Completed plans
establishing goals and objectives for DNR properties.
Plan reports
monitoring goals and objectives.
Feasibility studies
studying new properties.
Public lands
parks, forests, wildlife, fisheries, natural areas, trails, wild rivers and flowages.
Contact information
For information on the driftless area streams master plan, contact:
Paul Cunningham
Bureau of Fisheries Mgt
608-267-7502
John Pohlman
Bureau of Facilities & Lands
608-264-6263

Property Master PlansDriftless area streams

TimberCoulee

Timber Coulee © Dan Braun

Located in the western and southwestern portion of the state, the Driftless Area escaped the last glacial period and as a result is characterized by rugged topography, coldwater streams, rock outcroppings and caves.

The department owns or holds easements on more than 35,000 acres along trout and smallmouth bass streams in the Driftless Area and is in the process of developing one master plan to cover all these properties. The plan will describe the habitat management and land protection goals, objectives and strategies for these properties and chart a course for the next 15 years.

This master plan project is unique in many ways, maybe most notably in the amount of data in the Regional and Property Analysis (RPA) about the current and projected future condition of the fisheries in the Driftless Area. The RPA is chock full of maps of each of the eight "planning regions" depicting habitat quality, fish abundance, the amount of recreational access and stream restoration work and other attributes. You can view the RPA from the links in the "Planning documents" tab below. Given the file sizes, the online versions of the chapters in the RPA are low resolution; if you'd like a high-resolution version, we'd be happy to send you a CD. Just send us your mailing address in an email to DNRDriftlessStreams@wisconsin.gov.

Public meetings

Public Meeting in FitchburgThe department hosted nine public open house meetings in March 2013 to gather perspectives on its current approach to habitat management (both in-stream as well as uplands) and its current portfolio of properties that provide opportunities for trout and smallmouth bass fishing in the Driftless Area. About 144 people attended; your ideas, comments and feedback are all very helpful. Thanks for attending.

We created a summary of the public input received during the public meetings and through the online survey.

After the draft master plan is developed, DNR will host meetings to gather public input and comments on the plan. Dates and locations of these meetings will be posted on this website when available and will be emailed to everyone who subscribed to receive Driftless Area Streams Master Planning news.

Next steps

  • public meeting in Eau ClaireMay 2013: DNR approaches the development of master plans for its properties in several steps. First, the DNR drafts a background document, known as the Regional & Property Analysis (RPA), which describes the features and attributes of the DNR properties included in the master plan and their surrounding landscape. The release of the RPA and the recent public meetings wraps up the first phase of the planning process.
  • Summer 2013: Based on the information in the RPA and the public input received, the ecological and recreation "niches" that the properties are best suited to fill will be identified. These in turn will lead to a set of goals and objectives for the properties and the focus of future acquisition efforts. Then, a series of management alternatives will be proposed to meet property goals and objectives.
  • Fall 2013: Finally, the draft master plan will outline a preferred set of management actions and future land acquisition priorities.
  • 2014: The draft master plan will be presented to the public for review and input. After revision, the DNR will request approval of the master plan from the Natural Resources Board.

Throughout the development of the master plan, we will be looking for feedback from partner groups and the public. Sign up to receive updates on our progress.


Last revised: Friday September 20 2013