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.

Support CSP
Send a check to:
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.

Sand Mining

Recent photo of Bridgeport Sand Mine Site

Click for larger view

See older photos here:
Aerial views of Bridgeport Sand Mine Site

Watch - Long-time Crawford Stewardship Project supporter and collaborator, Dr. Kelvin Rodolfo's 2014 presentation on hydraulic fracturing and the local industrial silica sand mining that supplies it.

Aerial views of Clayton Sand Mine Site

Radio interviews:

Forest Jahnke, Kyle Pattison and others interviewed on Frac Sand mining on Q94 Great Country on November 26, 2013: audio

The Chris Moore Show - hear CSP's Edie Ehlert speak on a panel discussing frac sand mining and fracking:

Local Control Attacks

Crawford Stewardship has been responding to state-level attacks on local control. Most townships in Crawford County, and many other municipalities across the state, have been creating ordinances adapted to the unique needs of each community to fill the gaps in state regulatory law that equates a full-fledged industrial silica sand mine operating 24/7 to supply the international fracking experiment with a small quarry for local use.

One might reasonably think that the State of Wisconsin would lay down some baseline regulations for this industry and perhaps, like Minnesota, issue some guidelines for local governments to implement smart and effective ordinances that cover all the necessary bases of public and environmental health, and economic stability. However, with the political climate in Madison at the moment the reaction has been the exact opposite.

Senator Tom Tiffany and Representative Joan Ballweg, have introduced almost all legislation giving special privileges to mining interests. They have obligingly put forward legislation written by the industry to protect “regulatory certainty” from a “patchwork of restrictive local ordinances”. If you listened only to the first part of the hearings on SB 349 and SB 632 with comments from those financially benefiting from the industry, you could come to the conclusion that an industry that has gone from 5 operating mines to 105 mines and 65 processing facilities in under four years is being regulated to death. However, Crawford Stewardship Project and our allies contributed our voices to those of many local officials and citizens dealing with the daily impacts of frac sand mines.

These were powerful stories of small rural communities struggling to handle a virtually unregulated mining boom that hit them before they had any idea what they should be preparing for. And now that some had finally gotten their feet under them again, and many had effectively negotiated working agreements with the industry, all this was to be taken away by a state level power-grab that would severely restrict local control? For those fortunate to have been more proactive, the outrage was that now that time, energy, and money had been spent to pass ordinances, they were simply to be nullified by the state!

Thanks to opposition from the Wisconsin Towns Association, many counties and townships passing resolutions against them, and our voices at the Capitol, we stopped SB 349 from making it out of committee and SB 632 has met a similar fate. We have been made very aware that our ordinances passed under police powers are under threat. We fully expect legislation of this sort to resurface. Moving forward, we will look into zoning and even rights-based ordinances to more fully protect ourselves, our land, our communities, and our watersheds.

Bridgeport Township Chronology

The story of Bridgeport is being played out in various ways all over Wisconsin and our neighboring states. Crawford Stewardship Project (CSP), Friends of the Lower Wisconsin (FLOW) and Bridgeport Concerned Citizens (BCC) attended and commented at most of these meetings. For the official Pattison documents, go to:
CSP took video of all meetings starting with the public hearing on Nov. 14, 2012:
Read Chronology Here...

For residents of Crawford County, find and contact your county, town, and village officers as well as your state representatives here: 

Sept. 24, 2013 revision
Bridgeport Township Frac Sand Mining Update
Board Rejects Plaintiff’s Request for an Administrative Hearing

The Lower Wisconsin State Riverway Board voted against the frac sand mine in the Riverway in Bridgeport Township, 6 against, and 2 for it on August 22. The board voted for the intent of the law. Crawford Stewardship Project applauds the board members for their courage, voting in support of the Riverway’s mission statement: to protect and preserve the scenic beauty and natural character of the LowerWisconsin State Riverway”!  It was a difficult decision for all the board members, and we thank them for their discussions and each of the board members for their thorough review over the last ten months. 

This success came from all the individuals and groups who brought their concerns forward. The room was packed. At the meeting, we heard eloquent comments from so many of you, plus the board received an outpouring of comments from citizens prior to the meeting. There were just a few people who contacted the board in favor of the mine, most with economic interests in the mine.

While the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway Board voted against the Bridgeport land owners frac sand mining proposal in the Riverway, the Bridgeport Town Board and Planning Commission voted for frac sand mining in March, with virtually no conditions in the permit. About 1/3 of the mine is located within the Riverway, and 2/3 is located on three properties in Bridgeport Township, leased by Pattison Sand. Further, on August 10 the Bridgeport Planning Commission and on August 14 the Board, voted that the mine could commence as Pattison has their stormwater and air permits completed with the DNR.

