The state Senate and Assembly have voted to protect northwestern Wisconsin's Brunsweiler River river. "It creates for the first time in 44 years, the establishment of a Wild River in Wisconsin," said the bill's Senate author, state Senator Bob Jauch (D-Poplar). The Brunsweiler is a rugged, isolated river in Ashland County.
Jauch said the designation also serves to recognize the contributions of a grass roots Wisconsin environmentalist, Martin Hansen. "Every environmental policy that (former governor and U.S. Senator) Gaylord Nelson promoted . . . came from Martin Hansen's quiet, passionate advocacy. Special places in Wisconsin and this country should not look like Miami north."
Hansen died in October. Governor Jim Doyle's signature on the bill (PDF) from Jauch and Representative Gary Sherman (D-Port Wing) will designate a portion of the Brunswiler as a state Wild River, joining three rivers in northeastern Wisconsin which already have the designation.