Don and Mary met in Denver, where they shared a love of gardening, hiking, camping, and cross-country skiing, as well as a great concern for social justice. Colorado brought home to them the crucial role that government plays in the distribution, quality, and conservation of water. It was water that brought them to greener (and snowier) southwestern Wisconsin to homestead and raise their family. Don worked as a carpenter while Mary taught adults basic skills. Both are active in a restorative justice program they helped to start, and which Mary directed for its first 10 years.
They are blessed to be part of an active community in Crawford County where they have participated in a number of efforts to protect the environment and people of the Driftless Region. These include the initial organizing meetings of Organic Valley, stopping low level military jet flights over the area, recovering and rebuilding after the floods of 2007 and 2008, halting plans for a high capacity well, and opposing CAFOs and frac sand mining.
We are conservation voters because while we’ve always tried to express our environmental ethic in our personal life style, we finally realized that we cannot individually stop global warming. However, we have learned how much a committed community can accomplish together. The earth is at risk, and efforts to save it for future generations require public input. Conservation needs to be front and center in public dialogue and policy. Together, our votes can make that happen.