Cranberry Island Update

Since December 2021, the Vilas County Land, Water and Forestry Committee has been discussing how to better deal with the cost and logistics of maintaining the picnic area on the north portion of Cranberry Island, which is owned by Vilas County.

Over the past few months ERCLA board members and members have been attending the committee meetings. There have also been several letters to the Vilas County News-Review editor in recent months regarding this topic.

The following are some of the issues regarding the island that have been discussed at the last few committee meetings.

  • A determination needs to be made as to the condition of the existing pier and then develop a plan to either repair or remove it.
  • The toilet situation requires resolution including the cleaning frequency and by whom, or is there a different approach which would be to replace or remove it all together?
  • The existing picnic tables needs repair or removal.
  • It has been suggested that the existing grills and fire pits be removed all together to prevent any chance of the island catching fire.
  • Shoreline erosion requires an evaluation.
  • A general maintenance plan including garbage removal requires evaluation.

At the recent April 5th meeting, the committee again discussed all of these issues and determined that some members of the committee will visit the island after ice out to personally observe and review them firsthand in order to develop an accurate account of where things stand. Going forward the committee will then develop a plan regarding upgrading and maintaining the island. ERCLA President Chuck Berg was in attendance and offered ERCLA’s help to develop a plan that would allow ERCLA volunteers to be part of the solution.

Finally, the good news for all ERCLA members who have been concerned about the suggested option to sell the island is that the committee officially voted to take the sale of the island off the table as they move forward in their planning process.

ERCLA will continue to keep you, our members, updated regarding the Cranberry Island plans as they progress.

Please keep in mind we will need your help to maintain the island if that is part of the plan so please contact [email protected] if you would like to be added to our list of volunteers that will help be part of the solution.

Stay tuned for updates as they come in.

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