- Stay informed
- Contact information
- For information on the Voluntary Public Access Program, contact:
- Anne Reis
VPA program coordinator
Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP) provides financial incentives to private landowners who open their property to public hunting, fishing, trapping and wildlife observation. Funding was authorized in the 2008 and 2014 Farm Bills. 2014 funds are administered and provided by U.S. Department of Agriculture NRCS.
Important The success and future of the VPA-HIP depends on ensuring landowners' continued interest. Please follow the Code of Conduct and reference the frequently asked questions before accessing VPA properties.
- For VPA users
Enrolling new landowners now. If you are interested in applying to enroll in the VPA Program, please fill out the form above or contact the coordinator for more information. Landowners enrolled in VPA are eligible for additional financial incentives for habitat enhancement. Eligible practices include grassland mowing, invasive species control, native grass and forb establishment, prescribed burning and more.
Under sec. 895.52 of the Wisconsin Statutes, landowners are generally immune from liability for injuries received by individuals recreating on their lands. This law provides liability protection to landowners for injury or death of individuals participating in outdoor recreation. Courts have consistently interpreted this statute to protect landowners in furtherance of its purpose, which is to encourage landowners to allow others to recreate on their lands.
Under sec. 29.617, the department agrees to pay for damages arising from the operation of public hunting or fishing grounds. Claims may include damage to crops or property such as gates or fences.