This is a map of the silica sand deposits in Wisconsin. My farm and house are in the central part of the red blob covering the western part of the state. The photo below is of the closest sand mine to me, outside of Menomonie. Imagine this part of the state covered with these. Sand mining is suddenly a big concerin in Western Wisconsin, since proposed mines are cropping up at an alarming rate. Projections are that western Wisconsin will have over 100 frac sand mines in the next two years.
Clearly some frac sand mining is going to take place in Wisconsin - but there's a strong grassroots interest in having reasonable regulations on these mines, and in the current political state of Wisconsin, environment has not been a high priority of our government.[img_assist|nid=190553|title=Menomonie Sand Mine|desc=|link=popup|align=right|width=300|height=150]
We are going to try to be a clearing house for information on sand mining in the state, since this is a high-priority issue, and as with many of the current environmental concerns in the state, it's getting short shrift and once the damage is done it will be very hard or impossible to recover.
Look for more here in the future on sand mining. We're looking for concerned citizens who want to work on sand mining as an issue, and will have at least two different sessions at the upcoming Netroots Wisconsin to organize people in multiple realms. For the time being, hot off the press, is this informative brochure on the sand mining issues in the Town of Menomonie, and the proposed rail spur.