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A new Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Public Access Lands (PAL) Atlas is now available free online and as a book you can purchase. The PAL Atlas highlights the significant increase in public access to Wisconsin lands made possible through the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program, as well as other lands open to the public for outdoor recreation.
“If you are looking for a place to fish, hunt, trap, or enjoy any of Wisconsin’s outdoor activities this atlas will help you find public lands to do so,” said DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp. In her introduction to the atlas, Stepp notes: “From state natural areas to state trails, lake shores and rivers, Wisconsin has a wealth of public lands for your enjoyment. These are your public lands and are there for you to connect with the outdoors, not too far from home.”
The PAL Atlas contains 441 maps, two indexes, a glossary and extensive contact information to help you connect with land managers to learn more about the properties.
The Wisconsin Legislature created the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program in 1989 to preserve valuable natural areas and wildlife habitat, protect water quality and fisheries, and expand opportunities for outdoor recreation. Since its inception the program has added more than 500,000 acres of land through direct purchase or easement that is open to public recreation. These lands are owned by the Department of Natural Resources, non-profit conservation organizations and local governments. In addition the atlas shows the location of other state, county forest and federal lands open to the public.
Secretary Stepp continued, “I hope you create many new outdoor memories with friends and family through the use of this atlas.” For more information, visit dnr.wi.gov and type the keyword “atlas” in the search bar. You can also download and print the maps from your home computer.