Local Towns and Village Join Opposition to Gun Range/ATVs at Badger

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 On August 12, members of the Town of Sumpter board unanimously supported conservation and only low-impact recreation at the former Badger Army Ammunition Plant. The following evening, both the Village of Prairie du Sac and Town of Prairie du Sac boards unanimously supported similar resolutions – rejecting a DNR proposal for a gun range and ATV track in the Master Plan for the Sauk Prairie Recreation Area.  The proposed 500-acre high-impact recreation zone would be located in rural Sumpter near Gruber’s Grove Bay. 

More than 30 concerned residents filled the Sumpter town hall Monday evening and all spoke in opposition to the proposed gun range and ATV track. The room broke into applause when board members voted to support an alternative land use plan proposed by the Badger Oversight Management Commission (BOMC).  Known as “Alternative 4“, the proposal provides a balance of low-impact recreation (hunting, biking, hiking, cross-country skiing, etc.), family activities, conservation agriculture, and outdoor education –  including a visitors’ center. 

In a related matter, the Sumpter board decided to continue its participation on the BOMC whose members include local, county, tribal, state and federal government as well as many community stakeholders.  The Commission is charged with promoting and monitoring the implementation of the Badger Reuse Plan which calls for management of the entire Badger property as a whole.

On Thursday, August 15, members of the BOMC reaffirmed their previous consensus support for Alternative 4.  Commissioners first voted and approved a motion to consider Alternative 4 by consensus.  Alternative 4 was then unanimously approved by consensus.  DNR abstained from both actions. 

BOMC Commissioners include the Town of Merrimac, Town of Sumpter, Sauk County, Wisconsin DNR, and Ho-Chunk Nation.  Community stakeholder members include the City of Baraboo, Sauk City, Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger, Sauk Prairie Conservation Alliance, Badger History Group, Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, UW-Baraboo and others. U.S. Army and U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center are liaison members.

Community members are encouraged to contact the WDNR with their support for ALTERNATIVE 4 by August 30, 2013.  Comments may be sent to Diane Brusoe, DNR Planner – LF/6, Wisconsin Department Natural Resources, P.O. Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707 or email Diane.Brusoe@wisconsin.gov and CC: info@cswab.org.

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