What’s happening Out There?

What’s happening Out There?

I think that sometimes we’re so busy “doing the do” that we forget to pay attention to how the land is actually doing. With that in mind let me ask…

Is it OK to build a bike trail & bridge within our park?

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice trail. It’s been there for at least a couple of years now and the bridge is pretty sweet. But, with a wink-and-a-nod, we know this isn’t “authorized”. Let me say this though, I do think Devil’s Lake State Park should have a single track. What blows my mind is that you can build a trail with a BRIDGE in Wisconsin’s most visited state park and never be noticed. (Especially given the location!)

Hey, it’s a great trail. Really. Maybe what needs to happen is that the park and the local bike shop should work together to get the trail legitimized and get the trail users to put in some maintenance time each year. (Especially watching for the spread of invasives deeper into the forest.) If the trail were legit, you could probably build a slightly more trustworthy bridge~

Singletrack Bridge Somewhere in Devil's Lake State Park
Is it OK to drive into a park wetland?

Again, I get this one.. It looks like folks have been clearing out their snowmobile trail for winter. I applaud the fact that they get volunteers out there & I don’t have an issue with the trail. I just wonder if driving right into the wetland itself was a good plan? I mean, this is sitting at the bottom of an important wetland within the park that has already been cut off by a road. Has anyone looked closely at this area and asked what the environmental impact of  muddin’ would be? Yes, it’s all invasive reed canary grass in this section now, but still, we used to ask those questions. Did someone actually give permission to anyone drive into the still-wet marsh with vehicles other than snowmobiles? It seems to me that “going around” would have been the better choice..

Driving in the Wetland

Honestly, I think this whole maneuver is a bit dubious from leaving a 2 foot deep hole in the ground where the fence post was removed, to leaving the fence post tossed up against some trees. If we’re going to pull them out, shouldn’t we haul them outta there?  I mean, this is a PARK right?

Is funneling wildlife through tight fence openings OK?

I’ve been pondering this since last year. If I were hunting in the Sauk Prairie Rec Area, I’d think this was SAWeet!!  By removing only small sections of the old fence between Devil’s Lake & Badger (SPRA), deer have been funneled into tight areas when crossing from the South Bluff into Badger (SPRA). I’d think hunters could just set up at one of these corridors and wait. Probably are. Not very sporting though…

Killing Zone

Oh, and that random bag of cement at Parfrey’s Glen?


Cement Parfreys

The Point?

I’m probably out in our local parks more than most folks. I get that. But maybe that’s the point too. I’m out there. I see this stuff. It concerns me. Especially in the Sauk Prairie Rec. Area. It’s feeling a bit like the wild west out there.

I know there are a lot of good people are drawing up plans for the future, but it’s a bit like building a cart while forgetting to feed the horse. How can you oppose future uses as not “environmentally friendly” and not oppose some of this stuff right now? If we’re going to have a “Great Sauk Trail” someday, we need to care for the foundation of that trail today. In fact we need to do more to care for all of our local parks and natural areas today. If we don’t maintain them now, we’ll just add fuel to the cause of selling them off down the road.

***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!).

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