By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Riverway Board likely to have new members at next meeting
Lower Wisconsin River
Cupp at Avoca Kiosk
MARK CUPP (right), Avoca-Muscoda-Blue River Lions Club member, joined Avoca Lions member Dawn Dahms (center) and Timm Zumm, Friends of the Lower Wisconsin Riverway president (left) at the new 'Kids Don't Float' loaner life vest kiosk in the Avoca Village Park.

MUSCODA - The Lower Wisconsin State Riverway Board (LWSRB) will likely have new members in June. Those members will replace Gerry Dorscheid representing Iowa County, and Steve Williamson, representing Richland County.

“The Governor’s office is still reviewing the recommendations for board members made by Iowa and Richland counties,” Executive Director Mark Cupp told the board at their May 12 meeting, “I anticipate we should hear back in a week or two.”

Cupp once again told the board at their Boscobel meeting that “this could be Gerry Dorscheid’s last meeting as a board member and board chairman.” There was some warm laughter and appreciation in the room, as this is the third meeting where Dorscheid’s retirement has been announced.

“Since Gerry and Steve are retiring, and they are two of the members of the executive committee, that would leave Gigi LaBudde as the only remaining committee member at our next meeting,” Cupp said. “I recommend that until new officers are elected at the June meeting, we ask committee chairs to serve as members of the executive committee.”

Cupp also told the board that final bids had been due the day of the meeting for the Lone Rock bridge construction project. He said the Department of Transportation will select the contractor for the project in June, and the board should expect to learn if final project plans include the board’s recommendations at their July or August meeting.

One interesting conversation that Cupp reported having since the last time the board met was with Gabriela Martinez, a PhD candidate at UW-Madison. In her graduate studies she is working with USDA on a project to look at ‘agricultural systems of the future.’ In her studies, she partners with organizations such as the Grassland 2.0 project and the Savanna Institute. Martinez hails from the country of Uruguay.

“It was a very interesting conversation,” Cupp told the board. “The work of both Grasslands 2.0 and the Savanna Institute help to highlight the future of agriculture in light of current and anticipated future impacts from climate change.”

Permits approved

The board approved a permit extension for a private property owned by the Peterzaks in Sauk County. 

Cupp reported he had performed multiple field inspections at the property, in some cases, accompanied by Operations Committee members. He said that the Peterzaks plans call for construction of a new house and garage at an undeveloped lot on High Bank Lane. There is development on both sides of the lot (seasonal residences).

He said that the applicant has provided diagrams and an architectural model of the structure. The house will be ranch style, with the garage attached by a breezeway. The exterior color will be sandy brown, and the roof color will be a darker brown. Final approval of the colorization will be required. There will be a limited amount of glass or other reflective material. Adequate screening vegetation exists at the site.

Cupp said he had met with Mr. and Mrs. Peterzak on May 5, 2017, and that the plans for the house had changed. He said the structure will now be smaller. (1,530-square-feet, down from 1,700), with colorization will remain the same. The windows facing the river will be covered by a screened porch. The Operations Committee visited the site prior to the board meeting on May 11, 2017.

Cupp’s recommendation to the board at the May 12, 2022 meeting was for issuance of a one-year extension for the structure permit with retention of the following conditions:

• The existing screening vegetation shall be maintained and replaced if damaged or destroyed;

• The height of the structure shall be limited so that the structure does not become visible from the Wisconsin River during leaf-on conditions and shall not exceed 20 feet;

• The exterior colorization of the structure, including roof color, shall harmonize with the natural surroundings during leaf-on conditions and shall be reviewed for compliance with the Riverway regulations and approved prior to initiation on construction;

• There shall be a limited amount of glass or other reflective material;

• The LWSRB shall review any modifications to the plans, as submitted, for compliance with the applicable performance standards;

• The landowner or his/her agent shall notify the LWSRB upon completion of the project; and

• The activity shall comply with all other federal, state and local regulations.

In addition, a one-year extension was also approved by the board for invasive species work on the property. That work will consist of removal of honeysuckle to enhance the native plant community. Some small pine trees will be removed to release oak. No structures will become visible from the river as a result of the activity. 

Another permit was approved for DNR Foresters Trevor Hamdorf and Rebecca Vasquez for a timber harvest on state owned lands in Richland counties. Mike Finlay, DNR Forestry Team Leader, is supervising the activity. 

The site is located in the Town of Orion, Richland County, west of Gotham. Plans call for the use of patch clear cuts in the Riverview Zone and Resource Management Zone, and thinning in the Bluff Zone. 

The objective is to recruit natural regeneration augmented with supplemental plantings. Additional TSI work will occur in the future. Information on road construction will be provided at the LWSRB meeting. A recorded archeological site will be protected.

Cupps recommendation to the board was for issuance of permit with the following conditions:

• In the Bluff Zone and Riverview Zone, all trees selected for harvest shall be appropriately marked and reviewed by the LWSRB for compliance with the applicable performance standards prior to initiation of the harvest;

• In the Bluff and Riverview Zone, the harvest shall be limited to the times when the ground is frozen or dry and the leaves are off the deciduous trees;

• The LWSRB shall review the location and design of all new logging roads, if any, in the Bluff Zone and Riverview Zone;

• The new logging roads, if any, shall comply with the applicable performance standards regarding grade and erosion control and shall be re-seeded upon completion of the harvest;

• The LWSRB shall review the location and design of all small regeneration cuts, if any, in the Riverview Zone to assure compliance with the applicable performance standards;

• The Bluff Zone and Riverview Zone shall be delineated prior to initiation of the harvest, if necessary;

• The landowner or his/her agent shall notify the LWSRB within 10 working days upon completion of the harvest and, if necessary, the LWSRB shall conduct a post-harvest field inspection; and,

• The LWSRB shall review modification of the plans, as submitted, for compliance with the applicable performance standards.

FLOW field trip

Friends of the Lower Wisconsin Riverway (FLOW) president Timm Zumm attended the meeting, and told the board about an upcoming FLOW field trip.

The field trip, planned for  May 21, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., will allow participants to take a non-strenuous, guided walk on level trails in the Spring Green Nature Conservancy preserve. The Preserve is home to tall grasses, prickly pear cactus, meadowlarks and much more. Participants should gather at Highway G, north of Spring Green. Parking is limited, so if you are able, please park on the road leaving space for those needing to be close to the entry.

Field trip leaders Rob and Kim Russell will share interesting tidbits gleaned from over 30 years of living and working on the Spring Green Prairie.

A reservation is required to participate, with a limit of 30. Please reply via email to reserve your spot to

Zumm also told the board that it was 10 years to the day since FLOW’s mascot, ‘Flo the Paddlefish’ was first launched for its first float. He said that Flo has a busy schedule planned this summer. He said she had already attended ‘Trout Days’ in Cross Plains, and would make an appearance next at the Muscoda Morel Mushroom Festival.

He also reported that the Savanna Institute had recently done a tremendous amount of work at their farm just outside of Spring Green planting 2,000 tree seedlings, and was now installing drip irrigation and a fence to keep deer out. He said plans for the farm coming up would include the planting of buffer plants.

CAFO update

Sarah Barron of Crawford Stewardship Project reported to the board that the WDNR had approved the WPDES permit for the Roth Feeder Pig II hog CAFO the preceding week. 

“We are expecting an evaluation from our legal team by the end of next week, and will know more at the time about what CSP’s response will be,” Barron said. “The permit also faces one more barrier, with final approval on a permit from Crawford County which may involve a public hearing.”