DNR considers land sales in Rock, Walworth counties

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Catherine W. Idzerda
August 8, 2015

BRODHEAD—The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is considering selling several small pieces of land in Rock and Walworth counties.

But unless you are a neighboring landowner, it's unlikely you'll be considered as a buyer.

Last week, the DNR announced it had identified 118 land parcels as part of its efforts to meet the requirements of Wisconsin Act 20.

Wisconsin Act 20 requires the DNR to make 10,000 acres of land available for sale by June 2017. Proceeds from the sales will be used to preserve natural areas and wildlife habitat, protect water quality and expand outdoor recreation opportunties through the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program. 

In Rock and Walworth counties, land being considered for sale includes:

—9.7 wooded acres east of Brodhead. The land is contiguous with the railroad tracks.

—3.3 acres in two parcels north of the Turtle Creek Wildlife Area, town of Darien.

—5.4 acres east of East Troy and south of Honey Creek.

None of the parcels has public access.

Doug Haag, deputy director of the DNR's Bureau of Facilities and Lands, said the land would be offered only to neighboring landowners.

“We're not going to sell land without public access,” Haag said.

Before the parcels can even be marketed, the Natural Resources Board has to approve their sale, Haag said.

Between now and October, DNR field staff will review the parcels to see how they fit into the agency's mix of recreational lands and natural habitats.

The Natural Resources Board will review staff recommendations, and parcels approved for sale will go on the market in 2016.

The board will consider parcels in 40 counties totaling more than 8,200 acres. Of those, about 5,300 acres will be reviewed for sale to the public. The remainder will be offered to neighboring landowners or local governments, according to a news release.

Haag stressed this round of sales focused on parcels outside “project boundaries,” which are areas such as state parks, natural areas or established hunting land.

The DNR owns about 1.5 million acres of land statewide.

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