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Contact(s): Savannah Ernzen, DNR property planner, 608-266-2130; or Paul Holtan, DNR Office of Communications, 608-267-7517
May 21, 2019

Public invited to participate in small group discussions at June 5 or June 6 meetings. Comment period open through June 25, 2019

NEW GLARUS, Wis. - The public will have an opportunity at two upcoming public meetings to learn more about the master planning process for properties in southwestern and southcentral Wisconsin. The Department of Natural Resources is initiating the public involvement process to help identify issues to be evaluated during the development of the Southwest Savanna Ecological Landscape regional master plan.

A master plan, guided by Chapter NR 44, Wisconsin Administrative Code, establishes the level and type of resource management and public use authorized on department-managed properties. Under the regional master planning process, department staff will develop a plan for all department properties located within the region. The Southwest Savanna region is one of 16 previously described ecological landscapes in Wisconsin. Properties in the region have similar ecological attributes and management opportunities.

Yellowstone Lake State Park is one of the properties included in the Southwest Savannah Ecological Landscape mater planning process. - Photo credit: DNR
Yellowstone Lake State Park is one of the properties included in the Southwest Savannah Ecological Landscape mater planning process.Photo credit: DNR

The Southwest Savannah Ecological Landscape covers all of Lafayette County, and portions of Grant, Green, Iowa, and Dane counties. It includes state parks, state trails, state natural areas, fish and wildlife areas, and Southwest Grassland & Stream Conservation Area. Yellowstone Lake, New Glarus Woods, and Belmont Mound State Parks are popular state parks included in this planning effort. State trails, including Badger State Trail and Sugar River State Trail, will also have master plans developed. The Blue Mound State Park master plan is being developed separate from this process.

The public will have an opportunity to give input and share ideas on the future recreation and resource use and management of properties within the Southwest Savanna Region at two upcoming public meetings. They will be held from 6 to 8 p.m.:

Each meeting will have a brief presentation at 6:15 p.m. followed by an interactive discussion activity. During the activity, the public will identify key management issues that should be addressed in the master plan. The meetings will cover the same information; you are welcome to, but do not need to attend both.

People are also encouraged to visit the Southwest Savanna Master Plan website by going to the DNR website,, searching keywords "property planning" and choosing "Southwest Savanna" in the "Choose a Region" dropdown menu. In addition to opportunities to learn more about Southwest Savanna and the planning process, an online public input form is also available.

"We welcome everyone to visit our website and attend a public meeting to share their perspective on future use and management of Southwest Savanna properties and to learn about the department's property master planning process." said Diane Brusoe, Property Planning Section Chief.

In addition to the opportunities to offer input online or at public meetings, people may contact DNR property planner Savannah Ernzen by email at, phone at 608-266-2130, or US mail at Savannah Ernzen, Wisconsin DNR, P.O. Box 7921, Madison, WI, 53707-7921. The initial public comment period is open through June 25, 2019.

Last Revised: Tuesday, May 21, 2019

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