Kohler wants to build a championship golf course on 250 acres of land the company owns near the town of Wilson, however some residents don’t want a golf course in that location.
The proposed golf course would be built adjacent to Kohler-Andrae State Park and Kohler would use at least four acres of the park, it would be in between the Black River and the shores of Lake Michigan.
Kohler’s general manager of golf, Jim Richerson says the golf course would have a huge economic impact for Sheboygan County bringing 227 full time jobs, plus 95 construction jobs and tourism.
“$25 million dollars annually in revenue,” said Richerson citing a survey. “This is a great thing for the local economy.”
However, a group called the Friends of the Black Forest doesn’t want a golf course in this location for environmental reason.
Citing the impact of losing trees that will hurt the surrounding area including Kohler-Andrae State Park, which in turn will hurt the native habitat, they are also concerned about the future of their water wells and the lake.
“The impacts will go on for years when you deforest 160 of the 247 acres,” said Mary Faydash of the Friends of the Black Forest. “Our role is to point out that this process is absolutely wrong.”
Kohler says they want to be good neighbors and worked with the DNR to come up an environmental impact study, Richerson says the plan for the new golf course has a minimalist design to help preserve the area.
Faydash says that the DNR acted too quickly pushing this study through and didn’t take enough time to know what the environmental impact will be.
“There is not enough information,” said Faydash. “Kohler didn’t even complete it’s environmental impact report.”
The group will have a chance to discus some of these issues in a meeting tonight with representatives of Kohler.