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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)SCORP planning process

The department is responsible for developing the state's SCORP. Our efforts are focused on the following tasks:

Assessing recreation participation

We developed a survey addressing participation in a range of outdoor activities and assessing issues affecting outdoor recreation that are of concern to residents. This survey was mailed to a random sample of Wisconsin residents so as to generate statistically useable information about the recreation patterns of state residents as a whole. The response window for this survey has closed and we are now making the survey available for any resident that wishes to provide input.

Summarizing recreation supply

Although there are many providers of outdoor recreation opportunities, for several reasons available data on the "supply" of recreation are inconsistent. Some providers, such as the National Forest Service, County Forests, and the DNR, provide large areas of native habitats along with some facilities (e.g., campgrounds, trails, boat launches and parking lots). Similarly, city and village parks provide places for community members to engage in a range of activities from softball to picnicking to exercising dogs. Data on these types of places and features are easier to collect because of their relative permanence.

Other providers of outdoor recreation include businesses such as private campgrounds, fishing guides, horse stables, marinas and hunt clubs. Assessments of recreation supply can also include businesses that manufacture or sell equipment used in outdoor recreation. Given that these enterprises often change different aspects of their offerings over time (based on market conditions and other factors), data on what they supply is prone to be out-of-date and of limited value relatively quickly. As a result, little data on these providers have been collected over the years.

The department will summarize available data on providers of outdoor recreation in Wisconsin.

Assessing visitation patterns at public properties

For many decisions related to property management, a critical aspect is recognizing where recreation demand and supply actually meet. That is, where and how often people pursue different recreation activities. Unfortunately, very little information is available on how many people visit most conservation and recreation properties in the state, how often, what activities they pursue, what attributes or features drew them to the property, and their satisfaction. Probably the best data set related to property visitation in the state is the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest's Visitor Use Monitoring effort. With the exception of State Parks, very little consistent data are available for DNR properties.

To address this gap, the department will distribute a survey at a sample of DNR properties (other than state parks) to better understand the level of visitation, recreation activities pursued, features and attributes that lead people to visit the properties, and visitors' satisfaction and travel-related spending. Several different techniques of distributing the survey will be evaluated.

SCORP Advisory Team

The department has assembled a talented group of representatives from a wide variety of agencies and organizations actively involved with outdoor recreation. These individuals will provide guidance and feedback to the department throughout the planning process. The members represent: Wisconsin Department of Tourism, Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, Wisconsin County Forest Association, Wisconsin Conservation Congress, Outdoor Heritage Education Center, Fort HealthCare, State Trails Council, Wisconsin Parks and Recreation Association, UW-Stevens Point College of Natural Resources, Wisconsin Society for Ornithology, Wisconsin School Forest Program, National Park Service Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance, Ice Age Trail Alliance, Gathering Waters Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy and Wisconsin Bike Federation.

Last revised: Thursday August 04 2016