History: 1971 c. 125
; 1973 c. 90
; 1973 c. 245
; 1975 c. 365
; 1977 c. 29
; 1979 c. 34
; 1981 c. 20
; 1983 a. 19
; 1983 a. 27
, 2202 (38)
; 1983 a. 325
; 1985 a. 29
; 1987 a. 27
; 1989 a. 31
; 1991 a. 39
; 1993 a. 16
; 1995 a. 27
; 1997 a. 27
; 1999 a. 9
; 2001 a. 16
; 2005 a. 25
; 2007 a. 20
; 2009 a. 28
; 2011 a. 168
; 2013 a. 6
; 2013 a. 168
; 2015 a. 55
; 2017 a. 59
Merely expressing a statement of purpose, nothing in sub. (1) establishes the requisite criteria for a petitioner to use s. 227.52 or 227.53 to challenge the Department of Natural Resources' or the governor's decisions impacting state parks. Lacking such substantive criteria, nothing in this section protects, recognizes, or regulates any person's interests or contemplates a challenge to a department decision to convey land to a private party. Friends of the Black River Forest v. Kohler Co., 2022 WI 52
, 402 Wis. 2d 587
, 977 N.W.2d 342
Copper Culture Mounds State Park.
The department of natural resources shall accept a grant of lands in the city of Oconto, Oconto County, and shall develop and maintain it as a state park to be known as Copper Culture Mounds State Park.
History: 1973 c. 333
Liability of vehicle owners. 27.014(1c)(1c)
In this section, with respect to a vehicle that is registered, or is required to be registered, by a lessee of the vehicle under ch. 341
, “owner" means the lessee of the vehicle.
If the department finds a vehicle in a vehicle admission area, as defined in s. 27.01 (7) (a) 3.
, that does not have a valid receipt affixed to it or otherwise displayed as authorized under s. 27.01 (7) (e)
and the department cannot locate the operator of the vehicle, the owner of the vehicle shall be presumed liable for a violation of s. 27.01 (7) (b)
Notwithstanding par. (a)
, no owner of a vehicle involved in a violation of s. 27.01 (7) (b)
may be convicted under this section if the person who, at the time of the violation, is operating the vehicle or who has the vehicle under his or her control has been convicted for the violation under par. (a)
or s. 27.01 (7) (b)
Service may be made by certified mail addressed to the vehicle owner's last-known address.
The following are defenses to the imposition of liability under sub. (1m)
That a report that the vehicle was stolen was given to the department before the violation occurred or within a reasonable time after the violation occurred.
If the owner of the vehicle provides the department with the name and address of the person operating the vehicle or having the vehicle under his or her control at the time of the violation and sufficient information for the department to determine that probable cause does not exist to believe that the owner of the vehicle was operating the vehicle at the time of the violation, then the owner of the vehicle shall not be liable under sub. (1m)
or s. 27.01 (7) (b)
If the vehicle is owned by a lessor of vehicles and at the time of the violation the vehicle was in the possession of a lessee, and the lessor provides the department with the information required under s. 343.46 (3)
, then the lessee and not the lessor shall be liable under sub. (1m)
or s. 27.01 (7) (b)
If the vehicle is owned by a dealer, as defined in s. 340.01 (11) (intro.)
but including the persons specified in s. 340.01 (11) (a)
, and at the time of the violation the vehicle was being operated by or was under the control of any person on a trial run, and if the dealer provides the department with the name, address and operator's license number of the person operating the vehicle, then that person, and not the dealer, shall be liable under sub. (1m)
or s. 27.01 (7) (b)
History: 1995 a. 27
; 1997 a. 27
State parks and forests grant program. 27.016(1)(a)
“Endowment fund" means an endowment, trust or other segregated fund for the benefit of a specific state park, southern state forest or state recreation area.
“Friends group" means a nonstock, nonprofit corporation described under section 501
(c) (3) or (4) of the Internal Revenue Code and exempt from taxation under section 501
(a) of the Internal Revenue Code that is organized to raise funds for state parks, state forests or state recreation areas.
“Southern state forest" means a state forest that is located within the region specified in s. 25.29 (7) (a)
The department shall establish a grant program under which friends groups that qualify under par. (b)
may receive matching grants for the operation and maintenance of state parks, southern state forests or state recreation areas.