On August 21, Crawford Stewardship Project and four Bridgeport plaintiffs filed a legal challenge of the Bridgeport Town decision. The basis of the lawsuit is that the town failed to follow it's zoning, failed to address questions from citizens, put virtually no conditions on the permit, and there are concerns of conflicts of interest with some of the officials who made the decisions. The lawsuit addresses the approximate 2/3 part of the frac sand mine on approximately 200 acres of Bridgeport land, outside the Riverway. At the same time, the plaintiffs requested an administrative hearing from the Town. On Sept. 18, the Bridgeport Town Board refused to grant the hearing in a vote of 2 to 1. Board Supervisor Rodney Fishler voted for the hearing saying, “The hearing is to answer the people’s questions. They were promised (answers) by the Board.” Attorney Glenn Reynolds and his associates will continue working with the plaintiffs to determine next steps.

Just recently, in response to the concerns from neighbors about dust coming from the mining operation, we learned that Pattison Sand plans to take tanker trucks of water from the Wisconsin River to control the dust when the run-off holding ponds are dry. There is no independent monitoring of that water use. When operating at full capacity, Pattison Sand “plans” to move an estimated 250, 40-ton trucks a day on Highway 60, across the Prairie du Chien Bridge to Pattison Sand and back, for the life of the mine. The DNR general permit for the mine requires a stormwater permit, but with no independent monitoring, and air monitoring was waived by the DNR.

Contacts for all state legislators within the Riverway


Jon Erpenbach, District 27
Room 104 South, State
P. O. Box 7882
Madison, WI 53707

Dale Schultz, District 17
Room 122 South, State Capitol
P.O. Box 7882
Madison, WI 53707

Jennifer Shilling, District 32
Room 20 South, State Capitol
P.O. Box 7882
Madison, WI 53707, 608-266-5490


Lee Nerison, District 96
Room 310 North, State Capitol
P.O. Box 8953
Madison, WI 53708
608-266-3534 or 888-534-0096
District Office: 608-634-4562

Howard Marklein, District 51
Room 214 North, State Capitol
P.O. Box 8592
Madison, WI 53708
608-266-7502 or 888-534-0051

Travis Tranel, District 49
Room 308 North, State Capitol
P. O. Box 8952
Madison, WI 53708

Fred Clark, District 81
Room 122 North, State Capitol
P.O. Box 8952
Madison, WI 53708


Organizations working on Mining:

Penokee Hills Education Project - A project of the Mining Impact Coalition of Wisconsin, Inc.The PHEP has been formed to educate the public about the risks to the Bad River watershed and the Penokee Hills should large scale taconite mining be permitted; share relevant information about the impact of mining on our economy, health, and environment;and connect with citizen led groups locally, statewide, and nationally.

Frac Sand Weekly
News and Opinions about the Minnesota and Wisconsin Frac Sand Boom, and its Environmental Health Implications. Intended to gather perspectives about a new potential environmental health risk mining, processing, railroading, barging, and trucking its way through Minnesota and Wisconsin. Part of the Environmental Illness Network Minnesota ei Network a community for Minnesotans with environmental sensitivities and the people (and organizations) that care about them.

Concerned Chippewa Citizen
"   Sand Companies are Shipping Our Land Out of State"

Sand Point Times
Advocating solutions to protect Southeast Minnesota from frac-sand mining

Frac and Frisbee
A blog about frac sand mining in the Driftless Area of the upper Midwest posting useful information, good ideas, updates on events, background information and etc. about the fast moving frac-sand mining conversation with a strong bias towards Buffalo County because that’s where we live.

Save our Knapp Hills Alliance

Citizens Against Silica Mining - Save the Bluffs
Silica Sand Mining in Hay Creek, Red Wing, Frontenac and Lake City Minnesota

Stop the Starved Rock Sand Mine
Dedicated to the effort to inform the public in terms of what has been done, what is coming up, and how you can help us fight this mine that borders the Starved Rock State Park.

