Media tracks “David vs. Goliath” lawsuit battle at Badger
The local and regional media have been very attentive to the lawsuit filed by the Sauk Prairie Conservation Alliance (“David”) against DNR (“Goliath”) for their inclusion of high impact activities in their Final Master Plan for the Sauk Prairie State Recreation Area at the former Badger Army Plant. After all, Badger has been a landscape of conflict–and therefore attractive to the media– for decades.
Although the vision for a “green future” promoted by the Alliance for 20 years has now become reality, the DNR has been defiant in the latter part of the planning process for their portion of Badger. Whereas they signed documents in 2001 and again in 2004 indicating that they would develop only low impact recreation at the property, their final approved plan includes off-road motorcycles, military helicopter training and year-round dog training with the discharge of firearms– hardly low impact activities!
Feeling betrayed by the agency, the Alliance has sued DNR in Sauk County Circuit Court, and simultaneously filed a lawsuit against National Park Service for their unwillingness to hold DNR to strict national environmental standards in finalizing their master plan for the site. A companion request of the circuit court was to issue a “stay” or temporary injunction against the high impact activities included in the Plan until the lawsuit is settled. A hearing was conducted in Baraboo on Monday February 27th on the request for a stay. Read a summary of the hearing here.
In the past few days, there has been a newspaper article, TV news story and public radio broadcast featuring the lawsuit and the hearing, and more newspaper articles are forthcoming. We are pleased to see the level of public and media interest in this important decision about Badger, as the DNR needs to be held accountable for its inappropriate–if not illegal– actions.
WISC TV Channel 3 interviewed Alliance President Mimi Wuest and Executive Director Charlie Luthin at Badger on Saturday, February 25th, and their piece ran on the 10pm news that evening. Watch the piece here.
Baraboo News Republic posted their article on Monday; read their account of the hearing here.
Chuck Quirmbach from Wisconsin Public Radio was at the hearing Monday, and his story was featured on Monday evening during “All Things Considered.” Listen to the piece here.