The Stewards of the Dells of the Wisconsin River may have found a way around the fence at Upham Woods, they have been protesting for two years.
At a Stewards meeting March 29, member Easter Dreher described a floating dock that could be installed off the road in the waters around Blackhawk Island.
The island and land nearby are owned by Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center, that provides environmental education through the University of Wisconsin Extension. For years, local and visiting kayaks and canoeists had launched into the Upper Dells of the Wisconsin River along County Highway P at Blackhawk Island. However, two years ago, Upham Woods put up a fence, keeping the kayakers and canoeists from the site.
The site is in Juneau County and the Juneau County Highway Department recently surveyed the site to determine if the fence were on its right-of-way, which it is not, and whether the right-of-way can be used in some way for a launch or dock.
Dreher said a site on the highway right-of-way/Juneau County property can be used for a floating dock and a path to the dock, although the path will be steep.
The first step will be getting the permission of the Juneau County Board for the dock and path. The Stewards plan to appear before the board seeking that permission in April. Ray Feldman, a member of the Juneau County Board, has been supportive of the Stewards and a dock.
The next step will be raising funds to pay for the dock. About $1,000 will be needed, said Debbie Kinder, president of the Stewards. The Stewards already have $405 from a donation, and Kinder suggested using a GoFundMe campaign to raise the rest of the needed money. The Stewards approved the fundraising campaign to be called “Help Save Blackhawk.”