Natural Resources Board to meet June 27-28 in Hudson

MADISON – A request for approval of the Menominee River State Recreation Area Master Plan, a request to approve management plans for 12 State Natural Areas, and a request to initiate an amendment process for the Kohler-Andrae State Park Master Plan are among the items the state Natural Resources Board will address when it meets June 28 in Hudson.

The regular business meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 28, in the County Board Room of the St. Croix County Government Center, 1101 Carmichael Road, Hudson. On Tuesday, June 27, the board will tour and/or receive presentations at locations around the Hudson area beginning at 11:20 a.m. at the UW-Hudson Center, 2501 Hanley Road.

The Menominee River State Recreation Area encompasses 7,652 acres of land in Dickinson and Menominee Counties, Mich., and Marinette County, Wis. The Menominee River Area master plan process is a collaborative effort between both the Wisconsin and Michigan Departments of Natural Resources. With public ownership on both sides of the river, this joint master plan will help create a “one place, one feel” experience. The board action will address only Wisconsin recreational and conservation goals.

A view of the Menominee River from river's edge.
A view of the Menominee River from river’s edge.
Photo Credit: DNR

The DNR has developed Tier 3 management plans for 12 State Natural Areas located in Brown, Columbia, Door and Sauk counties. Tier 3 properties are smaller in size (ranging from 34 to 499 acres), have little infrastructure, and have narrowly-defined property objectives and goals. The purpose of SNAs is to protect outstanding examples of Wisconsin’s native landscapes, significant geological formations, and archeological sites. They also provide habitat for rare, nongame, and game species and provide unique recreational opportunities.

The DNR is requesting board approval to initiate a process to consider amending the master plan for Kohler-Andrae State Park to evaluate a request from the Kohler Company to use approximately 5 acres of park property for access and a maintenance facility for an 18-hole golf course the company is proposing to construct on land it owns adjacent to the park. Kohler has also submitted applications for wetland and waterway permits from the department, but those permits will be evaluated separately from the master plan amendment process. Any permission for Kohler to use park lands would be contingent upon the company receiving all approvals needed for its project from other DNR programs as well as from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and/or local officials. The master plan amendment process provides several opportunities for public input and would require final approval by the board at a future meeting.

The complete board agenda is available by searching the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov for keyword “NRB” and clicking on the button for “view agendas.” [http://dnr.wi.gov/about/nrb/agenda.html]

The public must pre-register with Laurie Ross, board liaison, to attend the Tuesday tours and/or to testify at the board meeting. The deadline to register to attend the tours, testify, or submit written comments is 11 a.m. on Friday, June 23, 2017. Registration information is available on the agenda on the DNR website.

Board meetings are webcast live. People can watch the meeting over the internet by going to the NRB agenda page of the DNR website and clicking on webcasts in the Related Links column on the right. Then click on this month’s meeting. After each meeting, the webcast will be permanently available on demand.