Thursday, March 3, the last day I had a good night's sleep.
That is the day that I found out that the Great Lakes Basin Railway was cutting through my community and my family farm. I worry at night about how the train is going to impact so many people's lives.
I worry how it will affect the wildlife, animals like deer, turkeys, coyotes and fox that travel back and forth across the countryside.
The creeks and streams that the train will impact with their many fish, turtles, clams and waterfowl, even the bald eagles that weren't there just a few years ago along Turtle Creek and it's tributaries.
I worry about my middle school daughter riding the bus for two hours each way to school and back because of the roads that the railway will close.
I worry about my neighbors and their children getting safely around when 70 mph trains are crossing roads just over hills and blind intersections.
I worry about my livestock staying healthy and profitable when 110 rail cars cross a day 700 ft. from their pens. I wonder how my friends and neighbors milk cows will give any milk when the trains will pass so close to their barns.
I think about the beef cows and their baby calves next to the railroad tracks and how calves always crawl under the fences and can be struck by a train as it passes.
I worry that the conservation practices that my parents started over 50 years ago to preserve the rich topsoil will be all in vain when the GLBR cuts through the farm.
I think about the waterways that so many people have installed with the help of cost sharing to save the soil over the years that will be nonfunctional.
I picture the hundreds of borrow pits that will scar the countryside, needed to build up the railroad bed and bridges, to make this project possible.
I think about why does the track dead end in Milton, WI in a swamp. Everyone should be worried about the things that GLBR has planned that they haven't told us yet. I do not believe that this project will end there.
Mr. Patton has been quoted as saying he is doing this for his grandchildren's future — disregarding the thousands of families along the 278 mile route who had hoped their grandchildren would enjoy what they have worked so hard to preserve for them and have someday.
I hope Mr. Patton and his investors are sleeping well.
Loren P. Bobolz
Rock County, WI