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Crandon Woman Ordered to Pay $17,500 for Dredging Stream and Grading Bank of Lake Lucerne


MADISON - Sharon Brevik of Crandon, Wisconsin, was ordered in Forest County Circuit Court to pay $17,500 for several environmental violations related to her dredging of a Wisconsin stream and grading the bank of a lake.


Brevik was charged in a civil forfeiture complaint filed by the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) with failing to obtain a permit to dredge a stream on her property that flows into Lake Lucerne; lining the stream with plastic and boulders; and installing a larger culvert in the stream.


Brevik also graded more than 10,000 square feet of the bank of Lake Lucerne and the stream without a permit. Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said DOJ filed the civil lawsuit in Forest County over the violations, an action requested by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). In its referral of the case, DNR asked for forfeitures and restoration of the stream to its natural state.


Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said that after a trial, Circuit Court Judge Fred W. Kawalski found Brevik to have committed the four alleged violations and ordered her to remove all of the rocks and plastic from the stream bed and take steps to prevent erosion of the area. Brevik is also required to obtain after-the-fact permits for the grading and culvert activities. Brevik worked to complete the requirements subsequent to her trial. She completed the final requirement yesterday, August 16, 2007. On August 17, 2007 Judge Kawalski ordered that Brevik also pay forfeitures and costs of $17,500.


Wisconsin law states that any attempts to alter streams and lake beds by dredging or grading must be approved by the DNR in order to prevent damage to the water resources and their fisheries. DOJ stands ready to work with DNR to respond to illegal stream alteration of the type that occurred in this case.


"For the health and safety of Wisconsin citizens and the integrity of the waters we all enjoy, the Wisconsin Department of Justice will continue to work with the DNR to fully enforce the laws that protect these resources," Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said.


Assistant Attorney General Steven Tinker prosecuted the case for the Department of Justice.