Lake Waubesa Conservation Association Accomplishments & Activities (1989 – 2010)


  • LWCA formed in November of 1989 at the Waubesa Beach Community Center. Dunn Town officials held a meeting to announce an imminent arbitration case would result in the Libby Landfill site near Lake Waubesa.  No landfill had ever been defeated under the landfill siting law.
  • LWCA received IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit status for tax deductibility of donations in 1991.
  • LWCA made numerous presentations to area groups, displayed at community events, acquired  petition signatures from 3,000, and gained endorsements from a wide cross-section of community and government agencies in opposition to the landfill.
  • LWCA representatives regularly attended meetings of the Wisconsin Waste Facility Siting Board and presented arguments against the landfill in London, England to Libby Landfill financier Costain Holdings.
  • LWCA raised funds through door-to-door canvassing, direct mail & community fund-raisers and raffles at Christy’s Landing and the Park Ponderosa.
  • LWCA presented checks totaling $36,500 to Town of Dunn and WARF to offset legal costs of Libby arbitration, Appeals Court, and Supreme Court cases. LWCA leveraged many more funds for the legal battle (total legal fees estimated at $500,000 including the WDNR regulatory process – funds from Town of Dunn, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Dane County, LWCA, McFarland & private parties).
  • Libby arbitration awarded local zoning to Dane County. Circuit Court overruled arbitration award, Appeals court reinstated arbitration award, and Developer appealed to State Supreme Court. Supreme Court upheld arbitration award in December 1994, effectively defeating the Libby Landfill.
  • LWCA and its leaders received the 1996 Stewardship Award from the Dane County Natural  Heritage Foundation, a “Citizen of the Year” award in 1991 from the Yahara Lakes Association, and a 1994 Town of Dunn Parks Commission Stewardship Award for environmental protection.
  • LWCA sponsored annual meetings with informational presentations on Lake Waubesa area topics, including high water levels, water quality and management, restoration efforts, shoreland zoning, recreation opportunities, history & legends of the area, ATC and Co-Generation plant issues, and development pressures in the West Waubesa Neighborhood.  Continued to monitor and appear at hearings on the West Waubesa Neighborhood proposed development through 2010.
  • Recent LWCA Lake Currents published - Late Summer 2008 and early September 2010.
  • Next annual meeting scheduled for Sept. 15, 2010 at the Lussier Family Heritage Center at Lake Farm Park, Lake Farm Road, Madison.


Although the projects listed below were undertaken by others, LWCA attributed directly to their success either through financial support or volunteer effort. LWCA Board members were also in leadership positions for several of these groups or agencies. In a number of cases, these projects may not have happened at all if the Libby Landfill had been constructed.


  • Since 1994 – LWCA has been an annual sponsor of the “Take a Stake in the Lakes” annual campaign to clean up the Yahara chain of lakes. TASL is a project of Dane County Lakes & Watershed Commission.
  • 1995 Dunn Heritage Park wetland restoration project on the south end of Lake Waubesa – LWCA  provided grants and donated labor. Two of LWCA Board members served on the Town of Dunn Park Commission at that time.
  • 1996 – Lussier Family Heritage Center – LWCA sponsored several fund-raising events to build this cultural community center at Lake Farm County Park. This included the “Discovery Lake & River Voyage” paddling event of the Yahara River. The Center was opened in December 2001. LWCA Board members served on staff and the Park Commission during this time, and two Board members were major contributors.
  • 1997 – Town of Dunn’s first easement under its “Purchase of Development Rights” program – the Sinaiko Farm – immediately adjacent to the site of the proposed Libby landfill. LWCA Board members served on the Dunn PDR Committee, Natural Heritage Land Trust Board, and Dane County Park Commission – all directly involved in this acquisition.
  • 1999 – Supported referendum efforts to approve the “New Dane County Conservation Fund” for purchasing lands in the Dane County Park & Open Space Plan. The measure to add $30 million over 10 years was passed by 75% of Dane County voters.
  • Since 1999 – Supported successful efforts aimed at reauthorizing the State of Wisconsin “Knowles-Nelson Stewardship” program for 2000-2010. This program administered by the Wisconsin DNR has assisted with 50% grants for many land acquisitions in the Lake Waubesa vicinity including the Nine Springs  E-way and for the Dunn PDR program. Two LWCA Board members currently serve on the WDNR Stewardship Advisory Council.


•        Since 2000 – Capital Springs Centennial State Park – 326 Acres of land were purchased by the State of Wisconsin for this newest State Park. This includes land along Lake Waubesa formerly owned by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation together with the 152 acres proposed as the site for the Libby Landfill. This ended the threat of the proposed Libby Landfill forever. One of LWCA Board members was on staff with Dane County and helped to write the proposal to select the site for the park. Three LWCA Board members currently sit on the Board of the Friends of Capital Springs Centennial State Park and Recreation Area (FOCSRA).


  • 2003 – Third Street Wetland Restoration next to Christy’s on the west shore of Lake Waubesa. This Town of Dunn project was constructed by the Wisconsin Waterfowl Association on 7 acres.  Discussions involving LWCA representatives began as early as 1995. LWCA provided a $2,000 grant and volunteer effort.
  • 2007 – Yahara Waterways, Water Trail Guide (undertaken by the Dane County Environmental Council, UW-Extension and Dane County Lakes & Watershed). This 44-page colored guidebook to the Yahara chain of lakes provides points of historical, archaeological, and natural resource interest along with  landmarks that can be viewed from the water. Work on this publication began in 2004. A representative of LWCA participated on the development panel and LWCA provided a grant for publishing the booklet.
  • 2009 – Partnered with the Natural Heritage Land Trust to have an assessment of land available on Lake Waubesa.
  • 2009 – Supported efforts by the Dane County Lakes and Watershed Commission to secure environmental grants for the Yahara lakes.
  • 2009 and 2010 – LWCA Members attended hearings by Dane County on the widening of the RR trestle over Lake Waubesa and the construction of a bike trail from McFarland to Lake Farm Park over Lake Waubesa.   Also attended meetings in 2009 and 2010 concerning water quality and water flow out of Laka Waubesa into the lower Yahara River.