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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 7/12/2013 2:15:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/12/2013 2:18:11 PM EDT by glenn_r]
regarding this archived thread

It would be nice to get another public shooting range within easy drive of Madison. Yellowstone is too far and too small.


In August 2012 I posted a notice of the DNR taking online comments. Here are the results from September 2012: results.
My modest contribution, made online (p. 53):

I strongly encourage the DNR to consider uses of the property that would benefit all recreational users, and not only those who desire hiking opportunities. For example, I urge the DNR to develop a shooting range on the property. This would have many benefits for Wisconsin residents:
It would provide a practice and training venue to allow shooters to sharpen their skills.
Better skills promote increased safety while hunting.
Better skills reduce the potential for wounding and/or losing game, instead of a clean quick kill.
A local shooting venue would provide increased opportunity to safely introduce youth to the shooting sports.
Please incorporate a shooting range complex into this

The DNR says they are planning to hold additional public hearings and take public comments. If you read the September 2012 comments you'll find that "quiet hikers & birdwatchers" vastly outnumbered the shooting and hunting enthusiasts. We need to be heard--monitor the DNR page and post here if you learn more!

I'm signed up to receive Badger-related emails from the DNR. It appears they're comparing recent feedback to some decade-old study where the consensus was to return it to a natural state, or something. They need to hear from us regarding the need for a public shooting range, or else we're going to end up with a bunch of hiking trails instead.

Received today from the DNR:
FITCHBURG, Wis. – The public is invited to share their comments on the preliminary vision and goal statements and three draft conceptual alternatives prepared by Department of Natural Resources planners for future development and operation of the Sauk Prairie Recreation Area, formerly known as the Badger Army Ammunition Plant located between Baraboo and Sauk City.

A public open house is set for July 31 from 5 - 7:30 p.m. at the River Arts Center, 105 Ninth St., Prairie du Sac.

The open house agenda is as follows:

5 to 6 p.m.: Open house where the public can ask questions and leave their comments

6 - 6:15 p.m.: A short presentation

6:15 - 7:30 p.m.: Resume open house

Written comments can also be submitted to Diane Brusoe, 101 S Webster St., Madison, WI 53707 or diane.brusoe@wisconsin.gov. The deadline for submitting comments is 4:30 p.m., Aug. 30, 2013.

Information that will be presented at the public meeting is available on the Sauk Prairie Recreation Area master planning webpage (dnr.wi.gov, search Sauk Prairie Recreation Area).

This early, extra, step in the master planning process blends together public comments, findings from a 2012 regional and property analysis, and key values from the 2001 Badger Reuse Plan. Ultimately, the state Natural Resources Board will be asked to adopt a master plan that will guide operation of the property over the next 15 years.

“The opportunity to transform Badger into a new 3,800-acre state recreation area adjacent Devil’s Lake State Park and the Wisconsin River is unique and has garnered widespread public interest in the possibilities,” said Mark Aquino, DNR south central region director. “Putting out this range of conceptual alternatives for public comment is an extra step in the master planning process, a step we’re taking to be sure everyone has multiple opportunities to share in the plan’s development.”

The draft conceptual alternatives have been organized into three groupings, one with an emphasis on ecological restoration, one with an emphasis on outdoor recreation and a third “no action” alternative required by state law.

Officials stress that the ecological and recreational groupings are not all or nothing choices and that the comments received will be factored into the next step in the process, writing of a draft master plan.

“Given the range of possibilities this property offers, the draft master plan will likely have a mix of elements taken from each of the conceptual alternatives,” said Diane Brusoe, the DNR planner who is coordinating drafting of the master plan.

“We will put the draft master plan out for public comment again before we present anything to the Natural Resources Board,” says Aquino, “and the board will hear comment directly before acting.”

Alternative 1: No action

The property will have limited public access for the nature based outdoor activities of hunting, trapping, fishing, hiking and cross country skiing. Public access to cemeteries on the property will be maintained. No additional funding will be spent on restoration or property development. Any structures or debris left on the property at the time of the land transfer will remain. The department will restrict access if there are any public safety concerns.

Alternative 2: Ecological restoration emphasis

Under this management alternative, the primary emphasis is on restoration work of the grassland ecosystem. A variety of management tools will be used to maintain grassland and savanna. No development is proposed, and access will be limited to pedestrian use. Most remaining infrastructure, buildings and debris would be removed. Visitors would enjoy a perceived remoteness and quiet. Recreation opportunities will be limited to the nature based outdoor activities of hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking and cross country skiing. There would be limited vehicle access and no permanent DNR staff stationed at the location, interaction with DNR staff would be limited. Volunteers would promote community participation in educational activities.

Alternative 3: Outdoor recreation emphasis

Under this management alternative, the primary purpose is getting users onto the property. Visitors would be offered a variety of outdoor recreational experiences while providing interpretive and educational opportunities related to the property’s history and restoration efforts. The visitor experience will include a higher level of development and accessibility. Opportunities for the nature based outdoor activities of hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking and cross country skiing will be provided as well as opportunities for biking, horseback riding, motorized use and a shooting range, picnic areas, viewing areas and a fishing pier. This alternative also projects selectively siting and constructing (through community partnerships) a new visitor center with interpretation and education opportunities; the center could also serve as a trailhead facility near the railroad corridor, which will serve as a designated recreation corridor in the future. Areas of grassland and shrub land compatible with low-impact recreation trails would be restored.

“As you can see, there is huge potential for this property as the Sauk Prairie Recreation Area and the property is capable of supporting multiple uses,” said Ryder Will. Will is the maintenance and satellite properties supervisor for Devil’s Lake State Park. He will take a more active role as the SPRA property manager when the gates open. “Finding the right blend of development and opportunity is important to us and we want to be sure everyone has a chance to weigh-in as we move forward. I hope to see folks at the open house or that they can find time to send us their comments if they can’t make it.”
Link Posted: 7/12/2013 3:12:04 PM EDT
ARFCOM meetup time?

I don't really have skin in the game any more since I'll be moving out of state, but am willing to do my part to ensure Madison area shooters get something other than Yellowstone.
Link Posted: 7/13/2013 8:35:25 PM EDT
Unfortunately, the trend in these situations is to do a "habitat restoration" to any reclaimed areas. The area liberals will be pushing this. Basically it involves spending taxpayer money to plant weeds, and put in a few token walking paths.
It's the perfect area for a range, or as some have suggested, an atv trail area, but I wouldn't hold my breath.
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