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May 8, 2012

MADISON - Protection of aquatic resources and habitats -- including walleye and sturgeon spawning areas -- and high-quality and rare natural communities are among the objectives of a draft plan for the management and use of Department of Natural Resources properties scattered along the Wolf River between the Shawano Dam and Lake Poygan.

The public will have an opportunity to review and comment on the Lower Wolf River Bottomlands Natural Resources Area Draft Master Plan and Environmental Assessment at two upcoming public meetings.

The draft plan describes proposed future land management strategies and recreational opportunities for the properties, which include wildlife areas, fisheries area and State Natural Areas. The draft master plan does not propose any modifications to the property boundaries.

The lower Wolf River bottomlands project started as a master planning effort for individual properties in 2002. Public input at the time expressed strong support for expanding the scope of planning beyond individual property boundaries in order to connect and protect the area's significant ecological resources and recreational opportunities. That led to a feasibility study resulting in the current project boundary.

The following properties are covered by the planning process: Navarino, Deer Creek, Maine, Mack, Mukwa, Outagamie, Rat River, Wolf River, and Wolf River Bottoms (Herb Behnke and LaSage units) wildlife areas; Wolf River Bottoms, Hortonville Bog, and Shaky Lake state natural areas; Wolf River Fishery Area; and other scattered wildlife and fisheries lands.

Highlights of proposed management include:

Due to the large size of the plan area, one public meeting will be held in the northern portion and one in the southern portion. The meetings will both run from 6-8 p.m. and include the following agenda: 6-6:30 p.m. -- open house with informational displays will be available and staff will be present for one-on-one questions and discussion; 6:30-6:45 p.m. -- formal presentation providing an overview of the draft plan; 6:45-7:15 p.m. - formal question-and-answer period; 7:15-8 p.m. - an additional open house and one-on-one questions and discussion. The meetings will be held:

The proposed action is not anticipated to result in significant adverse environmental effects. The department has made a preliminary determination that an environmental impact statement will not be required.

The Draft Master Plan/Environmental Assessment, along with maps and other background information, will be available for viewing at the public meetings. They can also be found by searching the DNR website for keywords "Lower Wolf master plan."

Copies of the Draft Master Plan/Environmental Assessment will also be available at the Navarino Nature Center, the Mosquito Hill Nature Center, the DNR Oshkosh Service Center, and at the public libraries in New London, Clintonville, and Shawano.

Comments or questions about these documents can be offered at the public meetings, online at the above Web site, or submitted to Ellen Barth by mail at 625 E. County Road Y, Suite 700, Oshkosh, WI 54901, by phone at 920-424-4003, or by email at

The DNR will receive comments through Friday, June 22, 2012.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Ellen Barth, Area Wildlife Supervisor, Oshkosh, 920-424-4003 or Yoyi Steele, DNR master planning - 608-266-8169 or Paul Holtan, DNR Office of Communications - 608-267-7517

Last Revised: Tuesday, May 08, 2012

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