Except as provided in par. (c)
, the chief state forester may declare, and shall manage, emergencies that threaten state forest lands. The department shall promulgate rules specifying those emergencies over which the chief state forester shall have management responsibility. The emergencies specified in the rules shall include invasive species or pest infestation, disease, and damage to timber from fire, snow, hail, ice, or wind.
does not apply to a state of emergency declared by the governor under s. 323.10
and does not supersede the authority of the department of agriculture, trade and consumer protection under ch. 94
The chief state forester shall report directly to the secretary of the department.
History: 2005 a. 166
; 2009 a. 42
See also s. NR 45.075
, Wis. adm. code.
Designation of trails, etc. 23.115(1)(1)
The department shall designate trails, campgrounds, picnic areas, and other special use areas located on property under its control. The department may designate roads located on property under its control. The designated roads, trails, campgrounds, picnic areas, and other special use areas shall be shown on maps available at the department's district office, on a sign outside the office on the property or on signs placed by the designated roads, trails, campgrounds, picnic areas or other use areas at the option of the department.
The department shall inspect trail signs and designated features twice a year, once before July 1 and once after July 1.
does not apply to snowmobile trails on land under the control of the department that are maintained by snowmobile clubs or other nonprofit organizations or to water trails under s. 23.175 (2) (a)
does not apply to roads designated under sub. (1)
History: 1977 c. 418
; 1983 a. 418
; Stats. 1983 s. 23.115; 1995 a. 294
; 2013 a. 20
Department property; mapping and access to roads. 23.116(1)(1)
“Department property" means a property that is owned by the state, that is under the jurisdiction of the department, and that is used for one of the purposes specified in s. 23.09 (2) (d)
The department shall inventory and map all roads that are located on each department property. Each map shall designate which roads are open to the public for the use of motorized vehicles and shall state when each road is open or closed for such use.
For each department property, the department shall work with members of the public, governmental units, and other interested parties to prepare a plan for allowing the public to use motorized vehicles on the department property. Ecological, economic, and social criteria shall be considered in preparing each plan. Each plan shall include methods for implementing the plan, and each plan shall contain criteria to be used in determining when the use of motorized vehicles may be restricted or temporarily prohibited by the department due to logging or other activities.
The department may not prohibit a person engaged in silviculture from crossing a recreational trail on department property. At the request of a person engaging in silviculture, the department shall temporarily close a portion of a recreational trail on department property. Before the recreational trail is reopened, the person engaging in silviculture affecting the recreational trail shall restore any portion of the recreational trail affected by the silvicultural activities to its condition prior to those activities. The department may not limit the scope of a silvicultural activity on department property based on the proximity of that activity to a recreational trail on department property.
History: 2013 a. 20
; 2015 a. 55
Sale of insect repellant. 23.1165(2)
The department shall ensure that insect repellant is available for purchase in every state park and state forest through one of the following methods:
Making insect repellant available for sale at the state park office, state forest office, or other location in the state park or state forest at all times when the office or other location is open to the public and staffed.
Arranging by agreement with a friends group that operates a concession stand in a state park or state forest to have insect repellant available for purchase in that concession stand when open to the public and staffed.
The requirement under sub. (2)
does not apply with respect to a state park or state forest if there is no state park office, state forest office, or other location in the state park or state forest where the department can make insect repellant available for sale or no friends group that operates a concession stand in the state park or state forest or, if the state park or state forest office, other location, or friends group concession stand sells out of insect repellant, for an amount of time that is sufficient to allow for restocking.
History: 2019 a. 74
Use of trails by bicycles and electric personal assistive mobility devices. 23.117(1)(1)
No person may operate a bicycle, electric scooter, or electric personal assistive mobility device on a trail in a state park or in the Kettle Moraine state forest unless the department has determined that the trail will be opened for use by bicycles, electric scooters, or electric personal assistive mobility devices and has posted the trail open for such use.
The department shall patrol on a regular basis the trails in state parks and in the Kettle Moraine state forest that are open to use by bicycles, electric scooters, or electric personal assistive mobility devices.
Any council that is created by the natural resources board under s. 15.04 (1) (c)
to advise the department on the opening of trails in state parks and in the Kettle Moraine state forest for use by bicycles, electric scooters, or electric personal assistive mobility devices shall have its recommendations regarding such use reviewed and approved by the natural resources board before they are implemented.
