RESPONDING TO DEVELOPMENT
The Stewards were formed out of a concern that development should not be visible from the water along the Wisconsin River corridor from Nine Eagles north of Louis' Bluff to the Rocky Islands in the Lower Dells. Soon after our formation, the City of Wisconsin Dells Plan Commission, began consideration of a new condominium resort near Sugar Bowl in the Lower Dells.
On June 14, 2006, we presented a resolution to the Plan Commission objecting to the plans for the development because of its threat to the scenic beauty of the Wisconsin River.
ESTABLISHING SHORELAND BUFFER ZONE
On June 24, 2007, the City of Wisconsin Dells under the leadership of Mayor Craig Casey adopted a new zoning code which established a shoreland buffer zone and overlay district. Several months later the City added the same protection for future annexations along the river shoreline. See the Land Use section Article 5, 19.950 for the language.
ESTABLISHING WATER SAFETY RULES
In May of 2007, the Stewards hosted a water safety panel, which included Doug Parrott from State Representative Doc Hines' office, Roy Zellmer and Dave Holmes of the DNR, Brian Wilde who patrols the Upper Dells for Juneau County, and Bret Anderson who is Chief of Police in Wisconsin Dells.
As a result of this meeting the City of Wisconsin Dells has asked the DNR to place caution buoys at the head and foot of the Narrows. The DNR has taken our request a step further and is considering making the Devil's Elbow area from Chapel Gorge to Artist's Glen a no-wake zone.
The City is also pursing the annexation into the City to the opposite side of the Upper Dells river channel as far north as Chula Vista in order that more consistent law enforcement will create a safer environment for recreational boaters, fishermen, and swimmers.
CREATING CONSERVATION EASEMENTS
In January of 2008, the board of directors of the Natural Heritage Land Trust out of Madison agreed to work with the Stewards to create conservation easements in the DNR's State Natural Area acquisition lands.
FRAMING THE FUTURE
In June 2010, the Stewards sponsored a "Frame the Future" forum at the H.H. Bennett Studios in conjunction with Bill Pielsticker and Tracy Madison's rephotography project of H.H. Bennett photos of the Wisconsin Dells. The forum panel, representing key stakeholders in the future of the river corridor, identified critical issues affecting the corridor's future.