Crawford Stewardship Project works to protect the environment of Crawford County and neighboring regions from threats of polluting and extractive industries, to promote sustainable land use, environmental justice, and local control of natural resources

Crawford Stewardship Project is a nonprofit organization.
Donations are tax deductible.

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Crawford Stewardship Project
P.O. Box 284
Gays Mills, WI 54631


Crawford Stewardship Project is grateful for the generous support of RESIST, Inc. RESIST funds and supports grassroots groups organizing on the frontlines of the peace, economic, social, and environmental justice movements.

“We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.” ~Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

"CAFOs are only profitable because so much of the cost and damage is externalized onto the environment, neighbors and wildlife. The monitoring, supervision, clean-up, restitution, fines are not happening, thus the true cost of CAFOs never find the way onto the balance books." Talking point from the CAFO Conference.

“A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.”
~Aldo Leopold, 1948. A Sand County Almanac.

Consequences of Sand Mining Transport for McGregor Iowa

Lynette L. Sander
City Administrator for McGreggor IA,
February 11, 2012

I live in McGregor, Iowa, a small town of 871 people located on the Mississippi River across from Prairie du Chien, WI. McGregor is a historic town, sometimes referred to as the Little Galena. Three blocks of our Main Street are on the National Register of Historic Places as the McGregor Commercial Historic District. As you can see from the attached photos, the District is made up of a large collection of preserved mid to late 19th century retail structures. Tourism is critical to sustaining our community, with our primary businesses being specialty retail stores, restaurants, recreation, and lodging. Visitors from a 200+ mile radius are easily attracted to the scenic beauty of the area, the Mississippi River, and the history of McGregor and surrounding towns.

Pattison Sand Company owns a sand mine located at Clayton, Iowa south of McGregor approximately 12 miles. Starting earlier in the year an unusually large number of sem trucks hauling sand began to run the Great River Road into McGregor and then down Main Street. The trucks are running through McGregor as a shortcut on their way to Prairie du Chien, WI, where
the sand is loaded onto rail cars for transporting to its destination. Driving over 24 hours a day, 7 days a week the trucks can be seen and heard, adding excessive noise and air pollution.

At one point it was estimated that there would be up to 200 300 trucks traveling through town and then back through on their return trip for 400 600 times through town per day. Highway 18 is an alternate route that bypasses McGregor and was built to withstand the weight and volume of semitruck traffic, yet Pattison Sand Company continues to run its semitrucks through McGregor and over its already stressed infrastructure.

The buildings on Main Street, many nearing 150 years old, are located within 8 feet of the highway and experience constant vibration caused by the semtrucks. Owners are notingcrumbling and cracks in the mortar and bricks of their buildings and other similar structural damages as a result of the pounding of the trucks up and down the street. There are 7 lodging establishments along Main Street alone, and visitors and locals have complained that they cannot sleep due to the constant stream of trucks all night long.

Residents with health concerns have also come forward as they experience increased respiratory problems. McGregor is surrounded by bluffs in a narrow valley, which trap the dust particles. The city streets are covered with fine dust that sifts from the trailers when loaded and blow from the trailer as they return empty and uncovered. Store windows are dirty soon after being washed and cars and homes are covered with dust. At one point in the early fall, looking up the valley, one would have thought they were witnessing the Mexico City smog at its worst. Silicosis is a very real and deadly concern.

The Board of Supervisors see the new jobs as a boom for the county, while those people who have lived and worked here for years, opening businesses and raising families, see their livelihoods and quality of life being destroyed. I see this as an environmental and economic disaster in the making, with many potentially devastating unknowns. Every day there are more stories related to the subject, few with good news attached. I hope those who are in the position to restrict these operations can look beyond the "too good to be true" sales pitch and think about all of the consequences ­ seen and unseen that may follow in the short and long term.

Lynette L. Sander
City Administrator