You wouldn’t think much goes on out at the Sauk Prairie Recreation area other than guys in 4x4s doing donuts in the snow.. but that really isn’t what everyone involved for over 20 years have been working for. In fact, we’re now in a strange place where conflicting interests and cross purposes have made things hard to keep up with. Well, here’s the latest..
First the good news. Construction of the Great Sauk State (Bike) Trail will begin in 2017. The trail will follow an unused railway that was transferred from Union Pacific to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. A land use agreement between Sauk County and the DNR will be finalized in the coming weeks to allow the Sauk County Highway Department to clear trees and brush and begin removing rails and ties along the “Badger Unit” (rail line through the former Badger Army Ammunition Plant). You can keep up to date with construction and other information at the county’s Great Sauk Trail Website.
Meanwhile the Sauk Prairie Conservation Alliance has put out a call for bodies to fill the Sauk County Courtroom in Baraboo on Feb. 27th at 9am when there will be a hearing on their requested injunction against DNR’s high impact Recreation Activities planned for the Sauk Prairie Rec. Area. The point here is simply that the new Master Plan violates the agreements and promises that DNR made, along with 20 other stakeholders, in signing the Badger Reuse Plan in 2001. The new plan also breaks the agreement made when Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources applied for land at Badger based on a promise to develop only “low impact recreation.” To learn more about this you can go to www.SaukPrairieVision.org or Jump right to the Lawsuit Update.
Personally to me, it all comes back to the guys in the 4x4s. While all this stuff, both good and bad are being planned or argued in offices and courtrooms, the DNR portion of the land is now simply an unsupervised, free-for-all where folks who care nothing for the land, the wildlife or any future use or plans can simply “LET ‘ER RIP!”. What we really need to do is supervise the land right now… until the grown-ups decide what they’re going to do with it.
***Obligatory Disclaimer: This website is NOT associated with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The views expressed in this blog are mine and do not represent the views of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (Which is sometimes too bad if you ask me!).