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DNR MASTER PLAN FOR THE BOG NEARS COMPLETION

This message is to inform you that the final opportunity for public comment regarding the Master Plan is 11 a.m. on Friday, August 7th, 2015.

We ask for your valued input on this plan, which influences the land in your area. 

 You can submit comments or provide testimony on the master plan.

The Northern Kettle Moraine Region (NKMR) Master Plan is heading to the WDNR Natural Resources Board (NRB) on Wednesday, August 12th (Item 3.B.3). 

There are a number of key issues within the NKMR master plan, and specifically, we’d like to point you to three issues relevant to Cedarburg Bog State Natural Area (SNA): 

1.  Expansion of the project boundary

2.  Development a boardwalk into Mud Lake 

3.  Regulation of boat storage at Mud Lake

The Board of the Friends of the Cedarburg Bog’s position on all three issues:

The expansion of the project boundaries is warranted to protect the societal benefits provided by the Bog

The Cedarburg Bog is a remarkable near-wilderness area located closely to Wisconsin’s most populous metropolitan area, and the southernmost string bog in the US.  

It serves important societal purposes such as flood mitigation, water filtering, science / education, recreation, among others.

It is susceptible to encroaching development which will adversely impact the very things that make the Cedarburg Bog valuable to its community—protecting these societal benefits in the face of a competing profit motive is a clear governmental role. The modest proposed expansion of the project boundaries and acreage goal can help to protect the wetland from these impacts.

The proposed low-impact boardwalk into Mud Lake should be built

There is already a man-made path into the lake comprised of decaying pallets, planks, and boards. It is an ad hoc “design” and not maintained—in some areas it is more difficult to transit than a non-improved trail.

There are several user groups who could enjoy and learn from the Bog if access is made safer—birders, naturalists, canoers, students, etc.

It’s an indefensible public policy position for a public property such as the CB SNA to encourage use of the lake but allowing the access to the lake to be both a safety concern and subject to the “building whimsy” of the current anonymous trail makers.

The need for boat storage (with it’s attendant issues—management, removal, security, etc) within the heart of the SNA will be reduced if such a trail is built and sustained.

The Friends of the Cedarburg Bog stand ready to partner with the DNR and other user groups to fund, build, and maintain a simple low-impact boardwalk.

Boat storage in the Bog should be reviewed to ensure consistent and fair practices moving forward

The DNR has allowed boat storage in the SNA, typically by duck hunters, for many years—an abrupt end to this would be unfair, but current storage practices are not consistent with the unique “wilderness” nature of Cedarburg Bog. The area not only holds boats, but contains 20 foot + black iron pipes that have been driven deep into the Bog, in an attempt to secure stored boats from thieves. These are almost surely left behind when the users no longer store their boats due to the difficulty of the pipe removal. 

Despite misleading signage indicating that boats can only be stored overnight during the waterfowl hunting season, management of boat storage has been nonexistent, with end-of-season removal inconsistently enforced (there is at least one boat currently “abandoned” there now). If boat storage continues to be allowed in Mud Lake removal of boats following the hunting season should be strictly enforced. Management of storage may become an expensive no-win situation for the DNR over time.

If overnight boat storage is eliminated, the effort required to portage a boat may help keep Mud Lake duck hunter numbers low as desired by hunters, and thereby protect their desired remote experience, (which they fear will be lost if the boardwalk is built).

What happens in August 2015?

Friday, August 7th at 11 a.m. Final public comment for the NKMR Master Plan closes.

The public may participate by submitting written comments to the NRB and/or presenting oral testimony at the Board meeting.

We are strongly urging all who wish to voice their support and/or concerns regarding this plan, and more specifically on issues relevant to Cedarburg Bog SNA, to the Natural Resources Board.

You can submit comments or provide testimony on the master plan.

Wednesday, August 12th The Northern Kettle Moraine Region (NKMR) Master Plan is reviewed by the WDNR Natural Resources Board (NRB) for adoption (Item 3.B.3).

This master plan includes the Cedarburg Bog and eight other fish and wildlife properties.

The NRB may adopt the plan, modify the plan recommendations, or request additional analyses.

Good to Know

Cedarburg Bog State Natural Area (SNA) is a part of the NKMR Master Plan and has been a key area of interest during this process.

The first master plan for the Bog was developed in 1982.

The draft master plan was initially released to the public on September 10 with that comment period closing on October 10, 2014.

Many comments were received in writing and at the two open houses in Plymouth and West Bend and can be viewed on the Northern Kettle Moraine Region Master Plan website. The WDNR RESPONSE to public comments may also be viewed at that website.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find the final agenda and other details for the August NRB meeting?

http://dnr.wi.gov/About/NRB/2015/Aug/Aug-2015-NRB-agenda.html

Where can I find the final draft of the NKMR master plan?

http://dnr.wi.gov/files/PDF/pubs/lf/LF0068.pdf

When is the deadline to submit written comments and/or testify in person my written comments?

11am on FRIDAY, AUGUST 7th, 2015.

Where do I find info on submitting written comments or testifying in person?

http://dnr.wi.gov/about/nrb//public.html

Who do I submit comments to?

NRB Liaison, Laurie Ross (contact info on website link above)

Who should I share this information with?

Anyone who has a connection or concern or care about Cedarburg Bog SNA!

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