Illinois investors try to take ownership of upper Scuppernong River
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently wrote a sob story about the “mean old” DNR actually allowing paddlers and boaters to use a flowage on “Scuppernong Creek” (actually the Scuppernong River). Basically, some wealthy Illinois commodity traders got together to form the corporation “Row Boat” to rebuild a washed out dam just east of Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive. The idea being that the adjacent land would be developed as a getaway for the wealthy. “Row Boat” got very upset when boaters and paddlers would enter the flowage from upstream and erected on the river a sign stating: “WARNING THIS IS NOT DNR PROPERTY. YOU ARE ENTERING PRIVATE LANDS. YOU ARE NOT WELCOME HERE.” While this type of ownership is common in Illinois, Wisconsin laws strongly contradict this and access to water is even enshrined in our constitution. This is tragic on many fronts…the upper Scuppernong Creek is a gorgeous spring fed river known for its beautiful clear water and it should never have been dammed to start with (especially by selfish developers). The other problem is this type of case can create the wrong type of precedent if a judge falls for their “victim of the DNR” sob story which could create nasty access problems for paddlers throughout the state. We don’t want Wisconsin to end up like Illinois.