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Crystal Lake Club

Crystal Lake ClubThe Crystal Lake Club (CLC) has been implementing and practicing positive stewardship of our land for over seventy years. Interested groups made up of our 74 property owners and their families have accepted the responsibility of monitoring and taking necessary action in areas including field and forest, lake quality and weed control, habitat, roads and bridges and fire protection. CLC cards for approximately 1,240 acres.

Crystal Lake ClubFor many years, members have received annual updates about protecting their property from fire by planning and preparing for fire season. Water backpacks have been purchased, four fire sirens have been placed around the lake and emergency fire numbers have been posted where they can be easily seen. Property owners have been encouraged to create effective defensible space around their structures. On April 14, 2003 a wildfire ignited in Marquette County just across the road from CLC association property. The fire, named "The Crystal Lake Fire", was a wake-up call for all of us. If the wind had changed direction it would have swept across our property with a vengeance.

For CLC property owners who witnessed the fire, it was clear that the size of fire equipment has increased from small trucks to huge tankers over the years. The first thing that came to mind was whether the road around Crystal Lake could accommodate such large vehicles.

Crystal Lake ClubCLC representatives called the ranger in Montello, who felt we were correct in our assumption that fire equipment would have difficulty crossing some culverts and making some sharp angle turns. He suggested we contact the Neshkoro Fire Department. Neshkoro Fire Chief Carey Coates was extremely helpful. He arranged a date and the assistant fire chief and one fireman were sent to Crystal Lake with the largest tank truck. Through their efforts, numerous large trees were marked; they were cut and removed last winter. One culvert was determined unsafe for the tanker trucks to cross. It was recommended that we treat both shoulders of the lake road. Those areas will also be trimmed to eliminate all obstructive vegetation and then adequate turn-arounds will be created to prevent traffic stoppage. An area has also been identified for tankers to refill from Crystal Lake. Details about property location, fire numbers and a map have been created and will be provided to the Neskoro Fire Department.

Crystal Lake ClubWith the help provided by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Neskoro Fire Department, the diligence of CLC owners will pay off with a safer community, enhanced property values and, perhaps, lower fire insurance rates.

During December 2003 and January 2004, trees were cut along the lake road to insure unobstructed access for fire and emergency vehicles. On May 15, 2004 a workday was held and 27 CLC association members contributed a minimum of 4 hours each. They operated two chippers and cleared and ground up the brush left from the tree cutting. Arrangements were made with a stump grinder and 56 stumps were also removed.

Crystal Lake ClubDuring the spring and summer of 2004, CLC property owners will work with the Neshkoro Fire Department to inspect each CLC property to ensure there is unobstructed access and the property is Firewise.