Sen. Cowles Questions DNR Decision to Close Potawatomi Tower

Senator Robert Cowles of Green Bay released the following statement after a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announcement to permanently close and dismantle the observation tower at Potawatomi State Park in Sturgeon Bay :

“Our state parks are not only critical in showcasing the best of our state’s natural beauty, but they provide hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity while generating thousands of jobs in the tourism and service industries. Views of Wisconsin’s pristine lakes and rivers are a substantial attraction in our state parks. The observation tower in Potawatomi State Park provided amazing views of the Green Bay for over eighty years, and I believe its absence will be greatly missed by park visitors, and this decision could leave a chilling effect on tourism in the park and throughout the community. While it’s understandable that the DNR has to consider safety first in decisions like this, I am disappointed by the DNR ’s current decision to permanently remove these iconic structures from the landscape.

“This decision marks the second observation tower in Door County that has been closed by the Department in recent years. The DNR has yet to begin the construction on Eagle Tower in Peninsula State Park, meaning that this will be the third year that hundreds of thousands of visitors miss the opportunity to witness the breathtaking views from the tower. Closing a second tower without any plans for reconstruction is just another sign that the State Park System may not be generating enough revenue to fully fund all the infrastructure needs, and that its priorities with the limited resources available may not be in – line with what the people of Wisconsin desire.”

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