Dane County to acquire 130 acres along Yahara River

Dane County to acquire 130 acres along Yahara River

Dane County has negotiated an offer to purchase 130 acres north of Madison along the Yahara River, according to a release from the county.

The land is located at the intersection of River Road and Highway 19 in the town of Westport, officials said. The 130 acres will become part of the Cherokee Marsh Natural Resource Area.

“Through this acquisition, we’re forever preserving key river corridor and lands integral to the incredible work we’re doing to clean up our lakes,” Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said in the release. “People for generations to come will be able to access this area for outdoor recreation and enjoy these one-of-a-kind natural resources.”

Under the agreement, the county will purchase 53 acres and protect an additional 77 acres through a conservation easement with a local farmer, officials said.

The area is identified as a priority for county preservation in the 2012-2017 Dane County Parks and Open Space Plan, according to the release.

An old farmstead that had livestock is included in the purchase, which will provide an opportunity for the county and partners interested in lake clean-up efforts to restore grass vegetation for reducing run-off, officials said.

The project connects state and county-owned lands, creating nearly 200 acres of continuously owned public property in the Yahara River Watershed, according to the release.

The total project will cost $1.52 million.

The proposed acquisition will be reviewed by the Dane County Parks Commission and County Board committees this week, with final approval anticipated in May.