Mecan River Newsflash

Alistair Stewart

I met with Tom Poullette, stream watchdog for the Central Wisconsin Chapter of Trout Unlimited (CWTU), for breakfast today. Here's what he shared with me. Martha Wichner's Estate includes four parcels of land. The Mecan flows through three (39.2, 40 and 13.5 acres) between Dakota and Richford. Prime trout spawning habitat, each parcel is being offered to approximately thirty relatives by sealed bid, due by 9/7/2007. The relevant parcels have been appraised at $303,000, $309,000, and $92,000 respectively.

Wisconsin DNR has met with the Estate's attorney and expressed interest in both purchasing whatever land the family does not wish to purchase, and also in purchasing easements from family members who do wish to purchase. The DNR owns land on either side of the parcels. The DNR's unaided financial resources for this matter are unknown.

CWTU wishes to protect the resource for all to enjoy and is in discussion with the Estate and the DNR. The individual family members, their intentions, and attitudes to easements are currently unknown. Should any parcel be unsold to a family member, the next steps are currently unknown to CWTU, but three developers are currently believed to be very interested. Loss of this property to the wrong developer is potentially catastrophic to the Mecan we know and love.

Your support may be needed, perhaps both financial and time or services. Be sure to look out for further updates. For further information please contact Alistair Stewart (email or telephone 312 944 3973) or Tom Poullette (email or telephone 715 258 5565).

Tight Lines,
Alistair Stewart