Latest News & Events

Show your opposition to the proposed Cardinal-Hickory Creek Line

Attend one of three “Scoping” sessions conducted by the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Thursday, November 8, identical sessions at 2:00 & 6:00

Dodger Bowl, 318 King St, Dodgeville

Monday, November 12, identical sessions at 2:00 & 6:00

Madison Marriott West – Salon A, 1313 John Q. Hammons Dr, Middleton

Wednesday, November 14, identical sessions at 2:00 & 6:00

Grant County Fairgrounds, UWEX Youth and Agriculture Center Auditorium, 916 E Elm St, Lancaster

Now that ATC’s application to the PSC has been deemed complete, they have begun their review processes of which the above “Scoping Sessions” are part. The purpose of the meetings is to inform the public about the PSC regulatory process and to solicit public input that will be used in creating a Wisconsin Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). They need to hear from us about what we consider to be the full range (scope) of potential environmental impacts of the lines. For the purpose of this EIS, “environment” encompasses an expansive range of natural, cultural, economic, social and related factors.

Your presence at one of the Scoping Sessions is very important. By having large numbers of people attend we will send a strong message about the widespread extent of public opposition to CHC. You will have the opportunity to submit comments, but it is not required to do so at these meetings.

Written comments can be submitted to the PSC up until January 4, 2019 at Please send a copy to Driftless Defenders, in conjunction with other opposition groups, will send out information to help you create high-impact comment submissions to the PSC. We will also hold a scoping comment help session; the time and place will be announced later.

We look forward to seeing you on either November 8, 12, or 14!

Driftless Defenders Leadership Team

Cardinal-Hickory Creek Application Accepted by Wisconsin Public Service Commission

The application to build the Cardinal-Hickory Creek high-capacity transmission line has been deemed acceptable by the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC). The initial 180-day application review period has begun.

Now is the time that voices of citizens like you are critical to the effort to stop its construction and operation across southern Wisconsin. We need to keep up the pressure and increase our groundswell of public opposition. You can help raise public awareness by talking with people about CHC, writing Letters to the Editor, displaying yard signs and vehicle stickers, and contacting legislators.

As the PSC review process moves forward, there will be a number of public comment opportunities for you to make your concerns known. These include:

  • Oral and/or written comments in the initial draft of the USDA Rural Utility Services’ (RUS) federal environmental impact statement (EIS) – expected Fall/Winter 2018.
  • Written comments in connection with the scoping* for the state EIS – expected Winter/Spring 2019.
  • Oral and/or written comments in connection with the Wisconsin Public Service Commission’s considering of the need for the CHC line – expected Spring 2019.
  • Oral and/or written comments on the draft state EIS – expected Spring/Summer 2019.

Remember, the main thing we want our elected representatives, RUS and the Wisconsin PSC to know at every step of the way is that opposition to this line is well-reasoned, salient, passionate, and widespread. That means we want to help you make your voice heard on each of the opportunities for public participation in the PSC process.

We hope you will participate in all phases of the process. You should know that when making your comments to the PSC, it is always appropriate to simply express your opposition to the line. Your opposition may be based on the lack of need for the project, an environmental impact that you and your family are feeling directly, or another reason. We are also urging the PSC to consider alternatives to the massive, unneeded line, including approving “no action.” In any case, we encourage you to include matters of specific concern to you.

As soon as we know the specific time frame, locations, and other details for each public comment opportunity, we will let you know. We also will include ideas for comments particular to each opportunity. In addition, we will hold in-person meetings for those interested in learning more about the comment process and how best to share your comments.

For up-to-date information on those opportunities, see our PSC Updates page.

*Scoping refers to the gathering and examining of the full array of potential environmental impacts. “Environment” encompasses the broad range of natural, cultural, economic, social etc. factors.

