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Cultural resources
managing physical records of our common past
Open the Outdoors
providing exceptional outdoor recreation opportunities for people of all abilities
Stewardship program
funding recreational facilities
Contact information
For information on the Capital Development Program, contact:
Dan Olson, Chief
Facilities Mgt. Section
Bureau of Facilities & Lands
608-264-6055

Capital development program

The Department of Natural Resource's Capital Development Program develops our facilities and maintains and improves existing facilities. Capital development funding is essential for maintaining and improving public access and public recreational facilities on DNR-owned lands and vital for maintaining and improving various customer service and employee support facilities.

Ephemeral Trail and boardwalk at Mead Wildlife Area

Ephemeral Trail and boardwalk at Mead Wildlife Area



Capital development projects

A Capital development project is generally a new facility development or long-term repair to an existing facility. Development projects are not maintenance or operational work and have lasting value to our properties and facilities.

Examples of capital development projects include:

  • campground toilet/shower building construction or repairs
  • parking lot and road construction or repairs
  • roof repairs on picnic shelters, restrooms, DNR office buildings
  • trail development
  • boat launch construction and repairs
  • campground wells and water line replacements
  • emergency facility repairs

The Capital Development Program is an essential component to the DNR for properly managing and maintaining the department's infrastructure, including:

  • 3,000 buildings, with a replacement value of $457.5 million
  • 3,600 miles of roads
  • 2,700 parking lots
  • 600 boat access sites
  • 6,300 campsites

Many of the DNR's properties include complex infrastructure, similar to small cities, and it is critical for the department to plan and implement construction projects to adequately maintain these facilities and infrastructure.

Capital budget process

Every two years, the DNR Capital Development Program develops, prepares and submits the department's biennial capital budget to the State Legislature. The Capital Development Program works with programs such as Fisheries, Wildlife, Parks, Forestry, Natural Heritage Conservation, Law Enforcement, and Facilities and Lands to prioritize projects and develop the capital budget.

The 2015-2017 DNR Capital Budget was recently approved by the Legislature and Governor in July, 2015. The 2015-17 Budget included over 200 projects and 33 funding sources, with a final total of $37.3 million. The Capital Development Program is currently working with the programs to prioritize projects for funding. Projects of highest priority include health and safety issues and repair/maintenance projects to protect the State's investment and maintaining infrastructure and services.

The department is already starting to plan the 2017-2019 Capital Budget. Department programs are currently working with property managers and field staff to develop and schedule projects to be included in the next biennial budget. The program's final list is due to the Capital Development Program in February 2016, where it is then prioritized department-wide within the projected funding levels.

The Capital Development Program prepares the 2017-2019 Budget for finalization and follows the approximate schedule below:

  • May 2016 - Submit to the proposed Budget to the DNR Secretary's Office for approval.
  • September 2016 - Present the 2017-2019 Capital Budget to the Natural Resource Board for approval.
  • February 2017 - Submit the DNR Capital Budget to the Legislature and Governor for legislative process, including Governor's recommendations, Building Commission approval, and Joint Finance Committee recommendations and approval.
  • July 2017 - DNR Capital Budget is finalized and signed by the Governor.
Facility management

The DNR Capital Development Program staff provide oversight for all DNR facilities and capital development projects. They develop and maintain the department's Six-Year Capital Development Plan and prepares the department's biennial capital development budget request. They work closely with property managers, field staff and program representatives during the capital development process and throughout the life of the project.

Many capital development projects are implemented by the department's engineering and construction management staff. There are approximately twenty staff on this engineering team, specializing in fields like dam construction, road/pavement construction, boat access, hazardous material abatement, sanitary/storm water infrastructure, bridges, utilities, landscape architecture, etc. The DNR engineers provide professional engineering services (project scope, cost estimating, drafting contracts, etc.) to other DNR staff when planning and implementing capital development projects.

Recently completed projects

The Capital Development Program has completed thousands of projects throughout the state. The projects listed below are some of our recently completed projects.

Horicon Marsh International Education Center ExploriumHoricon Marsh International Education Center Explorium
boat ramp renovation and fishing pier constructionPeninsula State Park - boat ramp renovation and fishing pier construction at Nicolet Bay
bridge redecking and repairGlacial Drumlin State Trail - bridge redecking and repair
new splashpadBlue Mound State Park - new splashpad
White Cedar Trail improvementsPeshtigo River State Forest - White Cedar Trail improvements
Boardwalk Trail constructionMead Wildlife Area - Boardwalk Trail construction
new family campgroundBuckhorn State Park - new family campground
Last revised: Wednesday January 27 2016