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April 26, 2010


Harsdorf: Sierra Club endgame is to stop a new Stillwater Bridge


Sierra Club recently announced that it has added a new special interest opponent to building a new Stillwater Bridge.  The Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters has joined Sierra Club’s longstanding effort to block a new St. Croix River Crossing.


A spokesman for the Sierra Club in an April 19, 2010 Star Tribune article was defensive in saying that “this isn’t just a Sierra Club issue” when articulating who was blocking the bridge.  Yet, it is the Sierra Club which has led on lawsuits to impede the construction of a new Stillwater Bridge, even as mitigation and consensus building has been effectively achieved over the past several years.


The announcement that the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters (WLCV) is joining the Sierra Club in opposing the bridge project shows just how determined the Sierra Club is to stopping it.  It’s important to note that the political leadership of the WLCV is heavily dominated by Madison-centric interests.  WLCV and Sierra Club have partnered before for the sake of building clout in the past and this appears to be no exception.


A vast majority of those of us who live here know that the existing bridge threatens public safety, adversely affects the environment, and impairs our region’s mobility.  We suffer the setbacks in Western Wisconsin when the existing bridge inevitably shuts down due to high water or repairs.  Unfortunately, powerful special interests armed with lawyers are ready to obstruct regardless of the consequences because of their ideological zeal.


Sierra Club’s agenda is to make the cost of a new bridge prohibitive for taxpayers, by delaying and obstructing at every turn.  Now they have found another willing partner in the WLCV.  Meanwhile, the projected costs to taxpayers for this needed project continue to escalate by hundreds-of-millions of dollars. 


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