Public comments are being accepted on the future of the Cedarburg Bog Nature Area in the Town of Saukville as a component of the Northern Kettle Moraine Region master plan.
The draft plan — which includes eight other state-owned fish and wildlife properties — is expected to be reviewed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Board on Wednesday, Aug. 12.
In anticipation of that session, public comments are being accepted until Friday, Aug. 7.
According to the Friends of the Cedarburg Bog, the plan affects the nature area in three specific proposals.
One element of the plan calls for expansion of the protected bog area.
The Friends contend the expansion is justified because the 1,733-acre bog “is a remarkable near-wilderness area located closely to Wisconsin’s most populous metropolitan area, and the southernmost string bog in the U.S.”
In addition, the group notes that the bog is beneficial in flood mitigation, water filtering, research and recreation.
“It is susceptible to encroaching development which will adversely impact the very things that make the Cedarburg Bog valuable to its community — protecting these societal benefits in the face of competing profit motive is a clear
governmental role,” a support statement from the group says.
Also supported is a plan to provide a low-impact outrigger boardwalk into Mud Lake on the bog property.
A partial boardwalk is available on the property, but it is in deteriorating condition.
“There are several user groups who could enjoy and learn from the bog if access is made safer — birders, naturalists, canoeists, students, etc.,” according to the group’s position statement.
The Friends have offered to partner with the DNR to fund, build and maintain a new boardwalk.
A final topic of concern for the group in the master plan is regulation of boat storage on Mud Lake.
Duck hunters have long used the lake, even driving iron pipes into the bog in an attempt to secure their boat when not in use, damaging the ecosystem.
“Management of the storage area has been nonexistent,” the Friends say.
Eliminating boat storage would be unfair, according to the group, but fair and consistently enforced regulations are needed.
A draft of the 144-page master plan is available at http://dnr.wi.gov/files/PDF/pubs/lf/LF0068.pdf.