Supporting Statements

Phillip R

"My wife and I sold the land to the present owner. He assured us that he only wanted the land to preserve it and to prevent it from being developed so he and his young family could enjoy it. We did not need to sell the property but as were getting older we decided to cut our work load. He seemed like a nice honest young man so we agreed to sell.

Bottom line, we were lied to."

Kendra J

"Our lakes are quiet,clean,and well-respected. A big campground like this could potentially change all 3 of these aspects."

Jeff O

"My family has had a cabin of Viola lake for 49 years. There is already enough lake traffic adding a campground of that size would only make it worse. Let a lone all the one traffic and noise it would bring. I’m strongly against the campground being built"

Francine R

"I go and visit Lake Viola 4 or 5 times each summer and fall! The lake is beautiful, the water clean, everyone is so respectful of others and of their surroundings! It would be a shame to ruin such a perfect place.

Duane H

"This will not be good for our lakes, the public launches are already overwhelmed , and the lake is over used, the highway traffic is a big concern for safety."

Ava Driscoll

"Increased traffic will greatly harm the ecosystems of both lakes and change the peaceful atmosphere so many of us enjoy."

Katelyn S

"We have seen the outcome of a campground on Big Sand Lake in prior years. We ask that history not repeat itself for the sake of our future generations."

Keri J

"I own a cabin on Olsen road. Already no parking at the boat ramp."

Brian & Ramona I.

"Our cabin property will be only 100 feet away from the camp sites and we do not want that. We have the cabin for peace and quiet. There will be more traffic, more noise and ATV's. Big sand is a beautiful lake and we don't want it destroyed by more boats and people that wouldn't care about the area."

Sue W

" Dear neighbors/organizers, Thank you so much for the action and tremendous support for saving the precious strip of land between Big Sand and Viola lakes from needless and damaging exploitation. Besides we humans who benefit from wild spaces, this little piece of land is also important to animals large and small. It is THE passageway for deer, bears and more to mini-migrate east and west between Viola and Big Sand. Any alternative is a huge detour. Perhaps the DNR could execute eminent domain in their interest? (prior property owner)"

Mark B

"I agree with everything that has been said already. I am very concerned about the increase in boat traffic. The lake is already very crowded on weekends. My grandchildren love to paddle along the shore in their paddle boat, I fear for their safety and everyone else on the lake. Once there is a fatality or injury it's to late to say we should have done something. By then the camp ground will be in place and it will never go away."

Sandy B

"The campground will negatively impact the water quality and property on Viola Lake. This clean and peaceful lake is our home. The increased boat traffic also raises concerns of water safety. Our small parking area is already usually filled on weekends. I know Brian Bocan talks about boat slips on other lakes, which there is usually a waiting list are very limited. There is NO aspect of this campsite that does not have a negative impact on our lakes and homes."

Lou Ann & Robert M

"I signed this petition because my husband and I have a cabin on Olsen Road which is just to the north of where this site is. We have had this cabin for nearly forty years. We purchased this for the peace and quiet and serenity. I walk my dog along Olsen Road and I fear the increased traffic will make it unsafe to continue to do so. We fish on Big Sand Lake and there are already rude and disrespectful persons on speed boats and jet skis who come too close to us on the lake. This can only worsen with the increase in lake traffic. I am very concerned about how this can affect the environment, including increased noise, air, and water pollution and destruction of habitat. We see deer and bear and other wildlife near our cabin and would hate for all that to disappear.

Leslie P

"These lakes are special, and we’d like them to remain that way"

Adrian H

"I fundamentally oppose the development of this area for both environmental and noise purposes as well as traffic."

Mary J

"A campground will significantly increase the day use of both lakes and significantly impact the health and wellness of the lakes! We have many loons that reside and nest on Big Sand Lake each year, often bearing chicks... increasing lake use will negatively impact the habitat for them and push them out of the lake. Invasive species are more likely to show up with increased use. Shorelines erosion occurs with more lake use and water clarify will diminish. Save Big Sand and Lake Viola!"

