Contact: Gary Becker
LGI Executive Director
Madison, WI – In late October, Sauk County and the Ho-Chunk Nation convened a meeting with 54 attendees for the third workshop for “One Sauk, Naturally,” an initiative designed to envision a shared, long-term vision for the county through 2040. By the end of the meeting, ten projects were identified in areas seen as critical to the county’s future, from protecting the county’s water and natural resources to deepening understanding between the Ho-Chunk Nation and other residents of Sauk County.
The partnership between the county and the Nation is a welcomed opportunity which has sparked a collaborative movement never seen before. Ho-Chunk Nation Legislator and Sauk County Supervisor Kristin White Eagle, who co-chairs One Sauk, Naturally with Jared Pinkus said, “This partnership is truly unprecedented – as the process continues, we see increased enthusiasm from the attendees and a rather large favorable response and interest to what is happening in our community.”
Peter Vedro, Sauk County Board Chair adds, “The entire process has given us a strong base for a new, shared future. Now it’s our job to keep momentum and find new ways to work together.”
To date, One Sauk, Naturally has:
- Identified the top trends facing the county’s future (August);
- Identified ten plausible futures for the county, ranging from difficult futures to prosperous futures (September);
- Identified eight core issues that will form the backbone of the One Sauk, Naturally plan (September);
- On October 17, ten teams created initiatives that can immediately address many of them, ranging from greater intergovernmental collaboration to balancing tourism with environmental sensitivity.
About One Sauk, Naturally: The project is co-funded by Sauk County, the Ho-Chunk Nation, and the county’s five chambers of commerce. It uses the process of strategic foresight to identify the critical issues facing the region through 2040 and uses strategic doing to turn issues into action. The Local Government Institute of Wisconsin (LGI) contributed a $20,000 grant to One Sauk, Naturally through its Future Regions initiative. One Sauk, Naturally is co-chaired Kristin White Eagle and Jared Pinkus.
About the Future Regions initiative: LGI established Future Regions in 2017 to encourage multiple units of government to work together to address regional issues, rather than each working independently. According to Gary Becker, LGI’s Executive Director, “Local governments in Wisconsin are good at competing with one another for development and they are frequently in conflict with one another, but there are few that have the skills or experience needed to enter into complex partnerships with multiple entities to accomplish mutual goals. The purpose of Future Regions is to help build those skills and experience so that more of it can happen.” Learn more about Future Regions here.