Comments on WDNR Northeast Sands Regional Master Plan

Ron EcksteinWI Green Fire, December 14, 2019

Yoyi Steele
Program & Policy Analyst
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Madison, WI  53707

RE:  Comments on the Northeast Sands Regional Master Plan

August 12, 2019

Dear Ms. Steele,

Wisconsin’s Green Fire: Voices for Conservation (WGF) supports the conservation legacy of Wisconsin by promoting science-based management of its natural resources. Our members have extensive experience in natural resource management, environmental law and policy, scientific research, and education. More information about our 400+ members can be found at

WGF’s Public Land and Forestry Work Group reviewed the Northeast Sands draft Regional Master Plan.  WGF commends the Department for thoroughly analyzing the important natural resource issues on DNR lands in the Northeast Sands Ecological Unit. The draft plan implements the recommendations outlined in the Ecological Landscapes of Wisconsin and moves forward with critical conservation and recreation priorities for this landscape.

In particular, WGF is interested in the forest habitat and forest biodiversity elements of the draft plan and especially those that pursue management of pine barrens and old growth forests. The plants and animals that use these habitats require a focused conservation effort. These two habitats currently occur at less than 2% of their original pre-settlement distribution.

The establishment of the 1,600-acre State Natural Area near Savage and Robago Lakes using forest management to develop and maintain old growth characteristics is an important element of the plan.  The continued management of the pine barrens habitat in the plan will benefit uncommon and rare plants and animals. Consequently, WGF supports the draft Northeast Sands Regional Master Plan and the land-use designations in the plan. Please extend our thanks to the many other department staff members who have contributed to the planning effort.


Ron Eckstein and John Robinson, Co-Chairs
Public Lands and Forestry Work Group
Wisconsin’s Green Fire: Voices for Conservation


Cc: Preston Cole, DNR Secretary

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