GREEN LAKE, WISCONSIN, July 29, 2022- Three local entities—the Green Lake Association (GLA), the
Green Lake Conservancy (GLC), and the Green Lake Sanitary District (GLSD)—are joining forces to appeal a
conditional use permit for Skunk Hollow Mine.
“Mining operations at this location have the potential to degrade water quality—not only for neighboring water
resources, but for Green Lake as a whole,” said Stephanie Prellwitz, Executive Director of the Green Lake
Association. “We are asking for a fair, thorough process to review the proposal since so much is at stake. We
cannot sacrifice short-term gains for permanent damage to our tremendous ecological assets.”
Nonmetallic mines have been shown to disrupt groundwater levels, which can negatively affect conditions in
surrounding springs and deplete local drinking water supplies. Groundwater discharge provides sustained flow to
two nearby springs, Powell Spring and Mitchell Glen.
The group has also found records of sulfide minerals within bedrock in nearby parcels. These sulfide minerals do
no harm when left alone. However, when exposed to oxygen—during mining operations, for example—a
chemical reaction can be triggered that creates acid mine drainage that can cause fish kills in downstream
Surface runoff from the mine site would drain toward White Creek and Dakin Creek, two trout streams that flow
to Green Lake. The GLA recently partnered with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR),
Patagonia, and nearby landowners to re-establish a brook trout population that has been absent from Dakin Creek
for over 70 years.
A WDNR survey completed this month confirmed that brook trout are now naturally reproducing in Dakin Creek,
a good sign for the fish species. Brook trout rely on clean, cool water to survive. The group worries that
development pressure from Skunk Hollow Mine, should it proceed, could potentially jeopardize this ecological
If plans approved by the Green Lake County’s Land Use Planning and Zoning Committee move forward, the 40-
acre non-metallic limestone quarry will be located at the northeast corner of County Highway K and Brooklyn G
Road, located one mile from Green Lake’s east end.
The site is one farm field away from Powell Spring and Mitchell Glen, two groundwater-fed, ecologically
sensitive systems. Mitchell Glen is a protected site owned by the GLSD, iconic for a 40-foot waterfall within a
sandstone gorge and unique flora and fauna that are sustained by the unusual microclimate.
“We understand the need for aggregate material in Green Lake County, but the problem is the location selected
for the proposed quarry,” said Lisa Reas, Administrator of the Green Lake Sanitary District. “Mitchell Glen and
Powell Spring are two unique properties that are our responsibility to protect.”
The GLC recently acquired Powell Spring, which contains a large cold-water spring that discharges water at
approximately 4.5 cubic feet per second during the spring season.
Melissa Curran, Interim President of the Green Lake Conservancy, stated that “permanent protection of Mitchell
Glen and Powell Spring have been important community projects, and we want to ensure they will be available
for all future generations to enjoy.”
Only landowners within 300 feet of the mine’s property lines learned about the mine after receiving a letter from
the Green Lake County Land Use Planning and Zoning Department, advising of a public hearing scheduled in two
weeks. Other neighbors who complained about the lack of communication received a notice just before the
holiday weekend, on July 1, 2022, about the public hearing scheduled six days later, on July 7, 2022. Two public
notices were published in a local newspaper on June 23 and June 30, 2022.
“We are not opposed to mining, but we are concerned about mining here,” said Stephanie Prellwitz, Executive
Director of the GLA. “We contend that we did not have adequate time to coordinate site-specific studies to
understand the full ecological impact of Skunk Hollow Mine—and the water resources surrounding it are too
precious to hinge on a lack of information or a rushed process.”
Green Lake and its surrounding watershed—including Powell Spring and Mitchell Glen—are exceptional
resources to the community that the Green Lake Association, Green Lake Conservancy, and Green Lake Sanitary
District work tirelessly to protect. On behalf of these water resources, ecological treasures, and the community,
the three organizations are uniting to appeal the Skunk Hollow Mine conditional use permit.
If you support these three organizations in their efforts to delay the approval of Skunk Hollow Mine, sign a
petition at www.greenlakeassociation.org/skunk-hollow-mine
By: Erin Ter Beest of the Green Lake Association
UPDATE TO THE SKUNK HOLLOW MINE APPEAL
AUGUST 31, 2022
Earlier this month, the Green Lake Conservancy filed two appeals-one to the Green Lake County Board of Adjustments and one to the Green Lake County Circuit Court. The appeals were filed along with the Green Lake Association (GLA) and the Green Lake Sanitary District (GLSD) and one landowner in an effort to further evaluate potential impacts associated with thee proposed Skunk Hollow Mine. By making these appeals, the GLA, GLC and GLSD are advocating for a thorough scientific review to determine any potential negative effects of the proposed project. Since Skunk Hollow Mine has potential to degrade water quality-not only for neighboring water resources, but for Green Lake as a whole-it is critical that Green Lake County’s decision to issue a Conditional Use Permit is based on sound scientific evidence, which protects the tremendous ecological assets surrounding the proposed location of the mine.
We encourage you to support our efforts by taking one of the actions below:
1) sign GLA petition at link https://www.greenlakeassociation.org/skunk-hollow-mine
2) write letter to editor GL Reporter or Ripon Commonwealth press
3) attend GL County Board meetings and GL Land Use & Planning committee meetings