UPDATED JULY 15, 2018 — The Wisconsin DNR was advised on July 5 by Governor Walker’s Department of Administration (DOA) that renovation of the public boat landing in Landing Camp Bay at Lost Land Lake would be delayed until the second week of August. The initial start date was to be May 29. That was delayed to July 16. Now DOA, which manages ALL state construction contracts, has moved the start date to Monday, August 6. Access will be closed to public use for several weeks starting sometime on Sunday, August 5 when heavy equipment will be moved in to begin construction. The contract stipulates that all construction activities must be completed by Friday, August 31. Assuming the contractor meets this deadline, the renovated access facility in Landing Camp Bay should be available for public use on Labor Day weekend.
Directional road signs to the DNR boat access in Landing Camp Bay will be obscured during the renovation period. A traffic barrier will be erected near the intersection of Upper A and Landing Camp Road to minimize traffic in the construction zone. Access to local traffic (including property owners with dwellings beyond the boat landing) will be maintained throughout the construction period.
At their own expense, Ralph and Helen Hlavin at The Retreat on Lost Land Lake have hastened to upgrade their private boat ramp for the general public to use free of charge during the DNR facility renovation period. Plenty of space is available at The Retreat for vehicle maneuvering and parking. With all permits approved, the Hlavins’ project began on Friday, July 13 when Jim Miller Excavating moved materials and equipment to the site. Assuming no serious weather delays, construction should be completed in less than a week. The Retreat’s boat landing should be available for free public use well in advance of August 5 when the DNR facility closes for renovation. Temporary signage will help guide the public safely to The Retreat’s boat ramp and parking area.
Click on the bold blue link below for detailed directions to the Temporary Public Boat Landing at The Retreat while the DNR access in Landing Camp Bay is being renovated:
A complete renovation of the WDNR facility in Landing Camp Bay is needed after several years of ice damage and power loading rendered the current boat landing difficult if not downright unsafe to use. There is no good time to do this. Construction cannot be done during the “off season” because the project requires open water and temperatures warm enough to pour and cure concrete.
There are no good alternatives for launching boats on public land around Lost Land or Teal lakes. The gravel landing just north of Highway 77 on Larson Road, on the upper end of the Teal River Flowage, is sloped so shallowly that vehicles must back completely into the water to float a boat off a trailer, with some risk of getting stuck in the soft sediments there. This site is useful only for small-craft access (kayaks or canoes). There is no off-road parking at Larson Road either. The only other “boat landing” on public land is on a decent gravel slope just upstream of the rock roller dam on the Teal River Flowage about 1.5 miles south of Highway 77 on U.S. Forest Service land at the end of a short access road off Route S. It’s a long, slow ride up to Teal Lake from there, and there is room for only 2-3 vehicles with trailers to park.
Permit Review and Issuance for Alternate Access
The Hlavins needed permits from both WDNR and the Township of Spider Lake in order to proceed with repairs to their private boat ramp at The Retreat. WDNR approved shortly after learning the intent and scope of the project. The Township of Spider Lake Plan and Review Commission held a public hearing to consider the Hlavins’ Conditional Use Request on Wednesday, April 4, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. at the Spider Lake Town Hall. With approval of the QLIA Executive Committee, I attended the hearing and spoke in support of the project as a benefit to the entire lake community. I expressed appreciation to the Hlavins for their willingness to help all lake users make the best of an inconvenient situation. Members of the public and the Plan and Review Commission asked good questions and offered input that helped the Hlavins to resubmit their permit application with requested details aimed at addressing any lingering concerns. The Plan and Review Commission reconsidered the revised application at their May 2, 2018 meeting. After constructive discussion, they voted unanimously (4-0) to recommend approval to the Township of Spider Lake Board. The TOSL Board met on May 10, 2018. Under Brian Hucker’s leadership, they unanimously approved issuance of the required Conditional Use Permit.
Thanks again to Ralph and Helen Hlavin for spending the time and money needed to maintain public access to our lakes during WDNR’s facility renovation. Boat launching at The Retreat will be free of charge during the WDNR facility renovation period. Afterward, the Hlavins may charge a nominal fee for general public access at The Retreat in order to help defray costs of repairing and maintaining their boat ramp.
Thanks also to our partners at WDNR and the TOSL for engaging in a thorough, conscientious review before approving this project.