Dear editor,

We’re not giving to the Nature Conservancy this year. Why? They just named Laura Kohler as the honorary chairwoman of their Wisconsin’s Path fundraising campaign. Ms. Kohler, senior vice president of HR, stewardship and sustainability at the Kohler Company, tells us to “preserve the special places and the natural resources that we’ve all been given.”  

Meanwhile, her father and the company she leads are intent on destroying those same resources for their latest luxury golf course. Kohler plans to clear cut the last stand of old growth forest on Lake Michigan, raze globally rare ridge and swale wetlands, disrupt critical migratory bird paths, destroy endangered plants and wildlife, and to top it all off, build their course on Native American burial sites. 

Not content with this destruction, Kohler appropriated a large chunk of our cherished state park. Six and a half acres of pristine state park forests and dunes will be bulldozed for the course entrance and storage facilities for their fleet of diesel lawn mowers and pesticides. The pesticides are expected to leach into Lake Michigan, polluting our drinking water and creating toxic algae blooms at the adjoining state park beach.  

Environmental groups have fought the Kohler Company for the past eight years, but Kohler is relentless. Kohler is now suing the Department of Natural Resources after the agency and two judges revoked their wetland fill permit.  

Ms. Kohler asks us to “create a legacy for the future while doing what’s right, right now.” Will Kohler and the Conservancy do the same?

Belle Ragins, town of Wilson

Editor’s note: Wausau Pilot & Review gladly publishes commentary from readers, residents and candidates for local offices. The views of readers and columnists are independent of this newspaper and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wausau Pilot & Review. To submit, email or mail to 500 N. Third St., Suite 208-8, Wausau, Wis. 54403.