DNR Hears Requests To Keep New Recreation Area Quiet


Advocates for quiet sports and ecological restoration turned out in force Wednesday night when the Department of Natural Resources sponsored a listening session on the future uses for land surrounding the old Badger Army Ammunition Plant in Sauk County.

Members of the Badger Oversight Management Commission wearing badges supporting their low impact recreation and land conservation vision appeared to make up more than half of the almost 200 people who showed up for the meeting in Prairie Du Sac Wednesday night. They brought their own proposal for managing what will become of the 3,800 acre Sauk Prairie Recreation Area.

Rob Nurrie is a member of the Sauk Prairie Conservation Alliance. He says the group isn’t happy with the DNR’s proposal to use a portion of the land for off road vehicles and a shooting range. “This land is being acquired through the National Park Service specifically for low impact use. That’s what they agreed to and now they’re trying to change it. That’s where our frustration comes in.”

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During the presentation, the DNR’s project manager Diane Brusoe tried to reassure quiet sports advocates that if all-terrain vehicles and a shooting range are part of the final plan, they will be located in a separate 500-acre area isolated from the grassland restoration area and the hiking and nature trails, “by separating that use down on the southern part, having its own entrance [and] keeping them apart. Trying to accommodate uses that are seemingly incompatible.”

In comments submitted to the DNR last fall on plans for the Badger Army land there were many requests for both ATV trails and a shooting range. This year’s comment period runs through August 30. Members of the Natural Resources Board will be touring the area on August 13.