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Public park improvements focus of new Vilas County Forest plan

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Public park facilities on the Vilas County forest were identified for improvements in the county outdoor recreation plan presented to the county forestry committee last week. It will cost approximately $163,000 over a 15-year period.

The highest cost estimate of $70,000 was to make improvements to the county shooting range on Highway 45 south of Conover. Improvements would include a privy, new signs, and to restructure access paths to shooting benches and backstops to allow winter access. DNR range grants could cover $35,000 of the cost.

The replacement of a floating pier that is ADA compliant at the Eagle Lake boat landing is estimated to cost $26,000. The county will consider a $5.00 user fee.

To repair or replace the pier and swim buoys at Eagle Lake Park and swimming area is estimated to cost $18,000 with possible $9,000 grant.

Tamarack Springs campground improvements costing $15,000 could include reshaping current roadways and campsites to improve access, install a hammock camping site, and upgrade and replace fire rings on 10 old sites.

Removal of the deteriorating seawall at the Forest Street boat landing and placement of rip-rap would cost $18,000 less an estimated $7,500 grant.

The River Road equestrian campground would install a hitching rail near the restroom and enlarge the manure pit to allow removal by equipment. That is an estimated $1,000 cost.

Repairing blacktop access, removing dead trees, placing a wood duck nesting box and reducing erosion into the landing will have an estimated $2,000 cost.

The addition of a blacktop approach at the Pickerel Creek boat landing will cost an estimated $4,000.

Establishing vehicle barriers at Hunter Lake Park and swimming area to cost $3,000.

It will be additional $3,000 for placing two wood duck nesting boxes and remove fire ring at Upper Buckatabon Lake boat landing, place a 30-foot boardwalk to improve fishing pier access and repair fishing pier and access trail.

The county also plans to add donation tubes at seven access sites.

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