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County Executive's Office

Dane County to Acquire Additional Land Along Sugar River for Outdoor Recreation

December 26, 2017
Scott Adrian: 608-266-2444
County Executive

Nearly Another Mile of River Frontage, 60 Acres Part of Latest County Effort to Permanently Protect Important Natural Resource Area


Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced today the county has successfully negotiated the purchase of additional lands to permanently protect more of the Sugar River corridor south of Verona.  The 60 acre purchase and easement on an adjacent 100 acres making nearly another mile of river frontage open for public fishing and hiking.


“This latest conservation purchase continues the priority we’ve placed on protecting the Sugar River and its surrounding watershed,” Parisi said.  “As we’ve seen with additional properties the county and partners have acquired along the river in recent years, outdoor recreational opportunities abound along what it is truly one of Dane County’s natural treasures.”


The Sugar River is a significant natural and recreational resource that is a popular destination for trout fishing, canoeing and kayaking.  The County and others have been working to increase access to the Sugar River and surrounding lands, and several key Sugar River purchases have been made in recent years, including over 400 acres on what is known as the Falk/Wells Wildlife Area near Paoli and an additional 101 acres at the former Neperud property near Basco.  A section of the Sugar River was restored by Dane County, the DNR, and Trout Unlimited this past summer.  The County Executive included $75,000 in the 2018 budget to restore additional segments of the popular fishery upstream.  That work is slated to begin in the New Year.


“Dane County has some of the best parks and recreational opportunities in the country,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “This area of the county is beautiful and will be available for generations so our children can fish, canoe and kayak.”


The purchase price for the approximately 60 acre acquisition and the adjoining public hunting easement on 100 acres has been established at $636,000. Funds for the purchase are available in the Conservation Fund. The County intends to apply for DNR Stewardship grant dollars to offset the purchase price.


The property offers an ideal canoe/kayak launching spot, as well as unique cultural resources, including an 1860’s limestone Greek Revival house that was a historic stagecoach stop and two cataloged Native American mound sites. The purchase also includes a permanent easement for limited public hunting access over an additional 100 acres of adjacent private property. 


A resolution to acquire the property was introduced at last week’s County Board meeting and will be considered in the weeks to come. 


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