- Managed Forest Law
Managed Forest Law
Governor Walker has recently signed 2015 Wisconsin Act 358 into law. This new law makes numerous changes to the Managed Forest Law (MFL) and some changes to the Forest Crop Law (FCL). Until this page can be updated, some of the information is incorrect. Please contact your local DNR Forester for more information on the changes to MFL and FCL and how it may affect you.
The Managed Forest Law (MFL) is a landowner incentive program that encourages sustainable forestry on private woodland. In exchange for following sound forest management, the landowner pays reduced property taxes. It was enacted in 1985 and replaced the Woodland Tax Law and the Forest Crop Law.
MFL is the only forest tax law that is open to enrollment. Land enrolled in the MFL program must be managed according to a plan agreed to by the landowner.
Frequently asked questions
- How do I know if land is enrolled in MFL?
A title search or tax bill can indicate enrollment in MFL.
- Where do I find a copy of my MFL plan?
Contact a local DNR forester.
- Where do I find my MFL order number?
The order number can be obtained from the most recent MFL documentation (e.g. order of designation, transfer order) or the local DNR forester.
- How do I find out when my MFL order will expire?
At the time of enrollment, the land was entered for a 25-year or 50-year period. The expiration date can usually be found on the MFL management plan or contact the local DNR forester.
- What happens when my MFL order expires?
You may re-enroll the land into the MFL program or allow it to return to the regular property tax roll.
- Is a document issued when my MFL order expires?
No, the enrollment in the program simply expires at the end of the order period.
- What are the tax rates for MFL land?
- Is all MFL land open to public access?
No, MFL land may either be closed or open to public access.
- Can I lease out my land for hunting?
No, you may not lease out your MFL land for hunting or any other recreational purpose. Contact the local DNR forester for more information.
- Can management plans be changed?
Yes. Management plans can be changed over time, based on forest management guidelines, landowner objectives, and on-the-ground conditions.
- Is MFL land included in any forest certification program?
All non-industrial MFL land with entry years 2016 or earlier and those transferred prior to July 1, 2015 are included in the Forest Stewardship Council® and American Tree Farm System® certification, collectively known as the MFL Certified Group, unless the landowner has chosen to opt out. For all lands with an entry date of 2017 and later, and lands transferred after July 1, 2015, the landowner must choose to opt-in by checking the certification box on the MFL application, MFL transfer / ownership change form or by submitting the MFL Certified Group Application / Departure Request (form 2450-192).
See a one page summary that highlights the benefits and responsibilities of landowners who are members of the MFL certified group:
- Can I withdraw from the MFL Certified Group?
Yes, you can withdraw by completing the MFL Certified Group Application / Departure Request (form 2450-192).
- I have concerns about emerald ash borer and my MFL land. Where can I find more information?
The EAB Management Guidelines has answers to many frequently asked questions regarding EAB and MFL land.