A Voice for the River

July 26, 2018

Bob Banks, President
Brule River Preservation, Inc.

Subject: Nebagamon Creek South Shore Grade Project

Dear Bob:

The Nebagamon Creek South Shore Grade project initially planned for summer 2018 is now targeted for summer 2019. The project consists of removing a segment of an abandoned railroad grade and a large concrete culvert through which Nebagamon Creek passes, approximately four miles upstream from the Bois Brule River. The railroad grade is a remnant of the lumber and mining era over 100 years ago.

Unique circumstances surround the project, particularly those associated with landownership of the abandoned grade. Railroad corridors can be some of the most challenging land parcels with which to work, mainly because land titles, tax records, and railroad abandonment and transfer laws need to be reviewed and understood to facilitate a clear course of action. Although this has been ongoing for months, additional time is needed to complete the work and draft a land use agreement for the project. Further, other project components such as construction sequence, management of the material to be removed from the site, and design alternatives for the new stream channel continue to be refined and developed.

Additional time is also needed to procure funds for the project. In October 2017, Wisconsin DNR Fisheries submitted a grant application to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for federal funds. Recently, the application was not selected for funding. The grant would have garnered approximately $38,000, which would have added to the $45,000 of DNR funds and nearly $50,000 of non-governmental organization (NGO) donations. The NGO contributions are a testament to the interest and concern of sport clubs, conservation organizations, individuals, and others for the project, and these contributions will provide stronger support for additional grant applications to other funding sources in Fall and early Winter 2018. Many thanks to all who have contributed funds to the project, and a special thanks to those individuals who have coordinated the fundraising. All NGO funds have and continue to be held indefinitely in a state gift account dedicated solely to the project.

Since Fall 2017, the project has advanced significantly in understanding landownership, creating design alternatives, and developing stakeholder relationships, all of which are crucial to the success of this project. This will continue in the coining year.

Very truly yours,

Paul Piszczek
Piszczek
Senior Fisheries Biologist
Lake Superior Tributaries
(715) 392-7990
paul.piszczek@wisconsin.gov

cc: Michael Spencer, Brule River Preservation, Inc. (via email: michae18921@gmail.com

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