Ice Age Trail seeks to expand
Trail segment located in New Hope
The Ice Age Trail Alliance has applied for a 50% matching grant from the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program to assist with the purchase of 9.8 acres in the Portage County town of New Hope.
A segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail is located on the property. The parcel will remain in its natural state and open to the public for low-impact recreational activities, including hiking, cross-country skiing, bird watching and wildlife viewing.
The Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund was created in 1989 to preserve important natural resources; protect water quality and fisheries; and expand opportunities for outdoor recreation for all Wisconsinites to enjoy.
Nature-based outdoor activities – hunting, trapping, fishing, hiking or cross-country skiing – cannot be prohibited on stewardship-purchased land unless the state Department of Natural Resources has determined that prohibiting one or more of those activities is justified to protect public safety.
The Ice Age Trail Alliance proposes a 100-yard buffer along the trail corridor in which hunting and trapping will be prohibited. On this 300-foot-wide parcel, the DNR is proposing that the prohibition of hunting and trapping is necessary to protect public safety and accommodate trail use.
The DNR has examined the following factors in making this determination: the primary purpose of the land purchase; the small size and narrow shape of the parcel; the fact that the property is surrounded by private lands where public hunting and trapping do not occur; and the typical use patterns on the Ice Age Trail and expectations of trail users.
The public can view the DNR’s initial assessment online or request a hard copy by emailing DNR grant project manager Faith Murray at Faith.Murray@wisconsin.gov.
The DNR will accept public written comments on the proposed grant through Friday, Sept. 17. Comments can be mailed to Faith Murray, Grant Project Manager, Wisconsin DNR Northeast Regional Headquarters, 2984 Shawano Ave., Green Bay WI 54313; or by emailing Murray at Faith.Murray@wisconsin.gov.