Merrimac Town Board Opposes Gun Range, Conditionally Supports ATVs at Badger Sauk County to Discuss WDNR Master Planning on August 5

by Free Speech on August 4, 2013

Lodi, WI~

Lodi Valley News serving Lodi, WI & the Lake Wisconsin area with local information since Earth Day 2008.

The Merrimac Town Board passed a resolution on Thursday evening in favor of one of three WDNR land use alternatives for Badger Army Ammunition Plant.  The resolution supports an emphasis on outdoor recreation but opposes a proposed gun range.  The town’s support for a proposed ATV track is contingent on several factors, in particular backing from the Town of Sumpter where the 500-acre facility would be located. 

The town board also discussed a fourth alternative prepared by members of the Badger Oversight Management Commission (BOMC).  “Alternative 4” emphasizes conservation, sustainable agriculture, education, and low-impact recreation. Richard Grant, the town’s appointed representative on the BOMC, helped author the supplementary alternative which does not support ATVs or a shooting range at Badger. However, at Thursday’s meeting Grant said he had no opinion on the matter.  

A second resolution to forfeit the town’s seat on the BOMC failed for lack of a second.  Board members said that the resolution was suggested by Grant. 

Although the proposed ATV track would be located in the Town of Sumpter, rural neighbors in the nearby Water’s Edge subdivision (Town of Merrimac) are very concerned about the associated noise, traffic and fugitive dust and have been circulating petitions opposing high-impact uses at Badger. 

At an upcoming meeting on Monday night, the WDNR will again be presenting the three proposed land use alternatives for its portion of the Badger property – this time at a joint meeting of Sauk County’s Executive & Legislative Committee and Conservation, Planning & Zoning Committee. 

The special joint meeting will be held on Monday, Aug 5th beginning at 6:30 pm.  The meeting will be held in Room B30, Sauk County West Square Building at 505 Broadway in Baraboo.  There is a public comment period early in the meeting.

The proposed Alternative 4 provides a balance of low-impact recreation (hunting, biking, hiking, cross-country skiing, etc.), family activities, research, conservation agriculture, and outdoor education (including a visitors’ center).  The proposal blends the best of the WDNR’s alternatives and places an emphasis on conservation and low-impact recreation uses, in accordance with the values and recommendations of the 2001 Badger Reuse Plan and the WDNR’s land transfer agreement with the U.S. National Park Service. 

The agenda for the Sauk County joint committee meeting on August 5 is posted online at:

https://www.co.sauk.wi.us/countyadministrationpage/joint-meeting-executive-legislative-and-conservation-planning-zoning-comm-0

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

SIGN our online petition at http://cswab.org/get-involved/alerts/

CONTACT the WDNR with your support for ALTERNATIVE 4 by August 30, 2013.  Comments may be sent to Diane Brusoe, DNR Planner – LF/6, Wisconsin Department Natural Resources, P.O. Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707 or email Diane.Brusoe@wisconsin.gov.A complete copy of Alternative 4 is posted online at:

http://cswab.org/safewater/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Alternative-4-Badger-Land-Use-July-2013-COLOR.pdf

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