Paul D

"The environmental impact on these lakes from additional load and invasive species needs to be studied and documented/shared before a density decision could be made. Big Sand is one of few special lakes left, let’s keep it that way!"

Allison M

"Big Sand Lake is a special and spiritual place for us. It would be a great disservice to the lake and greatly affect its integrity if the proposed campground were to be built. We enjoy the serenity, beauty, and precious wildlife that call this lake home. Lets keep it that way."

John S

"I am concerned with higher volume of boat traffic and water quality of our small lake. We have been fortunate not to have invasive species in the lake. Noise pollution would go up exponentially with added camp sites. I also feel the people on these lakes love their lakes and the tranquility. Typically camp sites do not care about the lake quality or take ownership to maintain the lake."

Sandy B

"The campground will negatively impact the water quality and property on Viola Lake. This clean and peaceful lake is our home. The increased boat traffic also raises concerns of water safety. Our small parking area is already usually filled on weekends. I know Brian Bocan talks about boat slips on other lakes, which there is usually a waiting list are very limited. There is NO aspect of this campsite that does not have a negative impact on our lakes and homes."

Sheldon O

"I fear that having a transient population of campers and boaters from most likely the Twin Cities area will increase the chance of invasive plants and animals being introduced into our area lakes.

We, as home owners in the area, will bear the cost of dealing with any invasive species. Just imagine Lake Viola full of milfoil. We have what amounts to a residential neighborhood and placing a business in the middle of it is inappropriate. That is why the land is zoned as it is and should remain so without exceptions."

Map Updated as of 9/1 - 8AM

Recent Additions:

  • 24872

  • 24525 Larabeee Subdivision

  • 5251 St Road 70

Burnett County Sentinel - 9/4/2020

The Land Use and Information committee voted to deny a conditional use permit with no opposing votes for a campground near Big Sand and Viola lakes.The conditional use permit states the application is requesting to build 125 campsites to be developed over three years. The application, submitted by Brian and Melissa Bocan, proposed each site will be up to 400 square feet with decks/porches/patios/awnings and each site will have a shed up to 250 square feet.About 140 people were in attendance for the public discussion regarding the campground.“Burnett County needs people like us,” Brian Bocan said. He told the Land Use and Information Committee on Tuesday that he has heard from residents since 2017 that the county needs young people willing to start businesses here.The 125 sites will sit on about 21 acres between Big Sand Lake and Viola Lake. Bocan said they are not offering a boat landing on the campground.Big Sand, Viola Lake Area Concerned Citizens or BSVLACC is opposed to the campground. An online petition gained almost 650 signatures in a week. They are not the only ones opposed to the campground.The St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin Tribal Council sent a letter to the Land Services Department formally opposing the campground proposal.“The Tribe is most concerned with the possibility of added lakeshore erosion on Big Sand Lake, an issue that has been addressed multiple times over the past several years and continues to be of concern by the Tribe: the possibility of an increase in invasive species being introduced in the lake as a result of increased boaters and campers.”The letter also outlines potential disruptions of fish spawning, increased boating hindering the Tribe’s Sand Lake Reservation Community to peacefully and privately enjoy their homes.“The Tribe is concerned that this development is rushed and without consideration to the potential environment and economic impacts this will have on the lake and surrounding communities.”Brad Kautzer is the president of BSVLACC, he told the committee this high-density campground is “inappropriate for the area.” Others called the proposal short sighted and said Highway 70 may need to be widened to incorporate the increased traffic.Another nearby resident said 125 campsites is more than the number of houses on either Big Sand or Viola Lake.Land Services was inundated with emails opposing the campground, some with lengthy concerns and dozens of people spoke in opposition to the proposal.There was some support for the campground. A handful of identical emails were received by the Land Services Department supporting the project and a few people including Bocan spoke in favor of the campground.Supervisor Craig Conroy, Jim Paden and Jim Pearson spoke about the conditional use permit.Conroy said a lot of the public concerns are speculative, Paden said he wants more information on erosion and Pearson said the Tribe’s concerns about the lake are important to look into.