Northland College students Logan Lowery and Katie Nolan completed a four-part program with the Wisconsin Conservation Leadership Corp a program developed by the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation to develop future leaders in conservation. The program culminated with them proposing their resolution to support pollinator-friendly solar electricity awareness and production at the annual Wisconsin Wildlife Federation meeting April 22 (Earth Day). Their resolution (below) passed.
Resolution to Support Pollinator-friendly Solar Electricity Awareness and Production in Wisconsin (passed April 21, 2017)
Whereas, Wisconsin is reliant on imported non-renewable sources of electricity which pollute the land, air, and water and negatively impact Wisconsin’s wildlife habitat and economics.
Whereas, solar electricity is beneficial as a source that does not create emissions, and therefore does not pollute the environment, which allows animal populations and habitats to thrive and remain.
Whereas, Wisconsin is far short of meeting its solar energy production potential, with only one-tenth of one percent of Wisconsin’s electricity coming from solar energy.
Whereas, the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation has already passed whatever resolution concerning climate change,
Whereas, Wisconsin spends approximately $1.8 billion annually on imported coal and natural gas for electricity usage, and redirecting 10% towards instate solar energy production would equate to $180 million remaining within Wisconsin’s state economy.
Whereas, the cost of solar has been on the decline since 2010 and the prices are projected to continue to decline, making solar energy a cost effective electricity generation option.
Whereas, the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation board passed the “Resolution to Support Pollinator Education and Awareness in Wisconsin in 2015, that describes numerous ways to “promote the increase of native pollinators in Wisconsin.”
Whereas, pollinator gardens would be a beneficial addition to the land underneath and between the rows of solar panels which could be planted with native pollinator-friendly plants that would provide habitat for more than 300 song and game bird species, butterflies, and honeybees.
Whereas, generating 10% of our state’s electricity from solar would provide the opportunity to create up to 40,000 acres of pollinator-friendly habitat to be developed, which is approximately 0.2% of Wisconsin’s agricultural land, more than tripling the amount of prairies and grasslands in the state today.
Now therefore be it resolved, that the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation at its annual meeting assembled April 21-22, 2017 in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin requests the implementation of public outreach programs to educate farmers and citizens on the benefits of pollinator-friendly solar electricity, creating pilot programs, publicizing the results, and building partnerships between farmers, farm organizations, and utility companies.
Now therefore be it further resolved, that the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation urges the collaboration between the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Natural Resource Conservation Service, and the Wisconsin Legislators to support the development of pollinator-friendly solar electricity production.
Now therefore be it further resolved, that the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation supports a goal of 10% of all Wisconsin’s electricity be produced by solar energy by 2040 to restore habitat and bring economic benefits to the state of Wisconsin.
Submitted by the Conservation Leadership Corps.