Wisconsin DNR Set to Buy Largest Land Acquisition in the State's History

By KBJR News 1

Wisconsin DNR Set to Buy Largest Land Acquisition in the State's History

May 17, 2012 Updated Nov 1, 2013 at 6:43 AM CDT

Brule, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) --- The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is set to buy over 67,000 acres of land from the Lyme St. Croix Forest Company in the largest recreational and forest land acquisition in the state's history.

The land, which will be named the Brule-St. Croix Legacy Forest, is located at the headwaters of the St. Croix and Bois-Brule rivers in the state’s northwest sands area in Douglas, Bayfield, Burnett and Washburn Counties.

This proposed piece of land includes 80 small lakes and ponds, 14 miles of streams, and a globally significant pine barrens habitat.

About 20,000 acres of the purchase are located within the Brule River State Forest boundaries.

DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp says that this purchase will open up more area for hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking, skiing, bird-watching, and ATV and snowmobile trails.

“At the same time, the land remains in private ownership, on the tax rolls and will be managed sustainably for forestry purposes," added Stepp. "It’s a win-win for everybody that will help maintain the celebrated forested character of the north.”

The DNR will review the proposed purchase of the 67,000 acres and once approved, will send the proposal to the Wisconsin legislature and the Governor for the final approval.

The DNR plans to purchase all 67,346 acres of land in two phases. In the first phase, the DNR will purchase 44,679 acres of the forest as a working forest easement. This first phase will cost $11,260,000.'

In the second phase, the DNR will purchase the remaining 22,667 at a price of $6,007,000, also as a working forest easement. The second phase transaction won't happen until 2014.

The entire 67,346 acres will cost $17,267,000.

A working forest easement allows the purchased land to be open to the public while the property remains under private ownership, keeping property on the tax rolls, allowing sustainable timber harvest practices and minimizing state costs with the low easement versus full ownership cost.

Posted to the web by Krista Burns