The department shall, in consultation with the department of health services, design signs to raise awareness of Lyme disease, inform about how to prevent tick bites, and encourage people to check for ticks after visits to state parks, state trails, state recreational areas, and campgrounds. No later than July 1, 2020, the department shall post at least one such sign in each state park, state trail, state recreational area, and state forest. The department shall post the sign in a common area where it is most likely to be seen by visitors, such as a park entrance, trailhead, or campground.
History: 2019 a. 73
Lyme disease awareness. 23.1185(1)(1)
If the department produces a brochure for a specific state park that includes information about the state park that is not solely a map of the park, the department shall also include in the brochure information on Lyme disease, how to prevent tick bites, and that visitors are encouraged to check for ticks after visiting the park.
Annually in the month of May, in connection with Lyme Disease Awareness Month, the department shall conduct a Lyme disease awareness campaign with the goal of raising awareness of Lyme disease, informing on how to prevent tick bites, and encouraging people to check for ticks after spending time outdoors. The campaign shall use some combination of digital platforms, including the department's Internet site, social media, and digital newsletters, and print platforms, including the Wisconsin natural resources magazine.
History: 2019 a. 158
; 2021 a. 240
Consent to use certain off-highway vehicles. 23.119(1)(b)
“Off-highway vehicle" means a motor-driven craft or vehicle principally manufactured for off-highway use but does not include a snowmobile, an all-terrain vehicle, utility terrain vehicle, or an off-highway motorcycle.
No person may operate an off-highway vehicle on private property without the consent of the owner of the property.
No person may operate an off-highway vehicle on public property that is posted as closed to the operation of off-highway vehicles or on which the operation of an off-highway vehicle is prohibited by law.
Said natural resources board may make and establish such rules and bylaws, not inconsistent with law, as it deems useful to itself and its subordinates in the conduct of the business entrusted to it.
Natural resources board member conflicts of interest. 23.125(1)(1)
If a member of the natural resources board is the holder of a permit or license issued by the department under chs. 280
, that member may not engage in a discussion at a board meeting or participate in a board decision on any matter that substantially relates to the permit or license.
If a member of the natural resources board receives, or has during the previous 2 years received, a significant portion of his or her income directly or indirectly from a holder of or applicant for a permit or license issued by the department under chs. 280
, that member may not engage in a discussion at a board meeting or participate in a board decision on any matter that substantially relates to the permit or license, except that this restriction does not apply with respect to a permit or license held or applied for by an agency, department, or subdivision of this state.
History: 2001 a. 16
Governor to be informed.
The board of commissioners of public lands and the department of natural resources shall furnish to the governor upon the governor's request a copy of any paper, document or record in their respective offices and give the governor orally such information as the governor may call for.
History: 1971 c. 164
; 1991 a. 316
Forest land inventory and report. 23.135(1)(1)
In this section, “state forest land" means any parcel of 10 or more contiguous acres of forested land owned by this state and under the jurisdiction of the department.
The department shall undertake and maintain a current inventory of state forest lands. The inventory shall specify the condition of the forest resources in state forest lands.
If the department prohibits the use of timber harvesting on any state forest land, the department shall prepare a report that contains a projection of the long-term forest health effects, a projection of the economic effects, and a projection of the public benefits that result from that prohibition.
Except as provided in par. (b)
, if the department is required to prepare a report under sub. (3)
for any state forest land, the department shall prepare that report by January 1, 2010, and every 15 years thereafter.
If the department is required to prepare a report under sub. (3)
for any state forest land for which a master plan has not been approved, the department shall prepare that report upon approval of the master plan and every 15 years thereafter.
The department shall submit the report required under sub. (3)
to the council on forestry and to the appropriate standing committee in each house of the legislature under s. 13.172 (3)
History: 2005 a. 166
Approval required before new lands acquired.
Prior to the initial acquisition of any lands by the department after July 1, 1977, for any new facility or project, the proposed initial acquisition shall be submitted to the governor for his or her approval. New facilities or projects include, without limitation because of enumeration, state parks, state forests, recreation areas, public shooting, trapping or fishing grounds or waters, fish hatcheries, game farms, forest nurseries, experimental stations, endangered species preservation areas, picnic and camping grounds, hiking trails, cross-country ski trails, bridle trails, nature trails, bicycle trails, snowmobile trails, youth camps, land in the lower Wisconsin state riverway as defined in s. 30.40 (15)
, natural areas and wild rivers.
Certain land sales required. 23.145(1)(1)
The natural resources board shall on or before June 30, 2017, offer for sale at least 10,000 acres of land owned by the state, under the jurisdiction of the department, and outside of project boundaries that were established by the department on or before May 1, 2013.
