Kohler Company wants to add another championship golf course to their already impressive portfolio in the Sheboygan area, but this new proposed course has drawn a heavy opposition because of where the course would be located.
The proposed golf course would be on 247 land Kohler owns in between the Black River and the shore of Lake Michigan just north of Kohler Andrae State Park in the town of Wilson.
A group called the Friends of the Black River Forest has been very vocal against this golf course citing a number of different concerns.
They worry about Native American burial grounds, what will happen to the ground water and the surrounding ecosystem after 150 acres of trees will be removed, according to the environmental impact study.
Kohler Company says that they have a minimalist design and want to keep in tact as much of the rare wetlands and sand dunes that are unique to this area of the lakeshore.
Kohler also says that this will open up their land for public use for the first time and bring an economic impact of ten million dollars directly to the area, the Friends of the Black River Forest disputes that number.
Another golf course would also add to the prestige of the Sheboygan area, Kohler Company has hosted PGA championships at Blackwolf Run and Whistling Straits.
Whistling Straits was ranked by golf digest as the fourth best public golf course in the world and in 2020 it will be home to the Ryder Cup.
The Friends of the Black River Forest say that the economic impact wouldn’t be worth hurting the surrounding ecosystem that includes Kohler Andrae State Park, directly to the south of where the course would be.
Kohler Andrae State Park is the second most visited state park in Wisconsin and a popular destination for campers, another worry includes a shared entrance to both the golf course and the state park where Kohler has suggested building a roundabout.
Kohler Company also wants to use four acres of the state park for the golf course, in 1966 Herb Kohler Sr. donated 280 to the state that would become part of the state park, but the four acres Kohler wants to use was part of a families land that the state took away because of imminent domain.
Currently the DNR is looking at public opinion and says there has been no application for a permit, the DNR says when that happens they will open it back up for public comment.