C.R.A.N.E.S., Inc.
POB 3413
Madison, WI 53704 USA

Incorporated 13 January 2009
A Wisconsin Non-profit
Federal EIN 26-4056421

Fiscal Agent:
River Alliance of Wisconsin
A Tax-exempt 501(c)3 Non-profit


Capital Region Advocacy Network for Environmental Sustainability
South Central Wisconsin’s newest environmental organization, with over 400 years of experience


Many local conservation leaders have been attending monthly “Smart Growth Coalition” meetings begun by Kathleen Falk when she was first elected to lead Dane County. For almost a decade, these meetings have provided valuable opportunities for sharing information and ideas about the area’s environment with the County Executive or County staff and among our organizations.

With the creation late in 2008 of the Capital Area Regional Planning Commission (CARPC), many of these same leaders began following its development and actions, to assure that CARPC decisions would protect our natural resources and open spaces, while preventing unwise development.

As we looked for individuals and organizations to join us in speaking to CARPC on significant land use issues, we became aware that the attention of most of the environmental community was either focused on a particular resource (e.g. wetlands, air quality, rivers, lakes, birds) or on statewide concerns, while south central Wisconsin’s regional conservation issues were secondary. Put another way, there appeared to be a need for better communication and coordination among existing groups and individuals regarding the area’s conservation issues, so that a more united and stronger environmental view could be expressed at public forums and government-sponsored public hearings.

We are convinced that the vision of an environmentally sustainable future in Dane and surrounding counties can become reality only with the strong, unified and dependable collaboration of the conservation community. For that reason we have recently formed a new organization and incorporated under the name Capital Region Advocacy Network for Environmental Sustainability (CRANES).



In the decade prior to the incorporation of CRANES, many of its founders played key roles in the passage of the referendum that, by a large majority of voters, approved the Dane County Conservation Fund. In more recent years, they also helped win additional Dane County funding for conservation, including the Land and Water Legacy Fund.

Support for these leaders, and the members of their many organizations, was also crucial for recent comprehensive (Smart Growth) planning efforts in Dane County.

Since CRANES became active in early 2008, its founders have worked collaboratively with many individuals and organizations to enhance the Capital Area Regional Plan Commission (CARPC). CRANES played a key role in CARPC’s reconsititution, its adoption of modern Policy and Criteria for regional planning, its involvement of the public, and its careful consideration of Urban Service Area Amendment Applications (USAAA).

After a 2009 CARPC decision to deny an USAAA, CRANES provided public support during two CARPC votes and an appeal by the applicant to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR); the CARPC decision was upheld by WDNR.

CRANES played a key role in the approval by Dane County’s Board of Supervisors, in autumn of 2009, of a budget that retained funding for conservation programs, despite the severe economic downturn of 2008-09.

CRANES also recently mustered support for the supervisors’ historic November 2009 vote
authorizing a Regional Transportation Authority.