State Natural Area threatened

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is considering granting a permit for a developer to place a luxury resort on 62 acres along the Lower Dells, right next door to the Wisconsin River State Natural Area. The D.N.R. is accepting written comments from the public until Friday, December 28. Below is the letter I just wrote. If you’re a concerned Wisconsin citizen, I urge you to write as well. Be sure and reference Docket Number IP-SC-2007-11-2032LW and IP-SC-2007-11-2033LW in your letter, and send it to Dan Hunt, N 7725 Highway 28, Horicon, WI 53032.

Dear Sir,

I am writing to you regarding the development project proposed to be placed on the banks of the Wisconsin River’s Lower Dells (Docket Number IP-SC-2007-11-2032LW and IP-SC-2007-11-2033LW). I believe the proposed development would be a bad idea for a number of reasons, and I urge your agency to deny the permit for this development.

As a strong supporter of the DNR’s efforts with state natural areas, I am deeply concerned about the habitat of protected plants and animals such as those that can be found in the Lower Dells. Building such a large resort complex adjacent to this beautiful natural area would severely threaten that habitat, and only lead to the area’s downfall.

Accounts in the local news have quoted developers as saying their project wouldn’t encroach on the natural area, that they have promised to post signs along the resort’s border advising people that the adjacent property is a state natural area. It’s absurd to believe advisory signs would do anything to protect that area. I believe the negative impact on that natural area would be inevitable, and would eventually lead to the destruction of protected species, as well as the scenic beauty of the area.

Erosion from the 62 acre site (including parking lot runoff), as well as increased boat traffic can only harm the Wisconsin River and that natural area. The proposed six-story-high structure would be a severe detriment to the scenic beauty of that unique part of the river.

As one who has contributed to Wisconsin’s Endangered Resources Fund for a long time (through the license place which I’ve had for years, and through regular contributions on my income tax form), I am so very proud of the D.N.R.’s efforts with regard to the state natural areas. It is my hope the State continues to protect those areas, especially from sprawling development. Please don’t put the Wisconsin River State Natural Area in jeopardy. Deny the permit for this development project.

Jonathan Bloy