Dane County to fund marsh land purchases

June 21, 2017 -- gweditor

The following article was written by Jennifer Fetterly at The Star on May 30, 2017. 

DANE CO, Wis. - Outdoor enthusiasts will get more play area in the Lodi Marsh with a 58-acre land acquisition set to open to the public early summer.

The land off of County Highway Y in the northwest edge of Lodi Marsh will be a hot spot for hikers, hunters, fisherman, bird watchers and cross-country skiers.

The $174,642 price tag will be funded through Dane County Conservation Fund Grant and the DNR Stewardship Grant Program. The Natural Heritage Land Trust, which helped seal the land deal, is also contributing funds.

The Thompson property purchase is a coup to help protect critical waters, wetlands and grasslands in the current 1,211 acres Lodi Marsh Wildlife and State Natural Area, said Jim Welsh, executive director of the Natural Heritage Land Trust.

Closing up the gaps in the conservation area, he said, will help the state manage the land better.

The land, in the town of Dane, also has 2,000 feet of Spring Creek frontage. That was a plus for some Dane County supervisors, who unanimously approved the purchase at the May 18 county board meeting.

“This purchase is a good idea,” said Dane County Supervisor Dave Ripp. “That’s a Class 1 cold water trout stream, and this will help protect it by surrounding it with public land now.”

More money for marshes

Dane County it set to purchase 130 acres of land and easements in the Cherokee Marsh.

The $1.5 million deal will increase public access to the Yahara River in the natural resource and wildlife area and protect the waterways and restore wildlife habitat.

Last week Dane County supervisor approved the purchase of the 53 acres and a 77-acre conservation easement, from Ronald and Heather Treinen, as part of the deal. The land is at the intersection of River Road and Highway 19 in the Town of Westport and will be part of the Cherokee Marsh Natural Resource Area.

Local environmentalists say this latest purchase will connect with the 81 acres the county acquired for $1.1 million two years ago along the Yahara River in the towns of Windsor and Burke—creating a 200-acre contiguous parcel.

Dane County Supervisor Tim Kiefer said there are three benefits to the new acquisition: flood prevention, improving lake water quality and preserving open space.

“There is going to be significant population growth in Dane County and blocking off area like this that have significant recreational potential along the Yahara River are going to be really important,” Kiefer said.