TOMAHAWK, Wis. — The public will have an opportunity to share their thoughts and suggestions about current and future management of the Willow Flowage Scenic Waters Area at a June 4 public meeting in Tomahawk and through a public comment period through June 18.
The Department of Natural Resources is beginning a review of the master plan for property that is required every 15 years under state rules and is seeking public comment to determine if any changes should be made to the master plan.
Management and use of “The Willow”
Located in Oneida County, the Willow Flowage Scenic Waters Area is managed as part of the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest. Surrounded by swamps, bogs and other watery lowlands, the Willow Flowage Scenic Waters Area is isolated from roads and development. This remoteness and miles of natural shoreline draws visitors from around the state and region.
With help from The Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund, the flowage covers more than 27,000 acres above and below the water. More than 6,400 acres of water offer scenic viewing, fishing and boating opportunities and access to 117 islands and remote backwaters.
Forest management goals for the Willow Flowage are to protect wildlife habitat, emphasize forest diversity, promote a natural and aesthetically pleasing appearance and producing a sustainable supply of timber products.
The review process will assess the adequacy of the current master plan and findings and recommendations will be reported to the state Natural Resources Board for final determination and approval of any changes or revisions.
Public involvement opportunity
A public review and comment period is set from May 20 through June 18, 2015. Information about the Willow Flowage Scenic Waters Area is available by searching the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for keywords “master planning” and then clicking on Willow Flowage.
An informational public open house meeting will be held June 4, 2015 from 3-6 p.m., with a brief presentation at 4 p.m. at the Nokomis Town Hall, 2541 Lake Nokomis Road, Tomahawk.
The public can also comment online through the Willow Flowage master plan Web page or send their comments by U.S. mail to Bob Dall, DNR Service Center, 107 Sutliff Ave., Rhinelander, WI 54501, by phone at 715-365-8993 or by email to Robert.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information and questions
For questions people can contact: Tom Shockley, Willow Flowage property manager, DNR Service Center, 8770 Highway J, Woodruff, Wisconsin 54501, 715-356-5211, or email email@example.com.