Defiant Ashley Furniture Turns to Legislature to Fill Wetland

Defiant Ashley Furniture Turns to Legislature to Fill Wetland

Ashley Furniture Industries in Trempealeau, Wisconsin feels it is above the law—that it should be granted permission to fill a 14-acre floodplain wetland in order to build a parking lot and warehouse. Unfortunately for the resource, key legislators feel the same way (perhaps thanks to generous campaign contributions by Ashley executives?), and are pushing an exemption from state wetland laws through the budget bill—again. Three years ago legislators gave Ashley their desired exemption in the state budget, but five environmental organizations sued and won the case, arguing that the exemption for Ashley was unconstitutional. Although Governor Scott McCallum helped secure protection for isolated wetlands with a new law in 2001 and has been using this success as a re-election campaign focus, there is concern that the Governor will sign the bill to include the Ashley exemption.

 

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