WGF Comments on WDNR Draft SCORP

Ron EcksteinWI Green Fire, January 4, 2019

To: John Pohlman, SCORP Project Manager

Re: Comments on Draft Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) For the official record, I am writing on behalf of Wisconsin’s Green Fire: Voices for Conservation in support of the draft SCORP document. In particular we agree that the plan should emphasize the following projects:

  • The conservation of the state’s wetland resources, particularly rare wetland types (rich fens, coastal interdunal wetlands, ridge and swale wetlands, freshwater estuaries, and low prairies). Many of these wetlands support populations of threatened and endangered plant and animal species.
  • The completion of the Ice Age and North Country Trails. Key segments of these trails should be linked through land acquisition or conservation easements.
  • The completion of outdoor recreation projects in urban and suburban areas of the state. This effort requires both land acquisition and facility development.

We have two recommendations for SCORP:

  • Wisconsin should utilize a robust siting evaluation process to ensure that new development projects do not cause harm to existing natural resources. This evaluation is particularly important in the location of new land-based motorized recreation trails and facilities. The process should protect wetlands and populations of sensitive plants and animals as well as areas designated for silent sports.
  • Wisconsin should more actively pursue grants for project development and land acquisition. In recent years the state has received only limited Land & Water Conservation Fund grants.

Ron Eckstein, Secretary Wisconsin’s Green Fire: Voices for Conservation P.O. Box 126 Rhinelander, WI 54501 roneckstein@charter.net

Wisconsin’s Green Fire: Voices for Conservation is a non-profit conservation organization formed in 2017 to be a voice for science-based management of our natural resources. Our members have extensive natural resource management experience working for state, federal, private and non-profit entities.

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