Thursday, May 06, 2021

Public input for country's comprehensive plan


La Crosse County is a diverse and growing place with a rich history and an exciting future. Our Comprehensive Plan - ENVISION 2050 - will be a vision for how we build that future together. The plan will be a collective effort that will reflect our diversity and prioritize our values. We will create a vision for a sustainable and thriving La Crosse County and a roadmap for how we get there. ENVISION 2050 will guide La Crosse County’s budgets, land use and natural resource policies, and general direction for the next generation and beyond.

A Comprehensive Plan is:

  • A long-range planning document that must be updated at least once every 10 years.
  • A description of the existing condition of the county, including land use, demographics, and the local economy, and a vision for the future, taking into consideration various risks and opportunities.
  • An opportunity for the community to agree on the values and vision that should guide the county’s decision-making process.
  • A combination of data, statistics and public input that includes expertise, personal stories, and values

The State of Wisconsin’s 1999 comprehensive planning law requires that all land use decisions in the county be consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.

We encourage PUBLIC PARTICIPATION throughout the process.  Please go to for opportunities to provide input.

We also encourage you to explore data on the County, using our DATA HUB -


CP comment: Please rank sustainability on top. 

This survey is one of those frustrating no-alternative, we pick the universe of choices, ranking exercises. It starts in the wrong place: Rank your choices-Who would you save in a fire? yourself? your mom? your daughter? your partner?  your son? your father?

Instead, a useful survey would start with: Please rank what our top priority should be: Put out the fire that's burning down our house? Make plans for our next vacation? Try to talk crazy uncle Bob (who doesn't believe in fire) into quitting smoking? Decide where to roll over our IRA investment?  Change the curtains in the living room?

So, the County's planning survey should start with: What should be our top priority over the next thirty years? 

And science has already answered that question. 

"Stabilizing Earth’s temperature to significantly reduce risks to societies now requires greenhouse gas emissions to reach net zero by 2050. This translates to cutting greenhouse gases by about 50% by 2030 alongside significant removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere." - from A Roadmap to Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions 50 Percent by 2030, Stanford University, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, September 2019.

We must save ourselves--by working as quickly as possible to reduce, cut, eliminate greenhouse gas emissions--above all things. If that doesn't happen, all the other priorities and plans and dreams will be ash.

PLEASE participate in these surveys, especially if you live in the City of La Crosse, the county's population center. Too often in regional planning decisions, it seems, much smaller bedroom communities demand a vote and say way out of proportion to their populations. On the planning committee, the City of La Crosse (51,227) gets one vote and so does the City of Onalaska (18,943) and the Town of Onalaska (5,766) and so does the Town of Campbell (~4,300). Even Medary (~1,506) gets a vote. 

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