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Falk Announces First Buys to Boost Public Fishing

For more information contact:

Joanne Haas, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 669-5606

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 10/25/2007

Issued By: County Executive
View only releases from County Executive
(Editors/Reporters: This is another in a series of “Dane in a Day” news conferences/events by Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk to highlight county resources and recreational opportunities.)

Area anglers got a big boost today when Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk announced the purchase of three permanent streambank easements stretching more than one mile along the West Branch of the Sugar River as the first such buys under a new program.

“Thanks to Dane County’s Streambank Protection Program, this trout stream will forever be protected and enjoyed by anglers with the purchase of these easements,” Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk said of the stream in the southwest Dane County, adding it already has undergone extensive habitat improvement work. “The agreement means the public will always have access to this stream.”

Protection of Dane County water resources is a top priority, Falk said.

“An incredible amount of effort has been put into restoring the West Branch of the Sugar River. It’s critical that this conservation work isn’t lost,” Falk said.

The streambank easements are located on the Upper West Branch of the Sugar River and cover about 1-1/4 mile of stream. The easements will be purchased by Dane County to protect water quality and offer a long stretch of public fishing access. Purchase price for the three streambank easements is $141,810. The easiest access to the stream is from County Highway G, south of Mount Vernon. The properties will be marked with easy to identify signs before the start of next spring’s fishing season.

Falk noted the Land and Water Legacy Fund, which she began in the 2007 budget, made these purchases possible. They are the first purchases in a new program designed to permanently protect the county’s high quality streams and secure public fishing access. Valuable partners such as the Department of Natural Resources, Deer Creek Sports and Conservation Club, Trout Unlimited, Upper Sugar River Watershed Association, Natural Heritage Land Trust, Dane County Conservation League, and riparian landowners have played a key role in stream habitat improvement and protection. Dane County will build on these partnerships to increase permanent streambank protection and public access and expand this program to protect trout streams throughout Dane County.

“Dane County is fortunate to have individuals, agencies, and non-profits working together to conserve and protect the water resources along the West Branch of the Sugar River,” she said. “I’m excited by what we can accomplish together as we permanently protect, enhance, and maintain this important stream corridor through this pioneer program.”

Purchase of the easements will require approval by the County Board, with action scheduled within the next four weeks.

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