Ozaukee County conservation project stalled in legislative finance committee | WUWM 89.7 FM

Since 1989, the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program has been a fundamental tool used to conserve parcels around Wisconsin.

Groups interested in preserving natural areas can apply to the program administered by the Department of Natural Resources. But larger grants require legislative approval, which can stall projects without much explanation.

North of downtown Milwaukee, you’ll find one such project. The sign along Lake Shore Road, where the town of Grafton meets the city of Port Washington, reads, “If you like this land… you’ll love Cedar Gorge Clay Bluffs Natural Area.”

The sign says, “If you like this Land… You’ll LOVE Cedar Gorge Clay Bluffs Natural Area!”

From the road, the parcel looks like farmland with one very soggy spot where geese are hanging out, but Tom Stolp says look east for the treasures. “This property is really special — it has the natural gorge feature; it has the clay seepage bluffs with 110 foot-high bluffs looking out over Lake Michigan but it also has the presence of restorable wetlands,” he explains.

Stolp is executive director of Ozaukee Washington Land Trust. The trust been working to purchase and conserve the 131-acre parcel.

Stolp says Cedar Gorge has value beyond the public being able to enjoy the Lake Michigan vista and…

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