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July 17, 2012

DNR property designated as Sauk Prairie Recreation Area

MADISON -- The public will have an opportunity at an upcoming open house to contribute ideas and discuss how the Department of Natural Resources-managed portion of the former Badger Army Ammunition Plant in Sauk County -designated as the Sauk Prairie Recreation Area - should be managed for recreation and resources protection.

Sauk Prairie Recreation Area
Sauk Prairie Recreation Area
WDNR Photo

DNR is developing a new master plan for the approximately 3,800-acre Sauk Prairie Recreation Area, which was part of the 7,354-acre former Badger Army Ammunition Plant. The Army is slated to transfer portions of the property to the DNR, Ho-Chunk Nation, U.S. Department of Agriculture Dairy Forage Research Center, and Bluffview Sanitary District.

The Badger Plant was constructed in 1942 following the nation's entry into World War II. At the time of its construction, 80 farm families were removed from the area. The plant provided ammunition propellant for the duration of the war effort, and was again operative during the Korean and Vietnam Wars. The plant was decommissioned in 1997, and clean-up of buildings and other materials continues today. In 2002, the Natural Resources Board approved establishing the Sauk Prairie Recreation Area as part of the decommission activities.

This master planning process will focus on DNR-owned Sauk Prairie Recreation Area, which will be adjacent to Devil's Lake State Park. DNR staff have prepared an initial analysis of the property that discusses: landscape-scale management opportunities; enhancing habitat for grassland birds; protection of rare plants and animals; bat conservation; and maximizing compatible recreational use opportunities.

The analysis, maps of the property and other information can be viewed by searching for "master planning" on the DNR website and then clicking on Sauk Prairie Recreation Area.

Department staff will share information about the property and the planning process at the open house that will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Monday, July 30, 2012 in the Lange Student Center on the UW-Baraboo/Sauk County campus, 1006 Connie Road, Baraboo.

The public will have an opportunity to review the geography, history and current status of the property and provide input on issues they would like to see addressed in the plan.

DNR establishes master plans that define the level and type of public uses for properties it manages. The plans detail the authorized resource management and facility development. It also acts as a blueprint for the property, providing for consistent, long term management, regardless of personnel changes.

Comments can be provided at the July 30 public open house or submitted in writing or email by August 17, 2012 to: Diane Brusoe, DNR Planner, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: on the Sauk Prairie Recreation Area property contact Mark Aquino, DNR South Central Regional Director - 608-275-3262; on the master planning process contact Diane Brusoe, DNR master planner - 608-261-6445

Last Revised: Tuesday, July 17, 2012

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