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Advocacy

Since its inception in 1997, the Alliance has been deeply involved in advocating for a conservation future for the former Badger Army lands as the decommissioning process unfolded. For many years, the Alliance helped organize public forums and presentations, attended hundreds of planning meetings, and had continuous representation on the Badger Reuse Committee. The Committee eventually developed a formal guidance document, signed by all 21 representatives of agencies, organizations and government entities, for future uses of the Badger property. The Badger Reuse Committee Final Report (2001) is now called the Badger Reuse Plan.

With land transfers of the 7,400 acres at Badger all-but-completed, the advocacy role of the Alliance is two-fold:

  • Be certain that all landowners comply with the values and guidance required of landowners under the Badger Reuse Plan;
  • Monitor and communicate with all landowners to be certain they are collaborating on management of the entire Badger Lands property as a whole, based on the Badger Reuse Plan: “Value 1. The Badger property is managed as a single unit. The managers and owners of land and activities have an affirmative, formal obligation and written agreement to manage the property collaboratively and holistically, and to empower local stakeholders in identifying, discussing, and influencing major management and long-term use decisions.”

The Alliance is currently reviewing and analyzing (August-September 2015) the Draft Management Plan for the Sauk Prairie Recreation Area released by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources on August 11, 2015. This draft plan covers the 3,300-acre parcel acquired by WDNR through a land transfer facilitated by the National Park Service. That transfer document stipulated that future recreational uses of the property would be “low impact,” and a variety of low impact recreation activities were listed as examples. In one of its “conceptual alternatives” issued in 2013, the DNR left the door open for high impact recreation, including ATV trails and a shooting range. Those uses were not included in the draft plan due to strong public opposition to such recreational activities. However, several proposed uses of the Recreation Area may not comply with the NPS land transfer document, including dual-sport motorcycles (“dirt bikes”) and model rocketry.