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Superior-Area Developers Seek Looser Rules On Wetlands

Leaders From Northwest Wisconsin In Madison To Make Their Case

Wisconsin DNR (CC-BY-ND)

Northwestern Wisconsin leaders want more flexibility to allow development on wetlands in industrial areas. It’s one issue being addressed with state officials during Superior Days in Madison.

Ashland Area Development Corporation’s Dale Kupczyk said wetlands are holding up development of the city’s industrial park.

“We’d like to combine them, move them over — not get rid of them,” he said. “We understand the need for wetlands.”

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Kupczyk said they want the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to make changes to general permits for wetlands, which allow impacts on up to 10,000 square feet for industrial development. Wisconsin DNR Assistant Deputy Secretary Michael Bruin said other cities are dealing with similar issues.

“A lot of industrial parks around the state were put into areas that were wet and low because the land was cheap, not thinking ahead that you were going to have to deal with wetlands,” he said.

Bruin said the DNR is working to understand developer needs and work with them on alternatives to move projects forward.