High Water: Let us know your concerns! And Information on Healthy Lakes Program

High Water Woes?  We would like to hear from you! 


If you have experienced damage to your shoreline from high water the last few years, we would like to know.  FOECLA is exploring measures that could be implemented to minimize property damage and shoreline erosion that negatively impact our lakes’ ecosystems.

We hope to work collaboratively with the Towns of Barnes and Gordon to address the issue and explore the possibility of adopting an emergency slow-no-wake policy in the event of extreme high water.  Please give us feedback on shoreline damage you have experienced and photos (if you have them) via email: eauclairefriends@gmail.com.


Healthy Lakes Grant Program

FOECLA will be applying for a Healthy Lakes Grant from the DNR this fall.  This will be a pilot program to test the waters for  future projects if the grant program is successful. The grant would cover most of the cost for installing shoreline practices that improve habitat and water quality on area lakes.  

Practices include:

  • native plantings
  • rain gardens
  • fish sticks
  • rainfall diversion and/or infiltration. 


Individual lakeshore owners are eligible to sponsor a project of no more than $1,000 per site.  We are starting small to try out the grant program and will be applying for projects at four sites this grant period.  We have two sites identified and are looking for two more to round out our grant application.  You can find details about this grant program at https://healthylakeswi.com/


If you are interested in installing a practice on your property, let us know via email:  eauclairefriends@gmail.com.

Online Event – Wisconsin Lakes & Rivers Convention

Friends of the Eau Claire Lakes Area is pleased to co-sponsor this event. We hope you will be able to attend!

Call of the Loon


The Friends of the Eau Claire Lakes Area (FOECLA) is pleased to announce Iris Wichman is the recipient of its first annual student scholarship. Ms. Wichman, a 2019 graduate of Drummond Area High School, will pursue a degree in environmental studies at UW-Barron County this fall. FOECLA board member Martin Olson presented Ms. Wichman with her $1,000 scholarship at the school’s Senior Scholarship Night on May 15.

“We created this scholarship to assist students who wish to enter any field of study that would promote our mission to protect and improve lakes, rivers, forests and wildlife resources,” said Kevin Shriver, FOECLA board president. “Now more than ever we need to support young adults like Iris who care about the environment.”


FOECLA also partners with the Drummond Area School District in providing a unique educational program for seventh grade students. The “Lake Ecology Education Program for Youth” (LEEP) provides students with classroom lessons and field experiences designed to prepare them for becoming life-long lake stewards. The curriculum meets Wisconsin education standards. “Creating this annual scholarship underscores our commitment to the education of our youth,” noted Shriver. “We are very happy to put our resources to such good use, and we congratulate Iris on her award.”


In addition to supporting the education of our youth, FOECLA also supports the following important programs:

  • Town of Barnes AIS Committee – We provide financial support to the Town in its efforts to control the spread of aquatic invasive species, and we refer volunteers interested in monitoring their shorelines for invasive species.
  • WDNR Citizen Lake Monitoring Network – This spring, we provided funding to purchase new water testing equipment for citizen monitors to use on area lakes. We also refer individuals interested in this program.
  • Town of Barnes Clean Boats Clean Waters – We provide funding to support the hiring of monitors at boat landings who inspect boats and educate boaters on “aquatic hitchhikers”, and we refer individuals interested in becoming boat landing monitors.
  • Town of Barnes Vatten Paddlar – We sponsor this annual race that highlights the beauty of our lakes. We also refer individuals interested in volunteering for the race.
  • Annual Education Program – Every August, we host an educational program for the community at the Barnes Town Hall.

We couldn’t do any of this without the support of our members! If you aren’t yet a 2019 member please consider joining or renewing today

Wisconsin Lakes Symposium April 10-12,2019 Holiday Inn Convention Center Stevens Point Wisconsin

Mike O’Keefe Candidate Supervisor- Town of Barnes Board

Mike OKeefe
1865 Lake road
Friends & Neighbors ,
The following provides the information requested in the “Voters’ Guide.

My name is Mike OKeefe . Many of you know who I  am. I  spent  26  years working for the city of Chicago providing emergency services as a policeman / paramedic / firefighter .

We moved to Barnes in 1996 , full time in 2000 . I’ve  been your Constable for the last 19 years .

