September 28, 2010
MADISON - The public will have an opportunity to comment on a proposed land acquisition strategy for the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund at public meetings and via the Internet beginning Oct. 12. The draft "DNR Land Acquisition Strategy for the Stewardship Program" to is available for review on the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program page of the Department of Natural Resources website.
Gov. Jim Doyle's 2007 budget reauthorized the Stewardship program for 10 years at up to $86 million annually, with $50 million slated for state purchase of lands for public use.
The Department of Natural Resources currently manages approximately 1.6 million acres of publicly owned land. Based on available funds, statewide priorities and past cost per acre, DNR real estate specialists anticipate acquiring approximately 10,000 to 15,000 acres annually. State, county and federal public lands in Wisconsin currently total about 5.4 million acres.
State laws and rules establish broad direction for state land purchases but many choices must still be made. The strategy has four components that will guide land acquisition:
The department currently has more than 400 active land acquisition projects which may be a park, forest, trail, public hunting or fishing ground or natural area.. Each project has an outer boundary encompassing lands needed to achieve recreation or conservation purposes at the site. Among other policy choices, the strategy helps balance acquisition of key parcels of land from willing sellers inside project boundaries with opportunities for new projects.
All meetings will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on the following dates
Written comments may be submitted through the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program page of the DNR website from Oct. 12 -31 or mailed to Steve Miller, Bureau of Facilities and Lands, Department of Natural Resources. PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul DeLong, administrator- Div. of Forestry (608) 264-9224 or Laurie Osterndorf, administrator- Div. of Lands (608) 267-7552