2010: Year of the Niagara Escarpment

2010 Year of the Niagara Escarpment:  Elevate Yourself2009 ASSEMBLY JOINT RESOLUTION (AJR-1) 
Introduced by Assemblyman Al Ott (3rd District)

Whereas, the Niagara Escarpment is a 650 mile long geologic feature of international scale and global importance that reaches across Wisconsin, Michigan, Ontario, and New York; and

Whereas, in Wisconsin, the Niagara Escarpment extends for a distance of over 230 miles and runs through Door, Kewaunee, Brown, Manitowoc, Calumet, Fond du Lac, Dodge, and Waukesha counties; and

Whereas, the Niagara Escarpment’s cliff faces and high elevation on the landscape provide numerous important vistas and viewsheds, several of which are as much as 200 feet above the surrounding landscape; and

Whereas, the Niagara Escarpment corridor is home to high levels of biodiversity and unique plant and animal species, and over 240 different rare, threatened, or endangered plant and animal species have been identified along the Niagara Escarpment; and
Whereas, the Niagara Escarpment is known to have highly sensitive groundwater resources due to its composition of highly fractured bedrock and karst features; and

Whereas, the Niagara Escarpment contains numerous high−value passive recreation areas and contributes significantly to the tourism−based economy of many of the corridor’s communities, and two of Wisconsin’s most visited State Parks — Peninsula and High Cliff — lie along the Niagara Escarpment; and

Whereas, the Niagara Escarpment corridor has significant historical and cultural features which equate with both past and present uses of its resources. The Niagara Escarpment has been used since Paleo-Indian times for ceremonial purposes, has a long tradition of being a top agricultural area, is home to a rapidly growing viticulture industry and wine producing region, and is known as a present day source for quality building materials such as cut stone and crushed rock; and
Whereas, past and present landowners have used the Niagara Escarpment landscape as a resource for which to build communities, sustain their livelihoods, and promote a strong stewardship ethic; and

Whereas, the Niagara Escarpment has been recognized by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources as a highly ranked “Land Legacy Place”;

Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved by the Assembly, the Senate concurring, That the members of the Wisconsin state legislature proclaim the year 2010 as the “Year of the Niagara Escarpment” in the State of Wisconsin so as to foster awareness and education on this important and unique landscape feature; and

Be it Further Resolved, That the month of May 2010 be proclaimed as the “Month of the Niagara Escarpment” in the State of Wisconsin in order to promote efforts to recognize the Niagara Escarpment’s significance as a statewide geologic and natural resource.

Approved on March 24, 2009