aid will be required and are encouraging farmers dumping milk to follow guidelines set by DATCP and DNR. On Friday, April 17, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced their Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. The federal government will be purchasing roughly $100 million in dairy products a month to help support dairy farms. You can see the USDA plan here. COVID-19 TIMELINE March 12th - Governor Evers issued Executive Order #72 declaring a health emergency in response to COVID-19. This included: -- Designating the DHS as the lead agency to respond to public health emergency -- Suspending the provisions of any administrative rule if the Secretary of the DHS determines that compliance with that rule would increase the health threat -- Authorizing the Wis National Guard as necessary and appropriate to assist the response to the public health emergency -- Directing all state agencies to assist in the State’s response -- Directing DATCP to prohibit price gauging. March 24th, - Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary Designee Andrea Palm issued the Safer at Home order to be in place until April 24th. The order outlined social distancing requirements, business activities and other suggestions and methods of preventing the spread of COVID-19 as the number of those affected in Wisconsin grew. The Administration also launched the COVID-19 PPE Program, a public-private partnership to increase lab testing, and a COVID-19 Volunteer Program to support the healthcare system. April 16th - DHS Secretary Designee Palm extended the Safer at Home order until May 26th in order to continue to flatten the curve of COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin. April 20th - Governor Evers announces the Badger Bounce Back Plan. This plan outlines the criteria for Wisconsin to be able to re-open the economy in phases and safely. April 21st - Majority Republicans asked the state Supreme Court on Tuesday to block an extension of the DHS safer-at-home order, the most partisan divide yet in the fight against the coronavirus. May 13th – Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned the Safer at Home Order extension. May 14th – DHS prepares a framework for reopening and balancing efforts with the Safer at Home Order. State Representative Robin Vos rejects it immediately stating he feels people will make their own decisions without excessive government coercion. May 19th - As coronavirus cases in Wisconsin neared 13,000 today, Gov. Tony Evers laid out a plan that calls for the state to spend $1billion dollars in federal aid to ramp up testing and contact tracing and support local health departments. Cities and counties across the state were developing their own Safer at Home Policies but many dropped those plans following the Supreme Court ruling even though Attorney General Josh Kaul said state law grants local governments in Wisconsin power to declare a local emergency arising out of the pandemic and issue stay in place orders. Wisconsin has no statewide plan currently. Even though 69% or 7 out of 10 residents support Safer at Home measures according to the most recent Marquette poll. (May 12) Many people are just not comfortable returning to pre-virus activities. The good news is many cities are stepping up. Just to name a few - Green Bay is starting a Conservation Corps to employ laid off residents as part of their coronavirus relief plan. River Falls has developed Crushing COVID-19: A Guide to Recovery. Public Health Madison and Dane County Health reaffirmed Safer at Home and has just yesterday introduced has introduced The Forward Dane Plan to reopen the economy safely in phases. _____________________________________________ There will be more good news in the coming months regardless of partisan divide. We have seen amazing examples of community spirit so let’s build on that. Be responsible - ask neighbors, friends, and family to remember it’s not over and we all have to stick together to make sure we all come through this stronger and our communities are better prepared for the future. DANE COUNTY CLIMATE ACTION PLAN Dane County Executive Joe Parisi created the nation's first county Office of Energy and Climate Change in 2017. The creation of a county-wide, economy-wide climate action plan is a primary duty of the office. "The Dane County CAP is my promise to take bold action, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase our resiliency and quality of life, and ensure that Dane County continues to lead in confronting climate change." Dane County Executive Joe Parisi 1000 Friends was excited to sit on the Dane County Climate Action Table and to lead the Transportation Working Group. Congratualtions to Keith Reopelle and his team on a job well done! Take a look! 1000 Friends of Wisconsin | 608-259-1000 | 1kfriends.org We are working remotely so please contact us via email at [email protected] Follow 1000 Friends Online: 1000 Friends of Wisconsin | 16 North Carroll Street, Suite 800, Madison, WI 53703 Unsubscribe [email protected] About Constant Contact Sent by [email protected] in collaboration with Try email marketing for free today!