The public is learning what happens when the Wisconsin DNR, beholden to special interests, allowed certain lobbies to change an agreed-upon land use plan:
At the heart of the dispute: Should the new Sauk Prairie Recreation Area include a shooting range and space for all-terrain vehicles to rumble across the property?
Both are under consideration. So are other plans for hiking trails, wildlife watching and habitat restoration.
Another possible plan is to simply leave the land alone.
The possibility of the shooting range and ATV trails has come up relatively late in the planning process.
A 2001 plan that had the input of the DNR, local government, citizens and others made no such recommendations, but instead emphasized restoration of the land and uses such as hiking and bird watching.This blog has been following this for a while:
Walker's DNR wants to unwind a 12-year-old, all-stakeholders' consensus agreement for so-called low-impact recreation activities on land making up the now-closed Badger Ammo complex near Baraboo.
At an agency now directed by a "chamber of commerce mentality," why a) honor past agreements focused on conservation, and, b) listen to the will of the people expressed through negotiations and comment periods when, for example, the ATV lobby wants more land over which to gun their machines?
Why not turn over that area for the full Walker Monty?
How about more DNR shooting ranges (like one proposed at a DNR-run nature center frequented by school kids), and dog training runs for the wolf hunt. Surely there is some timber to cut, land to lease to developers, and maybe some iron ore to excavate.