The state has acquired more than 1,800 acres of land once occupied by the Badger Army Ammunition Plant. The land, which was cleaned by the U.S. Army and donated by the National Parks Service at no cost to the state, will be available for public use, according to the office of Governor Jim Doyle.
Another 1,500 acres will be donated to the state in the coming years when the Army completes further clean up efforts. In total, Wisconsin will receive more than 3,300 acres of new public land to create the Sauk Prairie Recreation Area, connecting Devil’s Lake State Park to the Wisconsin River.
The Badger Army Ammunition Plant was built in 1942 and operated by the Army during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Operations ended at the facility in 1975 but the land has been unused for decades because of unsafe infrastructure and contamination. Since 1997, the Army has done extensive work to clean up and restore the land, readying it for public use.
The plant was located on 7,354 acres of land in Sauk County, which will be distributed to the Ho-Chunk Nation, the USDA Dairy Forage Research Center, the Town of Sumpter and the Bluffview Sanitary District, in addition to the State of Wisconsin.