Contact(s): John Pohlman, DNR property planner, 608-264-6263
MADISON - A draft amendment proposal for the Northern Highland American Legion State Forest Master Plan is available for public review and comment through Sept. 17.
This proposed amendment will address evolving needs and opportunities regarding recreation at the Northern Highland American Legion State Forest. The NHAL is a popular recreation destination in Wisconsin for outdoor enthusiasts of all interests. It is important to note that this proposed amendment does not propose any changes to the land management classifications of the NHAL.
The existing master plan for NHAL was approved in 2005. Since that time, several trends in recreation participation, along with changes to the use and management of surrounding public lands, have placed different and new demands on the property. To adapt to these changes and to ensure that the Department of Natural Resources continues to provide high‐quality experiences to visitors, changes are proposed to camping, non‐motorized trail, motorized trail, and boating opportunities provided at the property.
Components of the 2005 master plan related to recreation use and management will remain unchanged, unless directly noted in this amendment.
The department sought public input on potential updates to the master plan at public open house meetings in April 2017 and through a public input form that was available in April and May, both in hardcopy and online formats. A total of 497 responses were received. In addition to this data set, a study of NHAL visitors was conducted by UW‐Stevens Point and DNR staff in 2013 and 2014. That survey focused on the importance of the property to people and their recreation experiences.
Established in 1925 to protect the headwaters of the Wisconsin, Flambeau and Manitowish rivers, the NHAL State Forest occupies more than 232,000 acres in northern Wisconsin. The forest provides employment and economic support to local communities through the production of forest products, recreation and tourism.To receive email updates regarding the NHAL planning process, visit dnr.wi.gov and click on the email icon near the bottom of the page titled "subscribe for updates for DNR topics," then follow the prompts and select "Northern Highland American Legion State Forest Amendment to the Master plan," found within the list titled "property master planning."