To qualify for a grant under this section, a friends group shall have established an endowment fund for the benefit of a state park, a southern state forest or a state recreation area and shall have entered into a written agreement with the department as required by the department by rule.
The department shall promulgate rules to establish criteria to be used in determining which friends groups and which activities related to the maintenance or operation of state parks, southern state forests or state recreation areas are eligible for these grants.
The department may not expend more than $30,000 as grants under this section for a given friends group, state park, southern state forest or state recreation area in a fiscal year.
The amount of a grant under this section shall equal 50 percent of the amount of matching funds that are provided by the friends group for the grant. A friends group may only use the interest generated by the endowment fund for purposes of providing the matching funds. The matching funds and the grant may be used only for the operation and maintenance of the state park, southern state forest or state recreation area that the endowment fund was established to benefit.
Annually, on or before January 1, the department shall review all applications received under this section in the previous year and shall make the grants that it approves from the appropriation under s. 20.370 (1) (eq)
. If insufficient funds are available to pay all approved grants, the board shall prorate the available funds among the applicants in proportion to the approved grant amounts.
Beginning in fiscal year 1996-97 and for each fiscal year thereafter, any moneys not encumbered or expended for grants under sub. (6)
from the appropriation under s. 20.370 (1) (eq)
may be used by the department for the operation and maintenance of the state parks, of the southern state forests and of state recreation areas.
History: 1995 a. 27
; 1997 a. 313
See also s. NR 1.71
, Wis. adm. code.
“Rural planning" as used in this section means planning for the health, general welfare, and amenity of the settler; planning for the establishment of the best possible transportation facilities; planning for the creation and development of the most logical community centers where country people can come together for social and business relations; planning for the setting aside of country parks, recreation fields, county fairgrounds, community woodlands, places of local and historic interest, and for the reservation of land for public uses along river fronts, lake shores, fine outlooks from hilltops, and for the preservation of our native landscape.
Department of agriculture, trade and consumer protection, duty.
The department of agriculture, trade and consumer protection shall stimulate interest and disseminate information along lines of rural planning and shall cooperate with county rural planning committees in carrying out their duties as provided by sub. (7)
In each county there shall be a county rural planning committee. The committee shall consist of the chairperson of the county board and the chairperson of the county highway committee, and 2 others, to be appointed by the chairpersons every 4 years for a term of 4 years and until a successor is elected and qualified. Terms of appointed members expire on July 1. The chairperson of the county board shall be chairperson of the committee.
Elected members shall be freeholders of the county and have a general interest in and knowledge of rural planning. All members shall be reimbursed by the county for their actual and necessary expenses incurred while acting as members of such committee. The county board may set a per diem for such members for days attended at committee meetings or spent in the interests of rural planning and, in counties where the rural planning committee operates a county park or parks which bring a financial return to the county, the county board may provide a salary for the secretary of the rural planning committee.
The county rural planning committee shall:
Keep itself informed of the progress of rural planning in this and other counties.
Report to the county, town or village boards upon the architectural design of any public building or bridge, the geographical location of community centers, the location or design of any statue or memorial, works of art and mural decorations in public buildings when such are proposed, to the end that such matters may be made in the highest degree effective, permanent, dignified and fitting through proper design, form and situation.
Advise regarding the planting and protection of trees, shrubs and flowers along all highways within the county to the end that they shall be so located as not to interfere with the maintenance of said highway, and that only trees, shrubs and flowers native to Wisconsin be used for this purpose.
Consider and provide for the establishment of community parks and woodlands, proportioned and situated so as to provide ample and equal facilities for the establishment of community parks and residents of the county.
Propose to the county board the setting aside of places of historic interest and the protection and preservation of unique and picturesque scenery along rivers, lakes and streams, or other scenery or features remarkable, to the end that they may be continued and preserved.
It may under the direction of the county board, operate a county park or parks for tourist camping and general public amusement, and may establish fees, concession privileges and grants and employ such help as is needed to operate the park or parks for the best county interests. The county board shall establish rules and regulations governing the conduct and behavior of patrons in and on any such park and shall provide for penalties for infractions of these rules and regulations. When such parks have bathing beaches in connection with them, the county board shall make rules and regulations governing the operation of motor boats in or near such beaches, and provide penalties for infraction of such rules and regulations. The board shall also establish rules, regulations and penalties for infractions thereof, for all roads in county parks and all such roads shall be part of the county highway system.
Reports to county board.
