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MADISON — The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources released a list of 118 land parcels under department review in the second year of land sale efforts resulting from Wisconsin Act 20.
Parcels currently under review are located in 40 counties and total approximately 8,288 acres. Of this total acreage, 5,387 acres will be reviewed for possible sale to the general public. These parcels can be reviewed on the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, by searching for keywords “land sales,”
The review process will be conducted by field staff and will consider each parcel’s recreational utility, natural resources values and how the parcel fits within the department’s overall portfolio of real estate holdings. The department owns more the 1.5 million acres of land — and sales and exchanges are part of the department’s routine management of its land holdings. This new effort will focus on isolated parcels located outside of established project boundaries.
An additional 2,575 acres will be reviewed by the department to determine if county forest ownership will provide for more suitable management, while 325 acres will be reviewed to determine if Wisconsin Tribal Nation ownership will provide for more suitable management. DNR staff will work directly with counties and Wisconsin’s Tribal Nations regarding land identified to be sold in this manner.
Wisconsin Act 20 requires at least 10,000 department-owned acres located outside of project boundaries to be made available for sale by June 30, 2017, and net proceeds will be used to repay outstanding public debt related to the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program.
The sale of department-owned lands under Act 20 will help resolve key boundary and access issues, realign land ownership with conservation partners and private citizens for more efficient management, and allow the department to work closely with partner and stakeholder organizations to meet common property and conservation goals.
The department’s land sale policy was shaped by public comments received at five informational meetings held throughout the state in October 2013 and by comments received through the public policy page on the department website. The Natural Resources Board approved the final policy in December 2013.
The land sale process identified the importance of on-the-ground parcel reviews to determine if any exceptional natural resource or recreational value is present. These field reviews will take place over the next three months, and final department recommendations will be presented to the Natural Resources Board later this year. The department hopes to gain approval to sell the remaining 8,600 acres required under Act 20 this year and market parcels for sale in 2016 and 2017.
To view a list of lands currently being reviewed by field staff for possible sale, visit dnr.wi.gov, search keywords “land sales,” and click on the button labeled “parcels for review and sale.”