 I’m running for town board for the   same reasons I did 19 years ago . I feel I have something to offer , and I care  about this is town , and the  people  that  make  Barnes  a  very  special  place  to live.

 The issues  that  concern  me  the  most  are  the  ones  that  effect  Barnes every day of the year . Re-configuring  our  emergency  medical  /  fire  service  is very important .

 Maintaining our roads , and infrastructure is also an important issue .

 As a lifelong conservative I’ve always  felt  that  viewing  ”  more government” as an answer is wrong . More government is the problem ! We as a local board need to create an environment for small business , new and old  to prosper . All while protecting our natural resources .

 It’s my hope that we as a very diverse group of friends and neighbors will be able  to  compromise  on issues that divide us with the success and prosperity of Barnes as our primary goal. On that I think we all agree .

e-mail: bigmike807@yahoo.com
Phone: 715.795.3111

Sue Jansen Candidate Supervisor- Town of Barnes Board

Background Information:
Over 30 years ago, my husband and I purchased a small cabin on
Outlet Bay, Upper Eau Claire Lake. Before I retired from 36 years of teaching 2nd and 4th graders, we bought a home on the Upper, and have lived here as permanent residents for the last four years. For many years before becoming a permanent resident, I have been involved in community activities, volunteering and serving on the town AIS committee as secretary, the VFW, the conservation club, and the LEEP program, which brings Drummond 7th graders to the Barnes area lakes to learn about lake stewardship and ecology. Through volunteering, I have met many wonderful, dedicated people who work hard to enrich and strengthen this beautiful place.
 Why are you seeking this office?

Being retired, I have the time to devote to learning more about how the town works, the financing, the daily operations that are necessary for the safety and well-being of the  residents, visitors and other property owners of Barnes. I am curious, honest, and open-minded.  I know I can make a  positive difference. I commit to representing our community’s interests.
What experience(professionally/personally/volunteer) will help you in office?
As a teacher for 36 years, I learned to work closely with other people to create and accomplish common goals, and to include many divergent ideas and perspectives in the decision- making process. Part of my job involved making short and long-term plans, and I see value in planning ahead.
I have joined with other volunteers here in Barnes to teach, organize, and schedule events(LEEP), to make a difference (Conservation Club and AIS committee volunteer secretary), and to work with others to ensure successful events(VFW) in our community.

 What issues are facing Barnes today and what actions would you propose to deal with those issues?

I’ll work hard to re-establish enthusiasm and pride in our community. I will invite and provide opportunities for public discussion of issues and pending decisions, expand participation in activities and membership on Town committees, publicize requests for volunteers to share their knowledge, skills, insight, judgment, and energy to help our community succeed and prosper. We need to develop more effective means for communicating information about town issues, to encourage more participation on the decisions that affect all of us.


I supported the expansion of the town building to house  EMTs  and equipment, and will work with others to identify and provide needed services to our area, especially keeping pace with the changing demographics.  I support measures to maintain and improve the health and safety of town residents and visitors by providing up-to-date  fire  and  rescue equipment, staff, and ambulance services with well-trained EMTs.  We need services to help an aging population remain here and flourish, by creating a robust network to link people who need services and skills to people who can provide these services.  I see the need to investigate the availability of adequate housing for low-income families and individuals, as well as creating a support structure for those who need assistance in meeting basic needs.  Alternative sources of revenue for project-focused funding need to be aggressively pursued.

  My 2-year vision for Barnes?  And 10 years from now?

We have much to celebrate here, the beautiful lakes, rivers, streams, the forests, and the many organizations active in our community. In ten years, these organizations, such as Men’s Group, Conservation Club, VFW, Vatten Paddlar, Barnstormer Snowmobile Club, BAHA , in addition to newly established groups, will continue to remain active in  our  community  as they provide many opportunities for learning, enjoying, exploring, and sharing with others all the gifts the area has to offer. Trails and parks in the Town of Barnes or nearby natural areas will all be open to the public, and benefiting from the many volunteers who work to maintain and improve them.
Working together will ensure that our lakes, streams, forests, etc. are passed on to the next generation in the same condition (or better) than when these resources were entrusted to us.


Businesses in Barnes will continue to contribute to our local economy by bringing growth and innovation to the community in ways that protect and preserve the abundant resources that brought us to this area and give us reasons to stay.

