Background and Briefing Papers

Sustaining Wisconsin provides facts and suggested strategies for dealing with the state’s challenges. We link to these resources throughout the site. Below, you will find policy papers organized by issue area. You can jump to each topic area here:

Categories for issues. See links below.

Papers on Jobs and the Economy Papers on Families and Communities Papers on The Future Papers o the Environment and Natural Resources Papers on Democracy and Civic Participation

Democracy and Civic Culture | Jobs and the Economy
Families and Communities | The Future
The Environment and Natural Resources

Some documents are available in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To view PDF documents, you can download the free Adobe Acrobat software.

You will find one page briefings, which are short, concise summaries of situation and strategy. These are available in HTML (web page) and/or PDF format.

The Background Papers are more in-depth and longer. At present, they are only available in PDF format.


UWGB Student Our First Member of the Herd in the Field

COWS’ successful recent events in Green Bay are paying off in multiple ways. Larry Smith, UW Green Bay Assistant Professor of Social Change and Development, is motivating students and community members behind the Sustaining Wisconsin project. Larry’s commitment to social change is rivaled only by his commitment to noon basketball games on the UWGB campus, where he also networks with other UWGB staff about prospects and possibilities.

Continue reading UWGB Student Our First Member of the Herd in the Field


A Snapshot of Wisconsin’s Mood

Sustaining Wisconsin is not a poll-driven campaign, but rather a public education project driven by our state’s challenges and the public’s desire for better, more useful policy-oriented information. Nevertheless, a recent poll released by, Wisconsin’s premiere on-line news service (, conducted by Madison-based Wood Communication Group, reveals some interesting information about Wisconsinites and their thoughts on issues, government and the economy.

Continue reading A Snapshot of Wisconsin’s Mood


This Week in…Wisconsin’s Future

One of most pressing issues facing Wisconsin residents in the future is how to deal with our recycling and waste strategies. Historically, Wisconsin residents have been national leaders for recycling and keeping garbage out of landfills. But beyond stuffing your cans and bottles in the blue barrel instead of the gray one, what can the average Wisconsinite do about this problem? According to Rep. Larry Balow of Eau Claire (D) Wisconsin should increase the amount it charges waste haulers to dump garbage in state landfills–boost Wisconsin’s “tipping fee” from 30 cents a ton of garbage to $10 a ton. Granted, landfill management is not a hot-button issue for most residents, but the facts surrounding solid waste policies make clear that something must be changed in the way we handle our trash:

Continue reading This Week in…Wisconsin’s Future