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Lincoln County Board Passes Action on Climate Change Resolution

Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest

The earth’s climate is changing. Since the 1880s, the global average surface temperature has increased by approximately two degrees Fahrenheit. Nineteen of the 20 warmest years on record have all occurred since 2001.

Wisconsin is seeing a direct impact of that, according to the Wisconsin Climate Change Task Force Report.

Precipitation has increased 15 percent, winters are warming faster than summers, and we’re seeing more days with temperatures above 90 degrees.

Climate scientists have found increases of harmful algae blooms in lakes, decreases in snowpack, and more destructive weather patterns that have led to extreme flooding.

Lincoln County Board Member from District 11 Hans Breitenmoser says Lincoln County has seen that impact and will continue to see it.

“Washed out culverts from the three-inch rain event that used to happen every X number of years now happens more frequently,” said Breitenmoser.

Breitenmoser says climate change isn’t just having an environmental impact on the county, but an economic one as well. Not just in the cost it could be to the county to repair the damaged roads or parks or whatever else gets destroyed in the storms, but also in the economic opportunities in investing in clean energy or in mitigation tactics.

“I don’t think it’s in anyone’s best interest that climate change continues but here we are. So we have to make the best of it,” he said.

These are just some of the reasons it was important to Breitenmoser to bring aclimate change resolution to the County Board.

Breinenmoser said the resolution passed 13 to 8 Tuesday night. It acknowledges the impact climate has and could have as well as the role local government have in adding to and reducing greenhouse gasses. It’s not legislation that will force any local officials to take action.

“I think it’s more of the idea of it should raise awareness. Sometimes it’s important for us to say something out loud to say, ‘This is our vision. This is our commitment,’” said Breitenmoser.

Lincoln County is likely the first in the Northwoods to pass a resolution like this.

WXPR soke to Clerks in Price, Gogebic, Vilas, Oneida, Forest, and Iron Counties. None of them knew of any similar resolutions their respective County Boards had passed. We also have a call out to Langlade County.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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