Driftless Defenders began with five friends residing in the Pleasant Ridge area of Dodgeville Township. Everyone along the proposed route received a letter from ATC (American Transmission Company) informing them of the Cardinal Hickory-Creek (CHC) proposal to build 170-ft tall high-voltage transmission towers across the Driftless region from Dubuque, Iowa to Middleton, Wisconsin (125 miles) via green fields, farmland, nature conservancy, prairie restoration and woodlands. These five residents sent an invitation to their neighbors to meet and discuss the situation.
To their surprise, more than 70 people from four townships gathered in a neighbor’s barn to discuss the transmission line, its economic and environmental implications, and what they could do to stop it. We named ourselves the Driftless Defenders.
From that first meeting we have grown from a tiny grassroots organization to one that reaches thousands of people dedicated to preserving the unique Driftless area and opposing the construction of unnecessary transmission lines.
Farmers, landowners, business owners, conservationists, tourists, and many others living in the Driftless region, understand the construction of this high-voltage line will permanently mar a landscape that not only supports a broad range of protected and endangered plant and animal species, but also a thriving rural sector. The $750,000,000.00 construction cost, plus hundreds of millions in additional dollars for land acquisition and maintenance, will place a significant financial burden on Wisconsin ratepayers through our ever-increasing electricity rates.
Through its public and legislative outreach efforts and its media campaign, Driftless Defenders is helping to spread the word that there is no demonstrated need for this high-capacity transmission line. There is no justification for the negative impact such a line would have on the environment, tourism, local property values, taxes, electric bills, and rural development.
Driftless Defenders is a strong proponent of meeting the energy demands of Wisconsin and its adjoining states through improvements in energy efficiency, conservation, and local renewables.
- We care about the impact to wildlife, plant habitat and the human environment and oppose the clear cutting and herbiciding over the 25 mile 150 foot swath required to install these towers;
- We care about having to pay for a $500-700 million project and having to commit to these structure for the next 40 years;
- We care that Wisconsin will not be the recipient of most of the energy transmitted which will be sent to other states, yet we pay through increased rates;
- We care that real estate will lose value and will be difficult to sell under or near these towers;
- We care that businesses, state parks and recreational attractions in our area will be affected adversely through loss of traffic due to undesirable destinations;
- We care that Wisconsin’s energy use is flat and declining;
- We care that ATC wants to move forward with this plan when there is absolutely NO NEED.
NOTE: While we are non profit organization, we are not 501c3. This means your donations to our group will not be tax deductible.