August 9, 2022
KRLT Statement of Opposition to Proposed Kinnik Development Racecourse
The Kinnickinnic River Land Trust is strongly opposed to the proposed Kinnik Development racecourse along the South Fork of the Kinnickinnic River and its unnamed tributaries. This project is bad for the environment, the Kinnickinnic River, and the community.
A development of this type would greatly disturb the environment along the South Fork east of River Falls. This area includes a stretch of the river, two tributaries, floodplain, woodlands, and wetlands that currently help to keep the Kinni running cold and clear. This area is designated by WDNR as a Class 1 Trout Stream and Brook Trout Reserve; it is worthy of special protection. A Brook Trout Reserve is a high-quality self-sustaining trout population with unique genetic characteristics, because of this it is resilient to climate change. A racecourse would dramatically alter this ecosystem in ways that would directly damage the riparian habitat and impact water quality in the South Fork, its tributaries and downstream sections of the Kinnickinnic River. In addition, such a development is sure to negatively impact wildlife and outdoor recreational opportunities provided by the adjoining Fishery Area and Wisconsin residents rights of navigability on the South Fork.
Maintaining sensitive land in its natural state is the best tool that we have for protecting the health of the Kinnickinnic River and its tributaries. A development of this type would create many acres of impermeable surface and generate increased runoff. Furthermore, landscaping around the proposed condominiums and track would further disturb the natural environment and ability for the land to absorb water and clean and cool it before it enters the river. The chemicals used in the automotive industry and landscaping are likely to end up in the river system, further damaging the ecosystem.
In regard to the community, the noise pollution created by high performance vehicles would be profound. The track and skid pad would generate noise from mid-morning to dusk for a significant portion of the year and would be heard clearly throughout a significant portion of River Falls. People move to River Falls and the surrounding area because it is a quiet community with many natural and scenic attributes, not to hear cars racing around a track. If it were a once or twice a year event it might be tolerable but it is not when it becomes a daily occurrence. For the nearby neighbors the noise would be unbearable.
Simply, this is the wrong place for this development. We strongly urge the City of River Falls to not accept the planned development due to significant adverse impacts on the river system and the community. There are more suitable places for a development of this type and we recommend the developer look for a location that will not have impacts on the Kinnickinnic River and the community that live here. The KRLT will continue to monitor the plans, work with the citizens of the community and groups, and advocate for protection of the river.
The following petition may help you to express your concern and let the City of River Falls know that this is a bad idea for the Kinni and the community.