The county board may call upon such committee to report with recommendations upon any matter relating to rural planning, and such committee shall make its report within 30 days after such request is made unless a longer or shorter period is specified. But such committee may at any time, on its own motion, make recommendations on any phase of rural planning to the county board.
Committee secretary; planning experts.
Such committee with the consent of the county board may appoint as secretary a person of skill and experience in rural development and may with the consent of such board employ consulting rural planning experts for the making of plans or maps of the county or any portion thereof showing location, design or treatment of proposed projects referred to in this section, as occasion may require.
Acquisition of land.
Any county in which there does not exist a county park commission acting through its rural planning committee may acquire by gift, grant, devise, donation, purchase, condemnation or otherwise, with the consent of the county board, a sufficient tract or tracts of land for the reservation for public use of river fronts, lake shores, picnic groves, outlook points from hilltops, places of special historic interest, memorial grounds, parks, playgrounds, sites for public buildings, and reservations in and about and along and leading to any or all of the same, and to develop and maintain the same for public use. The power of condemnation may not be used for the purpose of establishing or extending a recreational trail; a bicycle way, as defined in s. 340.01 (5s)
; a bicycle lane, as defined in s. 340.01 (5e)
; or a pedestrian way, as defined in s. 346.02 (8) (a)
Enforce highway littering law.
Such committee shall work out plans to enforce the provisions of s. 287.81 (2) (a)
prohibiting the depositing of solid waste on or along highways.
Cooperation of state departments.
The department of agriculture, trade and consumer protection, the department of administration, the department of natural resources and the agricultural extension division of the University of Wisconsin shall cooperate with the several county rural planning committees in carrying out this section.
County rural planning committee, when unnecessary.
Any county wherein there exists a county park board and any county which shall create a park commission under s. 27.02
shall not create a county rural planning committee but in such county the county park board or commission shall exercise and be possessed of all the powers and duties imposed upon the county rural planning committee by this section.
The mill annual tax levy limitations set forth in s. 27.06 apply when county parks are operated by a county park commission, pursuant to s. 27.02 or a county board committee to which the functions and duties of a park commission have been transferred but not when county parks are operated under the express provisions of s. 27.015 [now this section]. 60 Atty. Gen. 124.
County park commission, appointment, term, oath. 27.02(1)(1)
Except as provided under sub. (2)
, in every county with a population of at least 150,000, but less than 750,000, and in any other county with a population of less than 150,000 wherein the county board has by resolution provided for a county park commission subject to ss. 27.02
, the chairperson of the county board shall appoint a county park commission consisting of 7 members, any number of which may be members of the county board. The appointments shall be made in writing and filed in the office of the county clerk. The term of each member, except county board members, is 7 years following July 1 of the year in which the appointment is made and until the appointment and qualification of a successor, except that the first 7 members shall be appointed respectively for such terms that on July 1 in each of the 7 years following the year in which they are appointed the term of one member will expire. After the original appointments one commissioner shall be appointed annually in the month of June to succeed the member whose term will expire on July 1 following, except that in counties with a population of at least 150,000 but less than 750,000 the members shall be elected by the county board of supervisors. The term of any park commissioner appointed to the commission while serving as a county board member shall end when the commissioner's membership on the county board terminates, unless thereafter reappointed to the commission.
In any county with a county executive or county administrator except a county with a population of less than 150,000 which has not by resolution provided for a county park commission subject to ss. 27.02
or except any county exercising power under s. 27.075
, the county park commission shall consist of 7 members appointed by the county executive or county administrator, subject to confirmation by the county board. The term of office for such members shall be as provided by sub. (1)
. A member of the commission appointed under this subsection may be removed at pleasure by the county executive or county administrator.
Each of said commissioners shall take and file the official oath.
The mill annual tax levy limitations set forth in s. 27.06 apply when county parks are operated by a county park commission, pursuant to this section or a county board committee to which the functions and duties of a park commission have been transferred but not when county parks are operated under the express provisions of s. 27.015 [now s. 27.019]. 60 Atty. Gen. 124.
A city may not delegate its powers under ss. 27.08 and 27.09 to a county park commission created under this section. 61 Atty. Gen. 229.
Within 30 days after their appointment and qualification the said commissioners shall convene at the courthouse and perfect an organization; and thereupon such park commission shall have the usual powers of such bodies in addition to those hereinafter enumerated, shall use a common seal, make bylaws and choose annually from its members all necessary officers.
