It is our first major snow fall of the year. It is eerily quiet. The snow has a magical way of dampening all sound. Just yesterday we heard the hundreds of geese as they gently floated by our shore. It is a wonderful time of year here in Coloma. A special time. But we can’t help but wonder how long it will stay this way. A steady stream of stories float in from nearby Grand Marsh about the effects of the New Chester Dairy. We hear about the large number of trucks coming and going from the production site. We hear about the number of semi-trucks of waste parading to surrounding fields. A recent spill requiring fire department to clean the roadway, we heard. And yet that CAFO isn’t even up to capacity yet having recently been approved to double in size only a few months after its opening. But the smell…already we hear about the smell! Good neighbors we are told. Great jobs we are told. We won’t bother you, you won’t smell a thing. We wonder how true… how true?
All of us in Wisconsin have been blessed with a beautiful world all around us. We are blessed with wildlife and wild places. We are used to an abundance of water in our lakes, streams and wetlands. We enjoy pure drinking water. But what about our future? Already these resources are being damaged. Our waters are disappearing more and more each year. Our natural world is being destroyed to the point that hunting, hiking, fishing, swimming, birding, boating… all are starting to be affected. Is it too late to turn the tide?
As we come to the end of the year and to this Christmas season please remember all that with which we have been blessed. We turn our gaze back to the geese now…floating as the snow comes down… heading for shore to huddle with one another. We wonder what they would say if they could talk…What they would do if they could…if they only knew.