Governor Doyle Dedicates Major Addition to Kettle Moraine State
970-acre Rainbow Springs Purchase Will Protect Critical Water
MUKWONAGO – Governor Jim Doyle dedicated today a major expansion of
the Kettle Moraine State Forest. The 970-acre Mukwonago River parcel
contains critical water resources and important natural habitats.
“The Stewardship Fund is an essential tool to protect our state’s
tremendous natural resources for future generation,” Governor Doyle
said. “The Mukwonago River Unit will improve our ground and surface
water, and serve as a recreational and nature treasure for
southeastern Wisconsin families.”
The newly-dedicated Mukwonago River Unit of the Kettle Moraine State
Forest was made possible through a state Stewardship Fund purchase of
the 970-acre tract previously known as Rainbow Springs. Rainbow
Springs was partially developed as a golf course and resort facility
over forty years ago, and most of its facilities lie in the Mukwonago
River watershed and flood plain. The restoration of the Mukwonago
River area will protect natural headsprings that support the water
quality and diverse animal species in the area.
In addition, the restoration of the Mukwonago River area will protect
species in the lakes and tributaries, along with the grassland and
wetlands. The diverse, critical species include 16 mussel species, a
dense duck population, 59 species of fish and critical trout habitats,
as well as wetland and grassland species such as Canada Geese,
mallards and sandhill cranes. It will also provide a crucial habitat
for the Blandings turtle, and increase habitat available for
migratory birds residing in the Vernon Marsh State Wildlife Area and
the Southern Unit of the Kettle Moraine.
For several years, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) sought to
acquire Rainbow Springs because of its important water resources and
its potential as a recreational and natural treasure for southeastern
Wisconsin families. Governor Doyle thanked the DNR, Waukesha County,
and the previous landowners for working together on the purchase.
Established during the 1937 session of the Wisconsin State Legislature
to provide recreational opportunities in southeastern Wisconsin, the
Kettle Moraine State Forest is used for a variety of outdoor
activities such as fishing, hunting, trapping, hiking and cross
country skiing. The forest is located approximately 35 miles west of
Milwaukee and is within 100 miles of five million people.
The Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund has protected over 500,000 acres
of land since 1990. Governor
Doyle has strongly supported the Stewardship program, protecting
nearly 200,000 acres since coming into office.