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November 25, 2013

MADISON -- The public has an opportunity to review and comment on proposed guidance for managing conifer plantations and invasive species [PDF] on 11 Wisconsin State Park properties as well as a number of State Ice Age Trail Areas in seven counties.

The Department of Natural Resources is proposing a variance to the master plans for these properties to allow for additional management of conifer plantations in order to control for pests and disease, remove trees that could be hazards and enhance the aesthetic value of forested lands for recreational users.

"A number of master plans do not address conifer plantation management which is a necessary component in maintaining healthy and aesthetically pleasing mono-specific plantings of conifers," said Craig Anderson, ecologist for the state parks program. "Invasive species can have negative recreational, ecological, health, and economic impacts on state parks properties. Prior to 1996, invasive species management was not recognized as a high priority when developing master plans. This variance will allow necessary invasive species management to reduce the negative effects of invasive species within areas that were designated as natural succession in older master plans."

Properties that would be subject of the master plan variance include Big Foot Beach, Blue Mound, Cooper Falls, Devil's Lake, Governor Dodge, Kinnickinnic, Mill Bluff, and Pattison state parks, the Bearskin State Trail, the Browntown-Cadiz Spring State Recreational Area, and Havenwoods State Forest. It would also apply to State Ice Age Trail Areas in Dane, Lincoln, Marathon, Polk, Washington, Waupaca, and Waushara counties.

People can review the proposed master plan variance by searching the DNR website for "parks" and clicking on the link for "reports and more." Comments on the proposed variance should be sent by email to Craig Anderson or by U.S. mail to Craig Anderson, DNR Parks and Recreation, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Craig Anderson, 608-264-8957

Last Revised: Monday, November 25, 2013

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