 I support efforts to attract new businesses to help stimulate responsible economic growth that provides meaningful employment opportunities to people living in Barnes.


Well-maintained roads and bridges make a crucial contribution to the area’s economic  development  and  growth.  We  know that both require regular and frequent repair and replacement. These are known expenses, and long-term planning will provide for adequate funds to be set aside, minimizing surprises of an unexpected tax increases.


 Barnes is changing and we need to come together as a community to figure out what we want our future to look like, what defines us as unique. Definition determines direction and we’re on the trip together.
I don’t have all the answers, but I’m willing to listen, to learn, to gather facts from a variety of sources to  help  me  make decisions that are wise, sustaining, and good for our future and beyond, decisions which we all agree will  help  us  move forward.
     How can voters reach you before the election if they have questions for you? 
Susan Jansen: upperlakesj@cheqnet.net715-795-2389


Donna Porter Candidate Supervisor- Town of Barnes Board

Background Statement:
I have lived in Barnes for almost 30 years now. I belong to BAHA. I have monitored boat landings. I was an EMT for 37 years and am still currently the Secretary/Treasurer for the ambulance and very involved with the July 4th fundraiser. Also, I have been on the Town Board as a Supervisor for several years. I also worked for the DNR for 10 years and the State Bank of Drummond for 20 years.


Why are you seeking this office?
I have been on the board since 2005 and have enjoyed helping in decisions for the betterment of the Town and that is the basis for my decisions.


What experience will help you in office?
I have been on the board several years. I have been involved in the Park Committee and we have been expanding both parks. I had been an EMT for 37 years. I believe my experience and knowledge are helpful. I have been a monitor on the lakes for CBCW.


What Issues are facing Barnes today and what action would you propose to deal with those issues?
There are many issues but I believe on of the most I important issues is the Ambulance Service. Part of it is lack of volunteerism. We have selected community members that have done much research and we have come up with some ideas to help alleviate the problem. One solution is that we are planning on hiring a full-time EMT.
Another concern is for the Town to provide safe roads for everyone and we are always working on that.


What is your vision for Barnes 2 years from now and 10 years from now?
In 2 years and possible sooner I would hope that we have a viable and sustainable ambulance service for the Town to be protected.
And In the long run I hope we can keep up with the paving and crack sealing all our roads so they are safe for everyone.
We are also working on our parks to create more recreational activities by expansion and making more opportunities for our residents and create more tourism in our town.


How can voter reach you?
E-mail: dporter@barnes-wi.com
Phone: 715-795-2013


G Fred Barnes Candidate Supervisor- Town of Barnes Board

I have lived in Barnes all of my childhood and most of my adult life. I grew up working in a Mom and Pop business run by family and relatives — a bar, restaurant, gas station, grocery store, and farming 640 acres of land at the time, one of the biggest farms in Bayfield county.
The answers to the questions presented within the “Voters Guide” are answered in the following narrative:
I served on the Barnes Town Board in the past. In addition, I have been a volunteer fireman and EMT for the Town of Barnes for several years.
My professional activities are as follows; I worked for Aon Corporation, a Fortune 500 company for 40 years in upper management. I have owned with my wife in Barnes a successful beef and dairy farm; also, an antique shop, riding stable, and miniature golf course.
I cannot personally lower your taxes. We can, however, spend your tax dollars more effectively. We have way too much town equipment. We do not have enough space to properly store it all.
The biggest issue facing us today is fire and ambulance protection. This must be addressed and fixed immediately.
Our lakes are our most important asset in our town, not only to lake property owners but also off-lake owners also.
I support all of the businesses in Barnes except two – the trailer court between Outlet Bay Rd. and Hwy. 27. it is a public disgrace to the town. The other is the Buck & Bass report. I do not personally approve of the way they run their business in any way, shape, form, or manner.
If elected, we can hire a town administrator and not raise our taxes to pay the salary.   This can be done by lowering, or eliminating the salaries of the Town Board. I don’t believe we need to be paid, especially if we have an administrator. In addition, we can accomplish this by purchasing less equipment which is used very little.
The only thing certain in the next ten years is change and we must adapt and keep up with it.               
G. Fred Barnes
3955 Lake Rd, Barnes,WI. 54873
Phone 715.795.2252