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August 26, 2014

MADISON -- The public will have an opportunity to provide input on future management of the Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area and three additional nearby state properties at an upcoming public meeting.

The Department of Natural Resources is initiating a master planning process for the Horicon-Shaw Planning Group in Dodge County.

At more than 33,000 acres, Horicon Marsh is the largest freshwater cattail marsh in the United States. The marsh in renowned for its migrant flocks of Canada geese and is also home to more than 305 kinds of birds that have been sighted over the years. It is recognized as a Wetland of International Importance, as both Globally and State Important Bird Areas, and is also a unit of the Ice Age Scientific Reserve.

The northern two-thirds of Horicon Marsh is managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service as the 22,000 acre Horicon National Wildlife Refuge. The southern third of the marsh is managed by the DNR as the 11,000-acre Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area.

Other properties included in the planning process include the Shaw Marsh Wildlife Area, Sinnissippi Public Hunting Ground and Horicon Rough Fish Station.

The DNR will hold the public meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 10 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center, N7725 Highway 28, Horicon. DNR staff will explain the planning process and invite public to provide input about the future management and any important issues that should be addressed in the master plan.

The meeting agenda is as follows:

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

The regional and property analysis, preliminary vision and goals, maps, and other background information, will be available for viewing at the public meeting. They can also be viewed online at:, keyword search "master planning," then click on "Horicon-Shaw Planning Group.

Those without access to the Internet may view copies of the RPA at the DNR Horicon Service Center and at the Beaver Dam, Horicon, Hustisford, Mayville, and Waupun public libraries.

Comments or questions about these documents can be offered at the public meetings or submitted to: Bret Owsley by mail at N7725 Highway 28, Horicon, WI 53032, by phone at 920-387-7874, or by email at; or Yoyi Steele by mail at 101 S. Webster Street, WM/6, P.O. Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921, by phone at 608-266-8169, or by email at

The DNR will receive comments through Friday, Oct. 10, 2014.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Bret Owsley, Area Wildlife Supervisor, Horicon, 920-387-7874; Yoyi Steele, Planner, Madison, 608-266-8169

Last Revised: Tuesday, August 26, 2014

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