Friends of Central Sands
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Our Work

We achieve our goal of sustaining natural resource stewardship by working through partnerships and independent initiatives.  Here are some of the things we are up to:

Water Usage-  FOCS is playing an active role in a coalition of like-minded organizations in the development of a ground water management area in the Central Sands.  The Central Sands Water Action Coalition is engaged in a series of meetings with members of the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association to find common ground on the use of water in the Central Sands.

SRWN- We are active supporters of Sustain Rural Wisconsin Network (SWRN) whose mission is to assemble a statewide coalition of individuals and organizations dedicated to preserving the environment while maintaining the health and economic vitality of rural communities. Visit their website at

Richfield CAFO -
The proposed Richfield Dairy located in the Richfield Township of Adams County is planning to house nearly 5,000 animals units with the ability to increase capacity in the future. The DNR has permitted the Richfield Dairy to remove 131.2 million gallons of groundwater a year from the ground. Hydrologic studies show that this will in turn reduce water levels in Pleasant Lake, Fordham Creek, Little Roche-a-Cri Creek, Chaffee Creek, and Tagatz Creek. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has identified Little Roche-a-Cri Creek and Fordham Creek both as Exceptional Resource Waters and Chaffee Creek and Tagatz Creek as Outstanding Resource Waters. The Friends of the Central Sands is leading the effort to protect the region’s ground water quantity and quality from this project. We have filed three legal suits to prevent this project from going forward. In addition we have mobilized an extensive public outreach effort to raise awareness of the environmental effects of this proposed development. We have successfully filed an appeal with the court that forced the DNR to review their permit. We do not want to see these ecologically important waters join the many other lakes and streams already dewatered by high capacity well pumping  and degraded by nutrient pollution in the Central Sands. To find out more and to specifically support these efforts visit

Community Engagement and Awareness - FOCS works hard to further awareness of environmental threats to the Central Sands.  We strive to empower our communities through events, educational resources, and increasing dialogue with other nonprofit organizations.  Water Reality, an annual event created and hosted by FOCS, brings together citizens, organizations and experts who are concerned about the future of our water resources.  Visit for details.  In addition, FOCS produced a short documentary exploring the vanishing water in our lakes and streams.  View Not Standing Still: The Degradation of Wisconsin's Waters here. 

Chaffee- Chaffee Creek is a Class 1 trout stream is one of only a few streams in the entire state that harbors naturally reproducing rainbow trout populations.  This unique stream meanders its way through Waushara and Marquette counties as well as some of the region's most prized Department of Natural Resource lands. We are working with other organizations to improve the natural habitat of the stream. The headwaters of this important stream are located only about 3.5 miles from the proposed Richfield CAFO site.

River Keepers - FOCS has deployed several teams for the ongoing monitoring of the Chaffee and Little Roche-a- Cri creeks as part of the Trout Unlimited River Keepers program.  River Keepers are advocates for area streams monitoring them for invasive species and other environmental problems.
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