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NEWS ARCHIVE:     Age: 566 days

Master planning begins for the Green Bay wildlife, fisheries and natural areas

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Published: March 13, 2013 by the Northeast Region

Contact(s): John Huff, Area Wildlife Supervisor, Peshtigo, 715-582-5047; Yoyi Steele, Planner, Madison, 608-266-8169

PESHTIGO, Wis. -- The public will have an opportunity to review and comment on preliminary planning documents for a variety of wildlife areas, fisheries areas and a state natural area at a public open house meeting March 27 in Oconto.

The Department of Natural Resources has initiated a master planning process for what is being identified as the "Green Bay planning group."

Master plans act as blueprints for properties, providing for consistent, long-term management, and establishing the level and type of public uses, resource management and facility development.

The properties in the Green Bay planning group contain ecologically and recreationally significant coastal wetlands, rivers and streams, shrub swamps and bottomland forests that provide habitat for many wildlife species, including migrating birds such as waterfowl, rails, herons, raptors and songbirds and spawning areas for fish such as northern pike and lake sturgeon.

The following properties are covered by the planning process:

  • Green Bay West Shore Wildlife Area, which includes the following units: Charles Pond; Little Tail; Long Tail; Oconto Marsh; Peats Lake; Pecor Point; Pensaukee; Peshtigo Harbor; Rush Point; Sensiba; and Tibbett-Suamico.
  • Badger Gift Lands: A 757-acre parcel adjacent to and north of the Peshtigo Harbor Unit of the Green Bay West Shore Wildlife Area that was gifted to the DNR as part of a 2002 consent decree with the Fort James Operating Company as part of the Natural Resources Damage Assessment for the Fox River.
  • Bloch Oxbow State Natural Area, a sandy upland above the floodplain of the Peshtigo River, 2 miles upstream of its confluence with Green Bay. It protects one of the best remaining examples of northern dry-mesic forest - a type that was formerly widespread in northeastern Wisconsin, but is now reduced to small, often degraded remnants.
  • Scattered wildlife and fisheries lands.

The meeting is on Wednesday, March 27 from 5:30-7:30 pm at the Oconto City Hall, 1210 Main St., Oconto. The purpose of the meeting is to announce the planning process and invite public participation, provide information about the properties, and receive input about the future direction of the properties and any important issues that should be addressed in the master plan. Anyone with an interest in the plan area is encouraged to attend this meeting. The meeting agenda is as follows:

5:30-6:15: "Open house" format; informational displays will be available and staff will be present for one-on-one questions and discussion

6:15-6:30: Formal presentation providing an overview of the Draft Regional and Property Analysis and Preliminary Vision and Goals.

6:30-6:45: Question-and-answer: staff will take questions from the floor

6:45-7:30: "Open house" format; informational displays will be available and staff will be present for one-on-one questions and discussion

A regional and property analysis is a document that helps set the stage for a future master plan by providing background information about a group of properties. It describes how the properties fit in to larger ecological, socio-economic, and recreational contexts. The vision and goals are broad, concise statements that describe the general desired future state, function, and conditions on the properties.

The draft regional and property analysis, preliminary vision and goals, maps, and other background information, will be available for viewing at the public meetings. They can also be viewed online at: dnr.wi.gov, keyword search "Green Bay master plan."

The draft regional policy analysis is also available for review at the DNR Green Bay Service Center, DNR Peshtigo Service Center, and at the Peshtigo Public Library, Farnsworth Public Library in Oconto, and Brown County Library, Weyers-Hilliard Branch in Green Bay.

Comments or questions about these documents can be offered at the public meetings, online through the master planning page of the DNR website, or submitted to: John Huff by mail at 101 N. Ogden Road, Suite A, Peshtigo, WI 54157, by phone at 715-582-5047, or by email at john.huff@wisconsin.gov; or Yoyi Steele by mail at 101 S. Webster Street, WM/6, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921, by phone at 608-266-8169, or by email at yoyi.steele@wisconsin.gov

The public may submit comments through Friday, April 26, 2013.

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Last Revised: Wednesday, March 13, 2013