We respectfully request that the final Environmental Impact Statement regarding
the addition of the F-35 plane to Truax Field in Madison include consideration of
the effects of noise and other disturbances on the ecologically important Cherokee
Marsh Conservation Park and Cherokee Marsh State Natural Area.
The Cherokee Marsh is the largest wetland in Dane County and has been declared
a Wetland Gem by the Wisconsin Wetlands Association. Most of Cherokee
Marsh’s over 2000 acres of wetland lies immediately to the north and west of the
north-south runway of the Dane County Airport.
There is one active bald eagle nest in the marsh and another to the west of the
marsh. Though the bald eagle is no longer on the Endangered Species List,
it is still protected under the Migratory Bird Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle
Protection Act, which prohibits disturbing these rare birds.
Identified state-listed species in Cherokee Marsh include: Henslow’s sparrow
(Ammodramus henslowii, Threatened), red-headed woodpecker (Melanerpes
erythrocephalus, Special Concern), white lady’s slipper (Cypripedium candidum,
Threatened) glade mallow (Napaea dioica, Special Concern) and Butler’s garter
snake (Thamnophis butleri, Special Concern).
Effects of the proposed F-35s on sensitive species that live in or visit Cherokee
Marsh are absent from the EIS. It does not make sense to survey the developed
airport itself for federal- and state-listed species and not review the marsh.
The board of the Friends of Cherokee Marsh voted unanimously on Sept. 18, 2019
to ask that you correct this omission.
Board Member Anita Weier on behalf of the entire board