MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will host a virtual public meeting on April 1 to seek input on the Southwest Savanna Draft Regional Master Plan and Environmental Analysis, which outlines proposed future public use and management of DNR-managed properties within the Southwest Savanna Ecological Landscape

The public meeting take place at 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 1, 2021 via Zoom video conferencing. Pre-register for the meeting here. For those unable to attend, the meeting will be recorded and posted to the Southwest Savanna Draft Regional Master Plan webpage for viewing after the event.

The meeting will include a brief presentation by DNR staff, followed by a public comment period. Those wishing to speak at the meeting are required to register online here by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 31.

The Southwest Savanna Ecological Landscape is a 1,950-square-mile region encompassing Lafayette County and portions of Dane, Grant, Iowa and Green counties. Hiking, bicycling, camping, hunting/trapping, fishing, canoeing/kayaking and swimming are some of the primary recreational activities on Southwest Savanna properties. Significant resource management opportunities include large-scale grasslands, oak savannas, hardwood forests, and cold and warm water resources.

A master plan, guided by Chapter NR 44 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code, establishes the level and type of resource management and public use permitted on department-managed properties. Review the Southwest Savanna Draft Regional Master Plan and Environmental Analysis here. Highlights of the proposed master plan include:

  • Grassland and oak management throughout Southwest Savanna properties.
  • Campground improvements and expansions at New Glarus Woods and Yellowstone Lake state parks.
  • Maintaining current uses of the Badger and Sugar River state trails.
  • Renovations to the swimming beach, pet area, Dairy Stand and boat rental shop at Yellowstone Lake State Park.
  • Allow for development of mountain biking trails at New Glarus Woods State Park.
  • Designating an area for Class II Dog Training and Trialing events at Yellowstone Wildlife Area.

The DNR is also asking for public input on two management alternatives regarding future use of Yellowstone and Canon Creek Stream Bank Protection Area, an approximately 240-acre property near Yellowstone Lake State Park and Yellowstone Wildlife Area. The input received on the management alternatives will be used to help inform decisions regarding future property management proposals.

The public is encouraged to submit written or verbal comments regarding the Southwest Savanna Draft Regional Master Plan and Environmental Analysis using the online public input form, by downloading a hard copy form to be sent via U.S. Mail, or by phone at 608-266-2130. Submit written comments by Sunday, April 18 to:

Department of Natural Resources
C/O Savannah Ernzen, DNR Property Planner
101 S. Webster St. P.O. Box 7921 Madison, WI 53707 
Savannah.Ernzen@wisconsin.gov or 608-381-4336


Following the close of the public comment period, the department will summarize the input received and adjust the plan as necessary before presenting the proposed master plan to the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board for consideration.

For additional information about the project and to find input opportunities, the public is encouraged to visit the Southwest Savanna Draft Regional Master Plan webpage here.