Imagine a quiet landscape at the base of the Baraboo Hills where you can hear the rare song of the Henslow’s sparrow, view an eagle soaring overhead, and listen to the rustle of thousands of acres of prairie grasses. This is the potential for the former Badger Army Ammunition Plant lands that is to be saved or lost in the coming months.
Over the weekend, more than 250 residents and families filled out an online form which sends an email to the director of the National Park Service – the federal agency sponsoring the transfer of a portion of the Badger lands (the Sauk Prairie Recreation Area) to the Wisconsin DNR. The new Action Alert on the CSWAB.org website urges the National Park Service to reject the DNR’s concept proposal for a 500-acre ATV/UTV track and a shooting range on these lands.
In its April 2000 formal application to the National Park Service, the DNR made a commitment to conserve these lands for wildlife habitat, environmental education and only low-impact quiet recreation – specifying hiking, picnicking and primitive camping. This promise enabled DNR’s eligibility for land transfer. This same commitment to quiet recreation was reaffirmed in the DNR’s formal endorsement of the community’s Badger Reuse Plan in March of 2001.
The Badger lands remain a singular opportunity to maintain and recover the biological richness of Sauk County’s disappearing native grasslands. It plays a crucial role in protecting our state’s natural heritage. That role can change, for better or worse, as Badger’s future is decided.
You can help. Please go to CSWAB.org and click on the Action Alert tab.
Laura Olah, Executive Director
Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger (CSWAB.org)