The first phase of land sales was approved by the Natural Resources Board.
Wednesday, the board approved recommendations from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for the land sales to fall under the 2013-15 direction of state biennial budget bill.
The state biennial budget bill for 2013-15 directed the board to put up 10,000 acres of land up for sale before the end of June 2017.
This new law specifies that net proceeds from the sale of these lands will be used to repay outstanding public debt related to the Knowles Nelson Stewardship program.
DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp, says the new effort comes from the Wisconsin state legislature.
“The Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program has done wonders for our state’s natural resources, this next step will ensure that it continues to create new recreational opportunities throughout the state,” said Stepp.
The Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program was created back in 1989 by the Wisconsin Legislature
It's goal is to preserve valuable natural areas and wildlife habitat, protect water quality and fisheries while expanding opportunities for outdoor recreation.
The program has added more than 600,000 acres of land for public recreation, since it was established.
Currently DNR owns approximately 1,517,454 acres in fee title ownership and 300,267 acres in easements. The sale of 10,000 acres represents less than 1 percent of the Department’s total land ownership.
Under this new law, the sale of land will help resolve boundary and access issues, repurpose lands that don't serve the department's mission, realign the land ownership for more efficient management among other objectives.
The law will only impact areas of lands located outside of official project boundaries created before May 1, 2013.
In all cases, the department will work closely with local municipalities and adjoining landowners to ensure that trail corridors and/or easements are perpetuated prior to marketing any parcel for sale and that the Department retains access as necessary to adjoining lands.
For more information, please visit dnr.wi.gov and search keywords “land sales.”