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Completed plans
establishing goals and objectives for DNR properties.
Plan reports
monitoring goals and objectives.
Feasibility studies
studying new properties.
Public lands
parks, forests, wildlife, fisheries, natural areas, trails, wild rivers and flowages.
Contact information
For information on the amendment to the NHAL master plan, contact:
John Pohlman
Planner
608-264-6263

Property Master Plans Northern Highland American Legion State Forest

TimberCoulee

Planning Update

The department gathered public input on the initial draft amendment to the 2005 management plan for the Northern Highland American Legion State Forest from August 17 to September 17, 2017. During this time period, the department hosted an open house meeting on August 31 in Arbor Vitae to describe the proposed amendment and to gather public input. Seventy (70) people attended the open house meeting. In total, 267 public comment forms, letters, and emails were received.

Based on public comments in response to the initial draft amendment, the document was revised. The more notable revisions include:

  • Deferring the final location of an ATV/UTV route north of the Rainbow Flowage that would connect Woodruff and Sugar Camp.
  • More clearly describing the two “buckets” of authorization for ATV/UTV routes and trails.
  • Adding authorization to construct 36 miles of single-track off-highway motorcycle trails.
  • Adding authorization for motor (electric, pedal-assist) bicycles on the bicycle touring trails that the department controls, if mutual agreement is reached with local governments.
  • Adding language describing information the department will use in identifying appropriate locations for new boat access sites.

Revised Draft Amendment

Presentation to the Natural Resources Board

The department is scheduled to present the proposed amendment to the Natural Resources Board (NRB) for their consideration to approve at their October 25, 2017 meeting in Madison. The public is welcome to attend the meeting and may testify or submit written comments about the proposed amendment.

The meeting agenda and instructions for how to provide testify or comments to the NRB can be found at: http://dnr.wi.gov/about/nrb/

In addition, the NRB meeting will be broadcast over the internet and people can view the meeting by clicking on “NRB webcasts” and selecting “Watch.”

Background

The purpose of this proposed amendment is to address evolving needs and opportunities to the recreation experiences provided at the Northern Highland American Legion State Forest (NHAL). The NHAL has long been a top recreation destination in Wisconsin and for generations has drawn campers, hunters, anglers, boaters, cross-country skiers, birdwatchers, snowmobilers, and many others to enjoy the property’s deep woods and clear lakes.

The existing master plan was approved in 2005. Since that time, several trends in recreation participation, along with changes to the use and management of surrounding public lands, have placed different and new demands on the property. An additional factor is the number of local governments that now allow motorized recreational vehicles, such as ATVs and UTVs, on local roads. To adapt to these changes and to ensure that the department continues to provide high-quality experiences to NHAL visitors, changes are proposed to camping, non-motorized trail, motorized trail, and boating opportunities provided at the property.

The department hosted three open house meetings in Arbor Vitae, Park Falls, and Antigo on April 24, 25, and 26, respectively. These open houses were designed to gather public comments, ideas, concerns, and perspectives on the existing recreation opportunities available in the region and future needs. The open houses were also an opportunity for the public to provide comments and perspectives on existing and potential future recreation opportunities at the NHAL State Forest.

These meetings were well attended with over 150 people signing in. During the month-long comment period the department received about 500 comments related to the existing and potential future recreation uses at the NHAL State Forest. Staff used these comments, as well as information from the Recreation Opportunities Analysis and other sources, to develop the draft amendment.

Based on the comments received, the department released an initial draft amendment for a public review period from August 17 to September 17, 2017.

Contact

Your comments are important so please consider coming to the meetings, sharing comments or calling us. We welcome your suggestions and feedback on master planning issues throughout the process.

For information about the master plan recreation amendment and the planning process, contact:

John Pohlman
Planner
608-264-6263
Last revised: Thursday October 05 2017