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Walworth County dams to be removed

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Gazette Staff
October 1, 2008
— The Nature Conservancy announced Tuesday that it soon would begin work to partially remove two 50-year-old dams at its Crooked Creek Preserve in northeastern Walworth County.

The dams are considered unsafe, and they have impacted the ecological health of the Mukwonago River by altering the riverís flow and raising its temperature.


The conservancy will restore the land and water around the dams, including springs that constitute most of the riverís headwaters, to their historic natural condition. Water soon will be drawn down from artificial ponds created behind the dams. A contractor is then expected to start removing much of the dams themselves. The dams have numerous holes from tree roots and muskrats.


The conservancy is consulting with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Natural Resources Conservation Service on the project.


The work is expected to cost about $150,000 and is being paid for with a mix of state and federal grants as well as private money.


Crooked Creek Preserve will continue to be open to the public for hiking, birding and hunting during and after the restoration work; however, access in and around the dam sites may be limited while the work is in progress.



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