Public comment sought for camp site change at Black River State - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Public comment sought for camp site change at Black River State Forest

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BLACK RIVER FALLS (Press Release) – A proposed change to the master plan for the Black River State Forest would eliminate an underused horse camp site and designated horse trails and convert the horse camp into a reservable, outdoor, group camp site.

The group camp site would be open from mid-April through the nine-day gun deer season.

The proposal is due to extremely low use levels at the horse camp, the availability of other horse facilities within one hour of the state forest, and increasing demand for group camping options within the state forest and park system.

Currently, there are 31 group camp sites managed by the state Department of Natural Resources statewide and they are heavily used.

Use of the horse camp has declined 80 percent during the past six years.  Total usage the past two years has average 37 camp site rental nights annually.  This is the equivalent of one average summer weekend at the traditional East Fork Campground, located nearby.

The Black River State Forest currently has one group camp site with a cabin that is rented every weekend of the year and every day of the week in the summer.

The new group camp would offer 6 to 8 gravel spurs where visitors could park camping units, a common area where additional tents could be pitched, a large communal fire ring, a well and a vault toilet building constructed in 2009.  In the future a volleyball court and horseshoes could be added.

The proposal can be viewed in its entirety at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/stateforests/blackriver/amendment.html

Individuals wishing to comment on this proposal can do so at this web address or by emailing Peter Bakken, state forest superintendent, at peter.bakken@wisconsin.gov The comment period runs through Nov. 30.

For more information contact Peter Bakken at 715-284-1406.

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