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Privacy notice

Wisconsin laws exist to ensure that government is open and that the public has a right to access appropriate records and information possessed by state government. At the same time, there are exceptions to the public's right to access public records provided by both state and federal laws. These exceptions include the privacy of individuals.

Information collected at this site becomes public record and may be subject to inspection and copying by the public, unless an exception in law exists. During your visit to the Department of Natural Resources Web site, information that is not readily identifiable to an individual is automatically collected and stored. This information is used solely to improve our Web services.

Information collected and how it is used

If you only browse or download DNR information while visiting our Web site, the department automatically collects or logs the following information about your visit.

  1. The Internet Protocol address and domain name used but not the email address. The Internet Protocol address is a numerical identifier assigned either to your Internet service provider or directly to your computer. The Internet Protocol Address is used to direct Internet traffic to your computer;
  2. The type of browser and operating system you used and your connection speed;
  3. The date and time you visited this site;
  4. The Web pages or services you accessed at this site;and
  5. The Web site you visited prior to coming to this Web site.

These Web site logs are continually analyzed to help improve our content and Web customer services, and to help us understand how people are using our services. Web site logs are not personally identifiable nor are they linked to the individuals that browse the department's webpages.

If you participate in a survey or send an email, the following additional information will be collected.

  1. E-mail correspondence - the e-mail address and contents of the e-mail.
  2. Surveys - any information you volunteered in response to a survey.

The information collected in an email or survey is not limited to text characters. It also includes attachments - the audio, video, and graphic files you send. Emailed information is retained in accordance with Wisconsin Open Records Law.

Staff respond to email appropriately with requested information. to address a technical issue, to further improve our Web site, or to forward the email to another agency for appropriate action. Survey information is used for the purpose designated in the survey.

Personal information and choice

"Personal identifiable information" is information about an individual that is readily identifiable to that specific individual. Personal information includes your name, date of birth, Social Security Administration account number, street address, telephone number, Internet protocol address and email address. The state collects no personal identifiable information unless you voluntarily participate in an online activity that asks for this information such as sending an email, participating in a survey or completing an application form.

If personal information is requested on the Web site or volunteered by the user, state law and the federal Privacy Act of 1974 may protect it. However, information provided is public record, which may be subject to public inspection and copying if not protected by federal or state law.

Users are cautioned that the collection of personal information requested from or volunteered by children on-line or by email may be indistinguishable and may also be subject to public access.

Public disclosure

In Wisconsin, laws exist to ensure that government is open and that the public has a right to access appropriate records and information possessed by state government. At the same time, there are exceptions to the public's right to access public records that serve various needs. These exceptions include the privacy of individuals. We strive to protect personally identifiable information by collecting only information necessary to deliver our services. All information collected at this site becomes public record that may be subject to inspection and copying by the public, unless an exemption in law exists.

In the event of a conflict between this Privacy Notice and the Wisconsin Open Records Law or other law governing the disclosure of records, the Wisconsin Open Records Law or other applicable law will control.

Access and correction of personal information

You may review any personal information the department collects about you. You may recommend changes to your personal information you believe in error by submitting a written request that credibly shows the error. If you believe that your personal information is being used for a purpose other than what was intended when submitted, you may contact us. In all cases, we will take reasonable steps to verify your identity before granting access or making corrections.


A cookie is a small amount of data, which may include an anonymous unique identifier, that is sent to your browser from a Web site's computers and may either be used only during your session - called a session cookie - or may be stored on your computer's hard drive - called a persistent cookie. Cookies can contain data about user movement during the visit to the website. If your browser software is set to allow cookies, a Web site can send its own cookie to you. A Web site that sends cookies will only access those cookies it has sent, it cannot access cookies sent to you by other sites.

Department Practices Regarding Cookies

The Department uses very few cookies. If you choose to accept them, a session cookie may be used by the home-page features to rotate graphics and other variable information. A persistent cookie may be used, by a Geographical Information System (GIS) to assist the GIS in rendering maps or producing data for an area you may routinely study.

Choices about cookies

If you are on the DNR Web site, you may choose to alter your browser settings to accept all cookies, reject all cookies, or notify you when a cookie is set. Browsers vary, so check the "Help" menu of your browser to learn how to change your cookie preferences.


The DNR, as developer and manager of the department Web pages, has taken several steps to safeguard the integrity of its telecommunications and computing infrastructure, including but not limited to authentication, monitoring, auditing and encryption. Security measures have been integrated into the design, implementation and day-to-day practices of the entire department operating environment as part of its continuing commitment to risk management.

This information should not be construed in any way as giving business, legal, or other advice. This information should not be construed as warranting as fail-proof the security of information provided through department supported Web pages.


The DNR webpages have links to other Web sites. These include links to Web sites operated by other government agencies and nonprofit organizations. When you link to another site, you are no longer on the department webpages and this Privacy Notice will not apply. When you link to another Web site, you are subject to the privacy policy of that new site.

Department feedback information

To offer comments about the DNR webpages or to comment about the information presented in this Privacy Notice, please use our feedback form.

Last revised: Monday March 19 2012