Support an Operations Ordinance—Write A Letter

We encourage you to write or call your Bayfield County Supervisor in support of an Operations Ordinance!

The Large scale livestock study committee has finalized their report and recommendations to the bayfield county board of supervisors!

The Bayfield County Board of Supervisors will vote on the Ordinance at their meeting on January 26th.

Your Bayfield County Supervisor needs to know how you feel! Your support and encouragement in this matter is very important!

We encourage you to write or call your Bayfield County Supervisor to express concern for the CAFO and support for more stringent standards such as those offered in the proposed operations ordinance and manure storage ordinance. See the executive summary of the operations ordinance below.

Read the Study Committee's Report and Recommendations (including the operations ordinance and the manure storage ordinance).

Executive Summary of the Operations Ordinance

Executive Summary of the South Fish Creek Watershed Animal Waste Storage and Management Ordinance

Please refer to our Letter Writing Tips.

Our Contact page has a Map of Bayfield Supervisor Districts, and Supervisor contact information.


Executive Summary of the Operations Ordinance



The purpose of the proposed Operational Ordinance is to comprehensively regulate the operations of Confined Animal Feed Operations (CAFOs) of 1000 animal units or greater to adequately protect public health, safety, and general welfare, and to prevent public and private nuisances, and preserve the quality of life, environment, and existing small-scale livestock and other agricultural operations of Bayfield County (“the County”).

CAFOs have a well-documented record of causing significant adverse impacts to public health, safety, and general welfare, including adverse environmental, economic, and quality of life impacts. Wisconsin State legislature limits the County’s authority to restrict the siting of livestock facilities over 500 animal units (through Chapter ATCP 51). [Siting refers to the place where the structures and other physical facilities associated with the development of the CAFO.] All counties in Wisconsin are required by state law to allow a CAFO to locate and operate within their county.  

However, ATCP 51 offers limited protections for the risks associated with large scale animal confinement. Bayfield County residents have expressed concerns about protecting these aspects and more regulation is needed. Bayfield County does have the legal authority to regulate CAFO operations. [Operations refers to a procedure or productive activity for purposes of conducting and carrying on the business.]

In abbreviated form, the Operations Ordinance states the following:

The applicant shall apply for a “CAFO Operations Permit” with the County and pay an application fee of $1.00 per proposed animal unit. By submitting an application, the applicant agrees to fully compensate the county for all legal and consulting services incurred by the County in the review process whether or not the application is approved.

All adjoining landowners will be notified of the application by the County. A public hearing will be conducted to consider any evidence presented by the applicant and any other interested parties. Specialists will be hired to assist the County as needed at the applicant’s expense.

The County shall approve the CAFO Permit only if a majority vote by County Board determines that the CAFO will protect public safety and welfare, prevent pollution and nuisances, and preserve the quality of life, environment, and existing small-scale livestock and other agricultural operations of the County.

The applicant must also prove that a CAFO with similar characteristics and operations has continuously operated for at least ten (10) years without causing pollution of groundwater or surface water, and without causing either a private or public nuisance. 

Additional conditions may be attached to a permit relating to the operations including: operational characteristics, management of animal and other waste, population and depopulation of animal housing facilities, biosecurity and animal health and welfare, transportation of animals, protection of wells, air emissions, property rights and values, permit compliance, and bonding to ensure funds are available for a pollution clean-up, nuisance abatement, and facility closure.  

Violation of the ordinance may result in fines of $100 to $5,000 per day plus prosecution costs.

This ordinance would apply to any CAFO wanting to operate in Bayfield County including any pending siting applications.

Download or print PDF of Executive Summary