In any county with a county executive or a county administrator, the county executive or county administrator shall appoint and supervise a general manager of the park system. The appointment shall be subject to confirmation by the county board unless the county board, by ordinance, elects to waive confirmation or unless the appointment is made under a civil service system competitive examination procedure established under s. 59.52 (8)
or ch. 63
. In any county with a population of 750,000 or more, the general manager of the park system shall be in the unclassified civil service and is subject to confirmation by the county board unless the county board, by ordinance, elects to waive confirmation.
The county board shall provide suitable offices where the maps, plans, documents, and records of the commission shall be kept, subject to public inspection at all reasonable hours and under such reasonable regulations as it may prescribe.
Preliminary survey. 27.04(1)(1)
Except as provided under sub. (1m)
, the commission shall make a thorough study of the county with reference to making reservations and acquisitions of lands therein for public uses, the improvement of such lands for parks, playgrounds, forest reservations, parkways and boulevards; make surveys, lay out maps, other plans and maps of a comprehensive county park system, and a county system of streets and parkways, including contiguous land of whatever shape or area designed to be ultimately used, in whole or in part, for highways, or, in whole or in part, for parkways; gather such further information in relation thereto as it deems useful and report the same to the county board. It shall make such other or further reports as may be requested by the county board. In making such studies, surveys and obtaining such information, and in making such reports, the commission shall give consideration, among other matters, to the health, comfort, enjoyment and general welfare of the people of the county, to the protection of streams, lakes and pools from pollution, to the use by the public of lakes, pools and the banks thereof, to the reforestation for public use and enjoyment of tracts of land, to the conservation of flooded areas, and to the preservation of places of natural beauty and of historic or scientific interest.
Any general manager appointed under s. 27.03 (2)
shall have the administrative powers and duties prescribed for the commission under sub. (1)
The county board thereafter may by ordinance adopt the plans proposed by the commission or general manager for such comprehensive county park system, or for such a county system of streets and parkways, in whole or in part, and with such changes or modifications as it deems necessary, and may subsequently alter, change, enlarge, extend or modify the same in any respect deemed necessary.
History: 1985 a. 29
Powers of commission or general manager.
The county park commission, or the general manager in counties with a county executive or county administrator, shall have charge and supervision of all county parks and all lands acquired by the county for park or reservation purposes. The county park commission or general manager, subject to the general supervision of the county board and regulations prescribed by the county board, except as provided under s. 27.03 (2)
, may do any of the following:
Lay out, improve, maintain and govern all county parks and open spaces.
Provide by contract with sanitary districts, counties, towns, cities or villages, subject to the approval of the county board of supervisors, or in any other manner, for the disposal of sewage arising from the use of county parks and take all action necessary to prevent the pollution of park or parkway areas or any portion thereof by sewage emanating from upland areas.
Lay out, determine and prescribe building lines along, grade, construct, improve and maintain roads, parkways, boulevards and bridges in county parks or connecting county parks with any other parks or open spaces or with any municipality in the county, using methods and materials that it considers expedient.
Make rules for the regulation of the use and enjoyment of the county parks and open spaces by the public.
Accept, in the name of the county, grants, conveyances and devises of land and bequests and donations of money to be used for park purposes.
Acquire, in the name of the county, by purchase, land contract, lease, condemnation, or otherwise, with the approval and consent of the county board, such tracts of land or public ways as it deems suitable for park purposes; including lands in any other county not more than three-fourths of a mile from the county line; but no land so acquired shall be disposed of by the county without the consent of said commission, and all moneys received for any such lands, or any materials, so disposed of, shall be paid into the county park fund hereinafter established. The power of condemnation may not be used for the purpose of establishing or extending a recreational trail; a bicycle way, as defined in s. 340.01 (5s)
; a bicycle lane, as defined in s. 340.01 (5e)
; or a pedestrian way, as defined in s. 346.02 (8) (a)
Acquire in the name of the county by purchase, land contract, lease, condemnation or otherwise, with the approval and consent of the county board, such tract or tracts of land as it deems necessary for the purpose of providing a suitable and convenient place and station upon which airplanes and aircraft generally may land, be cared for, and make flight from; and improve and provide such place with the necessary hangars, and equipment for same; and said county park commission or county park manager further may let, lease or have such lands or station, and make such charge therefor, as they deem proper and advisable; provided, however, that any such lands so acquired, leased or used for such purpose shall not be leased or let, exclusively, to any person, but proper provision in any such use, lease or letting, shall be made for use, by others who may desire to use same; and for the purpose herein specified said county park commission or county park manager may appropriate and use from and out of the county park funds, and the county board of supervisors may appropriate and use from and out of the funds of the county, such sum or sums as may be severally or jointly sufficient to pay for such lands and improvements; and all rents, charges and income received from said lands and the use thereof shall belong to and be paid into the county park fund herein established.
