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Explore outdoors
find great places to go and things to do
Get outdoors
nature programs and events calendar
Public access lands
parks, forests, wildlife, fisheries, natural areas, trails and flowages
State park system
find a park, forest, recreation area or trail
Contact information
For information on the SCORP planning project, contact:
John Pohlman
SCORP project manager
608-264-6263

Wisconsin Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP)

SCORPs are intended to evaluate outdoor recreation trends and issues and set forth ideas about recreation's future role in the state. Put simply, they are the blueprint for outdoor recreation in the state and provide broad guidance to governments at all levels, communities, businesses and organizations on recreation needs and opportunities.

Jonathan P. Ela Unit of the Bailey's Harbor Boreal Forest State Natural Area

Jonathan P. Ela Unit of the Bailey's Harbor Boreal Forest State Natural Area along the Lake Michigan shoreline.

States are required to complete SCORPs every five years to be eligible to participate in the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) State Assistance Program. Some components of a SCORP are required, for example describing the supply and demand for outdoor recreation in the state as well as describing the criteria and system to distribute LWCF funds. States have the flexibility to incorporate other topics in their SCORPs that will help provide a better understanding of the needs and priorities unique to their outdoor recreation resources. For example, with the 2017-2022 SCORP, we are particularly interested in learning more about nature-based outdoor opportunities.

Primary actions for the 2017-2022 Wisconsin SCORP include:

  • collect data on Wisconsinites' participation in outdoor recreation;
  • survey visitors at a sample of properties, focusing on understanding the activities pursued, features and attributes that lead people to visit the properties, visitors' satisfaction and travel-related spending;
  • update data on the supply of outdoor recreation opportunities, with a focus on properties open to the public for nature-based outdoor recreation; and
  • develop priorities for future recreation funding.

Planning update

One of the required elements of a SCORP is to describe the demand for outdoor recreation in the state. To better understand Wisconsinites participation in various outdoor activities, the department recently sent out a mail survey to 6,400 random residents as well as contracted with a business to distribute the online version of the survey to a panel of residents that have signed up to take surveys. The results of these efforts are being tabulated and processed now.

Another required element of a SCORP is to describe the supply of outdoor recreation opportunities in the state. Department staff are developing summaries of the places where residents and visitors can participate in outdoor activities.

This version of the Wisconsin SCORP will also be assessing different techniques to measure visitation at department properties (and potentially other public lands, too). The department will be evaluating visitation at a property this fall and staff are currently developing the survey techniques, identifying a schedule, and working out logistics.

Updates on these and other efforts related to SCORP will be periodically posted here.

Land and Water Conservation Fund

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) was enacted by Congress in 1965 "to strengthen the health and vitality of the citizens of the United States" through the acquisition and development of outdoor recreation resources and facilities. States are allocated funds as matching (50%) grants for the acquisition and development of public outdoor recreation sites and facilities.

This year Wisconsin is expected to receive about $1.6 million from the LWCF, half of which will be passed to counties and local units of government. LWCF grants have been used in the past to help fund a diversity of local and state projects including the following recent awards:

  • $205,000 for interpretive exhibits at the Horicon Marsh International Education Center;
  • $250,000 for the City of Kenosha to develop Simmons Island Park;
  • $250,000 for improvements at the Homestead Campground at Wyalusing State Park;
  • $120,000 for the Town of Bass Lake to acquire Grindstone Beach Park; and
  • $26,000 for Fond du Lac County to resurface the Wild Goose Trail.

To date in Wisconsin, over $76 million dollars of LWCF grants have been awarded to local communities and the state government for planning, acquisition and development projects that provide outdoor recreation throughout the state.

Contact information
For information on the SCORP planning project, contact:
John Pohlman
SCORP project manager
WI Dept. of Natural Resources
P.O. Box 7921
Madison WI 53707-7921
608-264-6263

LWCF logoThe preparation of this plan is financed in part through a planning grant from the National Park Service, Land & Water Conservation Fund [exit DNR].

Last revised: Thursday January 05 2017