If there is any outstanding public debt used to finance the acquisition of any land that is sold under sub. (1)
, the department shall deposit a sufficient amount of the net proceeds from the sale of the land in the bond security and redemption fund under s. 18.09
to repay the principal and pay the interest on the debt, and any premium due upon refunding any of the debt. If there is any outstanding public debt used to finance the acquisition of any land that is sold under sub. (1)
, the department shall then provide a sufficient amount of the net proceeds from the sale of the land for the costs of maintaining federal tax law compliance applicable to the debt. If the land was acquired with federal financial assistance, the department shall pay to the federal government any of the net proceeds required by federal law. If the land was acquired by gift or grant or acquired with gift or grant funds, the department shall adhere to any restriction governing use of the proceeds. If there is no such debt outstanding, there are no moneys payable to the federal government, and there is no restriction governing use of the proceeds, and if the net proceeds exceed the amount required to be deposited, paid, or used for another purpose under this subsection, the department shall use the net proceeds or remaining net proceeds from the sale of land under sub. (1)
to pay principal on outstanding public debt under the Warren Knowles-Gaylord Nelson stewardship 2000 program under s. 23.0917
History: 2013 a. 20
Installation of telecommunications systems. 23.146(1)(1)
In this section, “tower site" means a site on land under the management and control of the department and on which the department operates a radio tower or lookout tower.
The department may enter into a lease of a tower site with a private person or a governmental entity for the purpose of installing a commercial or noncommercial telecommunications system. The lease may allow the owner or operator of the telecommunications system to provide telecommunications services to persons other than employees of a governmental entity.
The department may not charge a fee to lease a tower site if the purpose of the lease is to install a telecommunications system that is owned by this state.
The department may not charge a fee that exceeds $25 per month to lease a tower site if the purpose of the lease is to install a telecommunications system that is owned by a governmental entity other than this state.
History: 2013 a. 27
; 2013 a. 173
Sale of state-owned lands under the jurisdiction of the department of natural resources. 23.15(1)(1)
The natural resources board may sell, at public or private sale, lands and structures owned by the state under the jurisdiction of the department of natural resources, except central or district office facilities, when the natural resources board determines that the lands are no longer necessary for the state's use for conservation purposes and, if real property, the real property is not the subject of a petition under s. 16.310 (2)
Said natural resources board shall present to the governor a full and complete report of the lands to be sold, the reason for the sale, the price for which said lands should be sold together with an application for the sale of the same. The governor shall thereupon make such investigation as the governor deems necessary respecting said lands to be sold and approve or disapprove such application. If the governor shall approve the same, a permit shall be issued by the governor for such sale on the terms set forth in the application.
Notwithstanding sub. (1)
, the natural resources board shall sell, at fair market value, land in the lower Wisconsin state riverway, as defined in s. 30.40 (15)
, that is not exempt under s. 30.48 (2)
and that is acquired by the department after August 9, 1989, if all of the following conditions are met:
The land was acquired for its scenic value to the lower Wisconsin state riverway and not for any other purpose.
The sale of the land does not impair the scenic value of the lower Wisconsin state riverway.
The department retains an easement and all other rights that are necessary to preserve the scenic value of the lower Wisconsin state riverway.
Notwithstanding sub. (1)
, the natural resources board is not required to make a finding that land to be sold under par. (a)
is no longer necessary for the state's use for conservation purposes.
The procedure in sub. (2)
does not apply to sales of land under this subsection.
Upon completion of such sale, the chairperson and secretary of the natural resources board, or the secretary of natural resources, if the secretary is duly authorized by the natural resources board, shall execute such instruments as are necessary to transfer title and the natural resources board or its duly authorized agents shall deliver the same to the purchaser upon payment of the amount set forth in the application.
The natural resources board shall deposit the proceeds from any sale of lands or structures under this section in the conservation fund to be used to acquire land, as provided in s. 23.09 (2) (d)
, or easements, as provided in s. 23.094 (3)
, or to develop land or easements. If the land or structures were initially purchased by the department with federal moneys, the department shall comply with any limitations on the use of the proceeds from the sale of the land or structures. The proceeds from any sale of lands or structures under this section may not be used to fund full-time equivalent positions or to pay program administration costs, other than costs payable to the department of administration.
In this subsection, “surplus land" means land under the jurisdiction of the department which is unused and not needed for department operations or included in the department's plan for construction or development.
Biennially, beginning on January 1, 1984, the department shall submit to the state building commission and the joint committee on finance an inventory of surplus land containing the description, location and fair market value of each parcel.