Plant, transplant, remove, trim, spray and otherwise care for and protect all trees and shrubs on or in that part of every road, parkway and boulevard which it has laid out pursuant to this section, lying between the lot line and the curb, or in the center or side plots in all boulevards and parkways.
Let, lease or grant the use of such part or portion of the park lands now owned or hereafter acquired as to it shall seem reasonably necessary, convenient or proper to agricultural and other societies of similar nature for agricultural and industrial fairs and exhibitions and such other purposes as tend to promote the public welfare. All fences and buildings constructed and other improvements made on such lands by societies using the same shall be constructed and made according to plans submitted to, and approved by the county park commission or county park manager, and shall be the property of the county. The county board may appropriate money for and construct buildings and make improvements on any such lands so used in the same manner and to the same extent as provided by s. 59.56 (14) (a)
Investigate the pollution of streams and lakes wholly or partially within the jurisdiction of each county, by sewage, industrial waste, fertilizers or other probable cause of water pollution and engage in weed control and treatment or any other treatment in order to provide clean, clear water in such lakes and streams. In connection with the exercise of such powers and duties the county park commission or county park manager may conduct investigations, by authorized agents enter upon any lands and buildings in the county at reasonable hours, subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, take testimony, make findings, and report such findings to the county board of supervisors of such county. Each county may join with, cooperate or contract with other counties or municipalities to provide for pollution control or weed control and treatment of lakes and streams wholly or partially within such county.
Have complete and exclusive jurisdiction and control over the improvement and maintenance of that portion of any public alley, street or highway which has heretofore been, or hereafter may be, by consent of the governing body of the town, city or village wherein such alley, street or highway is located, made a part of the county park or parkway system. The installation of privately owned utilities in such portion of said public alley, street or highway shall be made subject to the approval of said county park commission or county park manager; sewers, water mains or other municipally owned utilities or facilities may be installed and maintained by the governing body of the municipality in which such portion of said alley, street or highway is located, upon 5 days' notice in writing to said county park commission or county park manager, which notice shall specify the type of utility to be installed and have plans thereof attached, and provided that the town, city or village shall restore as nearly as practicable to its prior condition any surface, subsurface or structures located above or below the ground that may be disturbed by said installation or maintenance.
Although counties may charge reasonable fees for the use of facilities in their county parks, they may not charge such fees only to out-of-state residents while allowing all Wisconsin residents to utilize such facilities free of charge simply because outdoor recreation program funds are involved. Such action would create an arbitrary and unreasonable distinction based on residence and unconstitutionally deny residents of other states equal protection of the laws. 60 Atty. Gen. 18.
A county has full power and control over county park lands even though they are located within the limits of a city. 60 Atty. Gen. 282.
The practice of a county park commission, in granting free or complimentary season golf passes for the use of the county-owned and operated golf course to elected county officials and certain appointed county officials, is in excess of the authority of the commission when the practice cannot be shown to serve any identifiable public purpose. 63 Atty. Gen. 213.
The county board may annually, at the same time that other county taxes are levied, levy a tax upon the taxable property of such county for the purchase of land and the payment of expenses incurred in carrying on the work of the park commission. In every county having a population of 750,000 or more, the county park commission shall be subject to s. 59.60
The mill annual tax levy limitations set forth in this section apply when county parks are operated by a county park commission, pursuant to s. 27.02, et seq., or a county board committee to which the functions and duties of such commission have been transferred but not when county parks are operated under the express provisions of s. 27.015 [now s. 27.019]. Annual taxes levied to pay principal and interest on county indebtedness incurred under ch. 67 for park purposes must be included within the mill limitation set forth in this section. Proceeds from the sale of part of a county park may be used for capital improvements in county parks in addition to a maximum annual levy under this section. 60 Atty. Gen. 124.
County parks and parkways.