Letter to the Editor: Kitchens is Right Choice for Assembly

As a person that values our natural resources, I especially understand the vulnerability of the Door Peninsula. I know how important the water resources are to the local economy and to the health of the citizens. Currently, I chair the Committee on Natural Resources and Energy in the State Senate. I have built a strong record of commitment to defending our environment. The 1st Assembly District is fortunate to be represented by Joel Kitchens, a man who shares my commitment to our natural resources.

During just his first term in office, Joel has emerged as the leader on environmental issues in the state Assembly. We have worked together on several legislative proposals. We successfully networked with both business groups and conservationists to pass a bill to ban the sale and manufacture of products containing plastic microbeads. In addition, Joel was instrumental in removing several environmentally damaging elements from bills which would have compromised the shoreland and navigable waters that are so vital to the Door Peninsula, Green Bay and our Great Lakes. Joel Kitchens strives to come up with straightforward solutions to very complicated and multifaceted problems.

The promulgation of new rules for manure management specific to the karst region has long been a goal of conservationists. During this session, Joel was successful in finally convincing the DNR to begin to update these rules, and the process is now underway. The focus of this process was narrowed to deal specifically with the karst region, rather than the entire state. This vital change ensures that the rules will be on a more rapid timeframe and be completed in 2017 rather than the original time of four years! This is a huge victory for clean groundwater in Door and Kewaunee counties. It is likely that without Joel’s leadership, the Door Peninsula could have waited until 2021 for new rules.

Just recently, Joel received the “Policymaker of the Year” award from Gathering Waters for his leadership role in saving the Knowles- Nelson Stewardship Program. He and I were the only two Republicans named to the Honor Roll of the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters for our work this session. He is the only incumbent Assembly Republican to have been endorsed by conservation voters and business groups alike for re-election.

Joel is a thoughtful policymaker. Like me, Joel understands the balance of environmental protections and needs of industry. Please join me in supporting Joel Kitchens for re-election to the State Assembly. His leadership in the 1st Assembly District is vital.


Robert Cowles

Green Bay, Wis.


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