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Several diverse projects are being conducted under theWisconsin Partnership. These are listed below.


The Northeast Wisconsin Dairy Gateway



Menomonee Valley



Green Tier

The Wisconsin Dairy Gateway

Preserving an Industry Through Environmental Stewardship

The Northeast Wisconsin Dairy Gateway is an effort to create a regional partnership among town and county officials, dairy producers and processors, civic organizations, businesses and regulators that can secure create profitable agriculture and healthy communities. The project hopes to achieve this by enhancing the agriculture sector's role as an active partner in protecting natural heritage assets (such as flora, fauna, wetlands, groundwater and surface water) and in energy provision, tourism and community development. The project will explore stakeholder based processes for managing the social interests raised by resource management issues. In building community, the project explores local governance options, examines how new technologies can shift the balance between competing demands, and looks at new ways to bring the cultural landscape into deliberations. Door, Kewaunee and Manitowoc counties will comprise the Gateway. Partners include the Wisconsin Towns Association; Wisconsin Technical College System; Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board; Dept. of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection; counties, environmental interests, processors, and the artistic community. To learn more about the Northeast Wisconsin Dairy Gateway, please visit the project's website here.

Menomonee Valley

Mapping the Future Mobility of a Region

In Milwaukee, as in many American cities, the pattern of residential and commercial development over the past few decades has eroded the city's economic and social vitality. Interlocking residential and commercial sprawl has moved the locus of opportunity out of the city. In this context, mobility issues have been reduced to questions of how to meet increasing demands posed by traffic and congestion.

The common focus of, and inspiration for, efforts to challenge this "iron law of urban decline" is the redevelopment of the Menomonee Valley. The 1200-acre valley formerly provided a location for industry in the geographical center of the city. Many of the valley's industrial sites are currently abandoned and affected by varying levels of environmental contamination. Still the Valley's proximity to residential neighborhoods and its access to road, rail, and water transportation networks inspire visions of a transformation that brings living wage jobs and recreational destinations within a radius that is amenable to a variety of forms of mobility.

This effort has developed hand in hand with the development of social networks that cross private-public boundaries. These networks encompass a broad group of stakeholders from the business sector, local and state government, and civic organizations together with property owners to promote sound plans and proposals for redevelopment.

Mobility is a central thread that runs through all of these proposals, affecting urban environmental quality and public health and enhancing potential for employment, housing, and the development of a regional transportation hub. Recent projects have sought to broaden available options, which include ample bicycle and pedestrian access to the valley. Current projects focus primarily on increasing accessibility rather than on the broader set of environmental considerations that are germane to transportation.

The ETP hopes to produce a broad analysis of the technological and institutional options that provides alternative ways of meeting demands for mobility. This project will draw on established networks and assess how to involve local, regional, state, and federal agencies together with a broad group of other stakeholders to examine the factors shaping mobility and the technological (e.g. alternative fuel vehicles, high speed rail) and institutional (e.g. carsharing) options that are open to build consensus on a vision for mobility. We also hope to examine the development of networks that can act on this vision and an analysis of how these options complement and extend existing efforts to enhance mobility by shaping the pattern of urban development.


Green Tier


Wisconsin's "Regulatory Choice" System of Environmental Performance
What is Green Tier?

Green Tier is a voluntary program for organizations that want to be exemplary stewards and want to cooperate on environmental tasks to achieve superior environmental performance.

Green Tier asks what is the best environmental outcome and uses the new legal tools and working relationships to achieve that outcome. The law is prospective, not retrospective, challenging the imagination of what is possible rather than what has been. Green Tier uses environmental management systems (EMSs) to implement contracts, building on legal compliance. The EMS is a due diligence tool to benefit regulated parties, give regulators compliance comfort and provide credible data for a learning system that builds trust among all parties.

Incentives encourage parties to go beyond compliance and address priority local, regional or state environmental issues, especially those outside regulatory law. Incentives leverage parties to create "environmental gain" such as restoring what's been lost or helping others be better environmental stewards.

Contracts have sanctions but also reflect a spirit of learning from surprises. Sanctions are commensurate with the magnitude of shortfall and in the context of other good being done. Criminal statutes apply and serious violations warrant penalties. The law determines the qualifications needed by regulated organizations that want to enter the Green Tier and the criteria for continued presence. Regulated organizations may be reassigned to the Control Tier as a sanction.

To learn more about Green Tier, please visit the Wisconsin DNR's Green Tier website.


Research Update Fall 2004

Ian Finlayson, a graduate student from the planning department at MIT was in the Dairy Gateway region of NE Wisconsin from Tuesday 13th to Sunday 18th of July. Working in partnership with Nancy Skaddon from the Dairy Gateway project he conducted a series of 11 interviews with a broad cross-section of farmers in the 3 county region. The interviews were focused on understanding the operations of each individual farm and the future outlook of the farmers and their concerns. These interviews were conducted as part of Ian's thesis exploring the economics and sustainability of dairy agriculture in the dairy gateway region of Wisconsin. In addition to the interviews with farmers, Ian attended the grant award ceremony of the Lakeshore Natural Resources Partnership, and met one of the residents in the Centreville Cares group that is opposing the large scale expansion of dairy farms. Ian and Nancy also toured the region looking at competing land uses including new residential sub-divisions, a golf course and a wind farm.