- Contact information
- For information on the Voluntary Public Access Program, contact:
- Anne Reis
VPA program coordinator
Voluntary Public Access Program
Voluntary Public Access (VPA) is a voluntary program offered by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources that provides financial incentives to private landowners who open their property to public hunting, fishing, trapping and wildlife observation. Funding was authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill.
The success and future of the VPA program depends on ensuring landowners' continued interest. Important! Please follow the Code of Conduct and reference the frequently asked questions before accessing VPA properties.
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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.
DNR web mapping applications contain the most current information about DNR properties and private lands under DNR management with public access for hunting and recreational activities. Please be aware that 3rd party web mapping applications (e.g., Google Maps, commercial mapping companies, etc.) may display erroneous boundaries of these properties. To ensure that you can reach your intended area and avoid trespassing, use DNR web mapping applications to plan your outing. Confirm the ownership of non-DNR public land (e.g., municipal, county, federal), tribal land, and private land through other means, and recognize that on-ground postings and property boundary signs override property boundaries shown in DNR and 3rd party web mapping applications and should be respected.