Two public information meetings take place this Friday in Manitowish Waters concerning the controversial operating order for the Rest Lake Dam.
The operating order for the dam -- which governs water depth and stream flows on the Manitowish River and Manitowish chain of lakes -- replaces an order dating to the 1930's that allows for a reduction of water levels by 3.5 feet each fall. The new order calls for a smaller 1-foot fall draw down, similar to other northern Wisconsin flowage systems including the Minocqua chain of lakes, the Eagle River chain, the Three Lakes chain and North and South Twin Lakes.
DNR Secretary's Director John Gozdzialski says the meetings Friday are meant to listen and learn..
"....these are opportunities for the public to learn more about the draft order and an opportunity to ask clarifying questions and then an opportunity for us to hear from the public about questions and concerns....."
Gozdzialski says they will take the input from the meetings back and then there will be a final operating order likely later this year...
".....the actual order probably won't be released until later in the year. It depends on how much feedback we get and how much additional evaluation we have to do...
The informational meetings on will be this Friday, June 27 from 12:30 to 5 p.m. and a secon meeting Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Manitowish Waters town hall. A third meeting is set for Saturday, Aug. 16 from 12:30 to 6 p.m. also at the town hall.
Gozdzialski says written comments are also being accepted until early September. He says if you go to the DNR website and type in "Rest Lake order", it will take you to a webpage with more information.