Articles on sand mining and it's hazards - Mining Companies Invade Wisconsin For Frac Sand - Sand mining surges in Wisconsin
Winona Daily News - Fracking fuels demand for sand
Minnesota Public Radio - SE Minnesota residents not digging the 'sand rush'
Reuters - Sand mining emerges as another fracking threat
MSNBC- Critics of energy fracking raise new concerns: Sand

Frack sand: An easily overlooked occupational hazard
Posted by The Pump Handle on June 4, 2012 by Elizabeth Grossman

Worker Exposure to Crystalline Silica During Hydraulic Fracturing
Center For Disease Control and Prevention - NIOSH Science Blog; Safer Healthier Workers May 23rd, 2012

US Government confirms link between earthquakes and hydraulic fracturing

Maps of spread of sand mines in Wisconsin

Frac Sand Mining in WI as of July 2012

Download as a PDF

Click to view larger image

Nonmetallic Mining Ordinances and Mining Agreements vary widely. Here are three different examples:
Crawford County example for townships, Crawford County, WI, Nonmetallic Mining Ordinance

Stockholm Township, Pepin County, WI, Nonmetallic Mining Ordinance
Town of Stockholm Frac Sand Licensing Ordinance.pdf

Howard Township, Chippewa County, WI, Nonmetallic Mining Ordinance and Mining Agreement
chip-howard ordinance 53.pdf
chip-howard ordinance 47.pdf

Come to our events and get one of our limited-release t-shirts for as little as $15!

Farm The Land T-Shirt

Bridgeport Township Frac Sand Mine Location Map
Note that the area marked is just general. The actual mine site is closer to the River on 3 properties, approximately 178 acres disturbed and 128 acres mined of a 305 acre site in the Pattison Sand application.

Earth Justice
"Earthjustice is a non-profit public interest law organization dedicated to protecting the magnificent places, natural resources, and wildlife of this earth, and to defending the right of all people to a healthy environment."
They have great information on fracking -

Crispin Pierce, Associate Professor of Nursing at the UWEau Claire shares his Powerpoints on sand mining health concerns and other environmental health issues, including climate change.

Updated work of Dr. Pierce -
Sand Research Update 6/13
(download pdf)

Bill Greendeer, a Ho-Chunk, Clan of the Deer member, speaking on frac sand mining and quoting the Ho-Chunk Nation's Resolution in opposition to frac sand mining at the Bridgeport Concerned Citizens public meeting on February 10, 2013, in Prairie du Chien, Crawford County, Wisconsin.
Watch full size -

Silica-Sand-Mining-and-Processing-Medical-Risks Presentation
Wayne Feyereisn, MD, FACP, Division of General Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN - Powerpoint presented at the Houston County Protectors, Caledonia.
Dr. Feyereisn speaks to the health risks from air borne silica sand mining and chemical pollution of water from frac sand mining and processing

Dictionary of Frac-Sand Minerís Words, Terms, & Euphemistic Concepts

2012 Interactive Sand Mining Map. There are double the sand mining and processing sites from 2011 to 2012

Kelvin Rodolfo Presentation

Dr. Kelvin Rodolfo is Professor Emeritus with the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago.
Kelvin has applied his geologic, environmental and karst expertise to oppose Dairyland’s coal-ash dump and CAFOs in Vernon County. He continues to study Driftless karst in a pilot study of Viroqua and surrounding townships.
Read more and go to powerpoint

Jerry Lausted Presentation
Jerry was the facilitator for many of the Save Our Hills meetings that lead to the denial of a permit for the "Hoffman Hills" mine in Dunn County. He is currently serving on the Save the Hills Alliance board and is involved with a local sand working group which brings together leaders from several area community groups. He offered this powerpoint and presentation to the June 23, 2012Forum on Silica Sand Mining in Crawford County.
Go to presentation

Fracking Hell: The Untold Story

An original investigative report by Earth Focus and UK's Ecologist Film Unit looks at the risks of natural gas development in the Marcellus Shale. From toxic chemicals in drinking water to unregulated interstate dumping of potentially radioactive waste that experts fear can contaminate water supplies in major population centers including New York City, are the health consequences worth the economic gains?

Arial Views of Mines in Chippewa and Dunn Counties

Go to photos....

Air Monitoring Analysis-Chippewa Falls, WI

The results of an analysis of data collected from air monitors upwind and downwind from the Chippewa Falls Sand Plant are now being released to the public. See attached report for the detailed findings.
Read Summary of Report here.
Download the full Report here.

Frac Sand Mining in WI - Risks to Respiratory Health
Northwestern Wisconsin is experiencing a large expansion of frac sand mining and processing operations. Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling are causing well publicized concerns over public health
and land use wherever it is done.
Read more.....

May 24, 2012
Letter to the Editors on breaches in wastewater containment during the 6 month moratorium.
Join the conversation on the many issues and local options surrounding industrial sand mining on June 23 at the Sand Mining Forum. Read....

February 11, 2012
Letter From McGregor Iowa City Administrator
Consequences of Sand Mining Transport for McGregor Iowa
Letter from Lynette L. Sander, City Administrator for McGreggor IA,