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June 12, 2012

MADISON - More than 85 percent of Wisconsin residents report they are involved with some type of outdoor recreation in the state, according to the most recent data compiled as part of a regular five-year review of outdoor recreation participation and demand in Wisconsin.

However, societal changes are also changing the recreational landscape, according to the report. Changes in demographics, the economy, user preferences, and availability of recreation venues are all influencing the demand for different recreational activities.

The Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan, or SCORP, is intended to serve as a blueprint for state and local outdoor recreation planning as required by the Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, which provides funds to state and local agencies for acquisition, development and maintenance of outdoor recreational land and facilities. The draft 2011-2016 Wisconsin SCORP is now available for review and comment.

"High quality and accessible outdoor recreation builds communities, provides numerous health benefits to citizens, and allows Wisconsinites to enjoy the state's many natural resources," says Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp. "Providing access to outdoor recreation, however, is often a challenge. Conservation and recreation development need a web of community and government support. This plan highlights the importance of governments working together with other government and private organizations to provide high quality outdoor recreation to the citizens of Wisconsin."

By identifying outdoor recreation demand by demographics, and by projecting outdoor recreation activity trends relevant to the immediate future, SCORP helps Wisconsin communities plan. Fifteen combined federal and state outdoor recreation funding programs require projects applying for funds to use the SCORP's implementation program. This includes thing like recreational trails, snowmobile and all-terrain vehicle facilities, recreational boating facilities and aid to local government through the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program.

The report projects increasing trends in a number of activities, These were being driven in part by an aging baby boomer population and continued drop in rural northern Wisconsin population while counties adjacent to major metro areas grew in population, including:

The public can review the 2011-16 Wisconsin State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan by searching for "SCORP" on the DNR website.

Public comments on the plan are being accepted through July 6, 2012, and should be sent to: Jeff Prey, Wisconsin State Parks, PO Box 7921, PR/6, Madison, WI 53707

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeff Prey - 608-266-2182

Last Revised: Tuesday, June 12, 2012

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