- Contact information
- For information on the Voluntary Public Access Program, contact:
- Melissa Keenan
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' contintued interest. Important! Please follow the Code of Conduct and reference the frequently asked questions before accessing VPA properties.
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Enrollment is now closed
Interested landowners are being added to the VPA Program backlog for future enrollment. Contact your local DNR wildlife biologist or call the VPA Program Coordinator at 608-266-5560 for additional information.
Any landowner who is located within an eligible VPA county is eligible to apply. However, priority will be given to properties greater than 40 acres with at least 25% usable cover, and those located near existing public hunting or fishing grounds. Land enrolled in other conservation programs such as the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), Managed Forest Law (MFL) or Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) may be eligible for enrollment.
Annual lease rates
Lease Lengths are up to 5 years
- Agriculture land: $3/acre
- Grassland/wetland: $10/acre
- Forest land: $15/acre
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.