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Northwoods teens call for climate actionSubmitted: 09/20/2019
Dan Hagen
Dan Hagen
Reporter/Anchor
dhagen@wjfw.com

Northwoods teens call for climate action
MINOCQUA - Teen voices cut through the nearby traffic at Torpy Park in Minocqua Friday.

"I'm terrified of the fact to have children because I don't want to bring them into this earth just to destroy it."

"I think in the 2020 election [climate change] should be our most important issue when we go to vote."

After holding up signs along highway 51, high school senior Maile Llanos shared her concerns.

"I care because it is uncertain if I have a future to look forward to," said Llanos. "I care because the outcome of my future is in the hands of someone else. To all the politicians, I want you to know that the state of our environment is not a partisan issue. Know that climate change will affect you whether you are a Democrat or a Republican."

Llanos started an environmental initiative in Rhinelander called 'Paint It Green', asking local businesses to reduce their carbon emissions. At the rally, she encouraged people to reach out to legislators and tell them it's now or never.

"I can make a change but I need everyone else to actually make a difference as well," said Llanos.


Junior Alissa Huffman has lived in Phillips all her life. She is worried the city won't be the same for her children.

"I have had the opportunity to grow up in beautiful Northern Wisconsin and it breaks my heart that my children and my grandchildren won't get that same opportunity," said Huffman.

But she remains optimistic.

"Especially after seeing how many people came here today," said Huffman. "And I believe that if we really hunker down, become educated, and fight for this we can achieve this."

Huffman and Llanos will continue to be loud and educate people, the only question is - will people listen?


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In a message posted on the festival's website, organizers wrote: the safety of the Rhinelander community is more important than the festival.

Adding, "The possibility of having the Hodag Country Festival has created stress and division in the Rhinelander area, and we are sincerely apologetic for this. It was never our intent. The festival has always been about community. We have been here for 43 years, and have always supported the Northwoods area. Hodag hopes we can continue to have your support in the future."

Oneida County Health Dept. head Linda Conlon said her department is thankful for the decision.

"We do appreciate the difficulty of this decision on their part and in this time of uncertainty and it's important that we're all on the same page related to the health and well-being to our community," said Conlon.

Within the next 10 days, organizers wrote they will be emailing and posting instructions to request a refund or rollover for 2021.

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