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 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 has filed several lawsuits (December 2016) against the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Natural Resources Board for their approval of a Final Master Plan for the Sauk Prairie State Recreation Area that is in breach of agreements that the agency signed years before. In its final plan, DNR included off-road (dual-sport) motorcycles, military heilcopter training, and dog training (that entails discharge of firearms year-round). These “high impact” activities are in clear violation of the Badger Reuse Plan (that supports only “low impact” recreation) and will result in environmental damage to the property (soil erosion by off-road motorcylces, noise pollution by helicpoters and nesting bird disturbance by dog training). The Alliance is also suing the National Park Service for its negligence in accepting the DNR’s Master Plan without completing a compehensive Environmental Impact Statement as required by law. The cases may take several years to progress through the courts.