PRAIRIE DU SAC (WKOW) -- Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources(DNR) officials will host an open house Wednesday, July 31, where the public can ask questions and share comments on the future of the old Badger Army Ammunition Plant.
The site, in Sauk County between Sauk City and Baraboo, will be re-branded the Sauk Prairie Recreation Area.
At the open house, you can look at the three conceptual alternatives for the site prepared by DNR planners.
The three plans include one with an emphasis on ecological restoration, one with an emphasis on outdoor recreation and a third "no action" alternative required by state law. DNR officials stress that the ecological and recreational groupings are not all or nothing choices, and that the comments received will be factored into the next step in the process, which is the writing of a master plan.
Below is the description from the DNR of the three alternatives:
Alternative 1: No action
The property will have limited public access for the nature based outdoor activities of hunting, trapping, fishing, hiking, and cross country skiing. Public access to cemeteries on the property will be maintained. No additional funding will be spent on restoration or property development. Any structures or debris left on the property at the time of the land transfer will remain. The department will restrict access if there are any public safety concerns.
Alternative 2: Ecological restoration emphasis
Under this management alternative, the primary emphasis is on restoration work of the grassland ecosystem. A variety of management tools will be used to maintain grassland and savanna. No development is proposed, and access will be limited to pedestrian use. Most remaining infrastructure, buildings and debris would be removed. Visitors would enjoy a perceived remoteness and quiet. Recreation opportunities will be limited to the nature based outdoor activities of hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking and cross country skiing. There would be limited vehicle access and no permanent DNR staff stationed at the location, interaction with DNR staff would be limited. Volunteers would promote community participation in educational activities.
Alternative 3: Outdoor recreation emphasis
Under this management alternative, the primary purpose is getting users onto the property. Visitors would be offered a variety of outdoor recreational experiences while providing interpretive and educational opportunities related to the property's history and restoration efforts. The visitor experience will include a higher level of development and accessibility. Opportunities for the nature based outdoor activities of hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking and cross country skiing will be provided as well as opportunities for biking, horseback riding, motorized use and a shooting range, picnic areas, viewing areas and a fishing pier. This alternative also projects selectively siting and constructing (through community partnerships) a new visitor center with interpretation and education opportunities; the center could also serve as a trail head facility near the railroad corridor, which will serve as a designated recreation corridor in the future. Areas of grassland and shrub land compatible with low-impact recreation trails would be restored.
The public open house is set for Wednesday, from 5:00-7:30 p.m., at the River Arts Center, located at 105 Ninth Street in Prairie du Sac.
If you can't make it, written comments can also be submitted to Diane Brusoe; 101 S Webster Street; Madison, WI 53707. Or send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline for submitting comments is 4:30 p.m. on August 30.
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