July 22, 2014

Badger Army property planning begins

Master planning begins for the former Badger Army plant property. Today’s Open House is the first step in getting public input for the grand plan to manage the land for recreation and resources protection.

Mark Aquino, Department of Natural Resources South Central Regional Director, says his department will be doing a lot of listening and evaluating, before developing recommendations. “The master planning is really focusing on … what do we want that property to be in the future with regard to what types of recreational uses should be allowed, what type of habitat management, what type of facilities need to be constructed to support the recreational uses.”

This master planning process will focus on the 3,800-acre DNR-owned Sauk Prairie Recreation Area, which will be adjacent to Devil’s Lake State Park. Aquino says there’s a wide range of options. “There are some givens, we know that we’re gonna have public hunting allowed and trapping, and most likely some recreational trails and things of that nature. Beyond that we expect that there will be a lot of different recreational groups or members of the public who will come to the table and give us ideas of other recreational pursuits that they would want us to consider.”

The plant had provided ammunition propellant for the war effort. Aquino says ground water cleanup and soil contamination discussions are separate from this master planning discussion, which is projected to take about 18 months. Final recommendations will be submitted to the Natural Resources Board. Today’s meeting is set for 5-7 pm in Baraboo.

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:40