The Township of Peru, and all the people of Wisconsin, acquired a state natural treasure this past Monday April 24th. The Wisconsin Legislative Joint Finance Committee voted to approve a Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund purchase by our Department of Natural Resources to obtain part of the Tyrone Property, also known as the Xcel Energy Project. It was my privilege to strongly advocate for over a year to urge completion of this conservation project.
The land, totaling 990.55 acres, is located in southern Dunn County, and lies entirely within the boundary of the Lower Chippewa River State Natural Area. The parcel contains 18,000 feet of shoreline on the south bank of the Chippewa River and may contain the highest concentration of rare animal and bird species in Wisconsin, thriving in many rare natural habitat ecosystems. DNR acquisition of this beautiful tract of land will assist with resource management; manage and protect exceptional natural resources and numerous rare species; and increase public recreation opportunities including hunting, trapping, fishing, hiking, birdwatching, snowshoeing and cross country skiing.
As Representative to the people of the 93rd Assembly District, in which the property is located, I would like to personally thank members of the public for their tremendous outpouring of support for this project. Among the long list of proponents were: citizens from the local community; Township officials; members of the Dunn County Fish and Game Association; Central St. Croix Rod and Gun Club; Chippewa Rod and Gun Club; Colfax Sportsmen’s Club; Durand Sportmans Club; Eau Claire Rod and Gun Club; Friends of the St. Croix Management District; Northwest Rod and Gun Club; Star Prairie Fish and Game Association; Westgate Sportsmens Club; Wisconsin Wildlife Federation; The Prairie Enthusiasts; the Dunn County Conservation Alliance; the Rock Falls Sportsman’s Club; Xcel Energy; and also our local and regional DNR officials. Everyone worked diligently to help convince my Colleagues on the Joint Finance Committee to vote in favor of purchasing the land for $1,900 per acre, for a total stewardship cost of $1,898,000.
This is a remarkably unique, environmentally rich parcel of land that we all now will be able to enjoy for generations to come.