Grid Reliability and the False Claims of ATC

ATC has changed its tune. It’s no longer using energy need to justify the building of Cardinal-Hickory Creek; now it’s all about grid reliability.  Once again, this is a false issue.  Our real reliability issues in Southwest Wisconsin are with the distribution lines – those wooden poles that bring electricity to our homes, businesses, and farms – not the high voltage transmission lines that ATC builds.  If ATC is talking about the reliability of the national grid, of which the ATC lines are a part, decentralized micro-grids that generate power locally and that can be coupled and then uncoupled when there’s a danger of wide spread black outs, are more reliable in preventing massive grid level failures.

Read More

Cobb Corn Roast Parade

Driftless Defenders will again be walking in the parade and possibly have a table at the Cobb Corn Roast Festival.

The corn roast activities run from August 8th – 12th.  We will be there Sunday, August 12th. The parade is at 2pm.

If you’d like to volunteer to assist please email


Still Protecting the Driftless Rally – Saturday, July 21st


The Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission line is NOT A DONE DEAL. Join us and show your support for the opposition! Learn more about the latest progress on the application process, the financial challenges that are ahead and how you can help. Area candidates for State Assembly, State Senate and Governor have been invited. All are welcome!

(608) 636-5776

Farmers Appreciation Day

Farmers Appreciation Day Parade
Iowa Street, Dodgeville, WI
Sunday, July 8
line up:  @ 10:30            parade 11:00 – @ noon
In the past line up was on side streets on the south end of the city.
The parade proceeds down the main drag (Iowa Street) and turns right by the trailer park, where the parade generally breaks up.  Some people continue on to Harris Park (but most likely not us).
For Farmers Appreciation we usually wear anything, sometimes a bandana around our neck (provided) if it isn’t too hot.
NOTE:  the email address is no longer active on the banner… please contact for additional parade information.

Rally in Mt Horeb gets air time!


Watch video here: 


A group rallied in Mount Horeb Saturday to bring attention to the driftless area.

They call themselves the “Driftless Defenders” and are concerned about a proposed 125-mile transmission line that would run through the area.

The group believes the Military Ridge State Trail would be threatened by the transmission lines. Organizer Betsy D’Angelo says, “Bikers and hikers use that trail all the time to have a nice experience in nature. If ATC has its way that trail would have huge industrial-sized steel towers on it.”

27 News reached out to American Transmission Company (ATC) Friday ahead of the rally, which released this statement:

“The application for the Cardinal-Hickory-Creek transmission line project will be reviewed by the Public Service Commission, with opportunities for public involvement. We appreciate the public’s input in helping to evaluate possible routes over the last few years; that input helped shape our application. We looked at hundreds of paths for these lines and made adjustments based on what we learned from area residents. The project is designed to improve electric reliability, access to lower-cost power and access to cost-effective, in-demand renewable resources. It would also improve the flexibility of the grid to address the retirement of traditional power plants and the addition of new sources of electric generation.”


Mineral Point 4th of July Parade

Fourth of July Parade
Mineral Point, WI    
Wednesday, July 4th
line up 10:30-10:45     parade 11:00 – @ noon
In the past line up was on side streets at the top of the hill near the water tower. The parade proceeds downhill on High Street.

Driftless Defenders, Mineral Point Fourth of July parade, 7/4/2017. In front: Will. Left to right: Kerry Beheler, Ann Wolfe, Susan Van Sicklen, Mike Van Sicklen, Betsy D’Angelo, Amy Noble, Julie, Greg Firkus, Pat Murphy, Lea Stroncek.

New Signage Available!

One of our Driftless Defenders members is producing 8 x 8 foot plywood anti-ATC signs in his barn.   So far seven have been made and placed in high traffic locations from Dodgeville to Mount Horeb.  He is looking for more locations along 18/151, 14, and 18 that have good visibility in either direction.  It is essential to have an old farm implement or barn that he could mount the sign to.   There is no cost for these first signs.  Others will be produced at no charge for good locations, but donations and volunteers to help produce more signs would be helpful.  Plywood, paint, templates, and hardware cost about $65 per 8 x 8 sign.  If you are good with a paint roller you can help!   Templates for the signs are ready and waiting!  Contact if you know of a location, farm implement, and/or can help in any way.