State Supreme Court rules against DNR in Lake Koshkonong case

UPDATED Tuesday, July 16, 2013 -- 10:30 p.m.
Reporter: Phil Levin

The DNR tells NBC 15 they are still examining the decision and have not decided whether to continue to contest the petition originally filed in 2005 in court.

Rock-Koshkonong Lake District leaders expect they would challenge an additional dispute.

"With Lake Koshkonong being such a shallow pie plate on its lake bottom, just a few inches, we're talking about a nominal 7 in. of additional water in Lake Koshkonong, which means much shorter piers, much safer navigation," said Chairman Brian Christianson.

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POSTED Tuesday July 16, 2013

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A divided Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled against the state Department of Natural Resources in a case that could set a precedent for how much power the DNR has over setting lake water levels.

The case began in 2005 when the DNR rejected a request from the Rock-Koshkonong Lake District to raise water levels 7.2 inches on Lake Koshkonong, a 10,500 acre lake near Fort Atkinson.

The DNR argued raising the levels would worsen shore erosion and cause a loss of wetland habitat at the lake.

But the Supreme Court said Tuesday in a 4-3 decision that the DNR wrongly excluded testimony on the economic impact of lower water levels at the lake. Many in the area argued higher lake levels would increase tourism.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


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