He has written several books, but Ken Lange was a man of few words Tuesday.

Mayor Mike Palm gave Lange a Gem Award for making Baraboo a more positive and prosperous place. A retired Devil’s Lake State Park naturalist, Lange has been a popular hike leader and speaker for decades, educating locals and visitors about the area’s unique geology, flora and fauna.

“The city of Baraboo extends its heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to Ken for his commitment to our fair city,” Palm told the City Council in reading a proclamation honoring Lange.

Lange arrived in Baraboo in 1966 as the naturalist at Devil’s Lake, a position he held until his 1996 retirement. He still leads hikes as a volunteer.

“I always wanted to get to know one area and stick to it like a bird,” Lange said in accepting the award.

Although his remarks were brief, Lange is prolific with words. He has written several books, including “A County Called Sauk” (1976), “Ancient Rocks and Vanished Glaciers” (1989), “A Naturalist’s Journey” (1998) and most recently “A Song of Place” (2014).

Lange also is known for championing a ban on gasoline-powered motors on Devil’s Lake. He and wife Esther adopted the East Bluff State Natural Area in 1993.

Follow Ben Bromley on Twitter @ben_bromley


Baraboo News Republic Senior Reporter

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