Divided Wisconsin Supreme Court Limits DNR Power

Posted at: 07/16/2013 9:42 AM

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 (KOSH-kuh-nong) 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.

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