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Wisconsin's Forest Action Plan.
the DNR Forestry Strategic Direction.
property master plan information.
about the Karner Blue Butterfly Habitat Conservation Plan.

Forest Legacy ProgramHow to apply

Thank you for considering the Forest Legacy Program for the protection of your forested land. This program allows the state of Wisconsin to purchase conservation easements to keep forests as forests.

Program requirements and eligibility

Applying for the Forest Legacy Program involves gathering as much information about the property as possible. It's advisable to work with your local DNR forester or other natural resource professional, land trusts or local, state and regional conservation groups when applying for the Forest Legacy Program.

In order for land to be eligible for the program it must be located within one of Wisconsin's five Forest Legacy Areas as indicated in Wisconsin’s 2010 statewide forest strategy and the property must be 75 percent forested or have additional trees planted to meet this requirement.

Call for projects

Once a year, there will be a call for projects during which interested parties may submit an application. By completing and submitting the Forest Legacy Program application, you're taking the first step toward obtaining a permanent conservation easement on your property.


The application questions should be seriously considered and answered with the assistance of a natural resource professional familiar with the property, if possible. This program operates on a willing buyer--willing seller relationship and land condemnation will not occur if an agreement is not made. Site visits and inspection of the property may be necessary, so an inspection consent agreement is part of the landowner application.

Forest Legacy Application [PDF]

Note: For application cycle information--along with an application in fillable Word document format--contact the Forest Legacy Program Coordinator.

Submit to
Ron Gropp
Division of Forestry
PO Box 7921
Madison, WI 53707-7921

Meeting minimum requirements

This program is not for everyone, and with this application we are attempting to determine if your property meets the minimum requirements for this program. Actual funding for any project depends upon a number of factors, including the perceived public value of the property at both the state and federal levels, the endorsement of the project by the Forest Stewardship Committee and state forester, and the availability of funds from Congress for the program.

Application ranking

When project applications are submitted, the Forest Stewardship Committee ranks the applications and makes a recommendation to the DNR. The DNR then submits the top-ranked projects to the USDA Forest Service to compete for a limited amount of program funding. Funding at the national level is extremely competitive and unpredictable (Wisconsin has not always been successful in receiving project funding).

Criteria for a competitive project

Each year the USDA Forest Service sends guidance to states participating in the Forest Legacy Program that is used for scoring projects at the national level. Wisconsin has modeled our application questions and the Forest Stewardship Committee’s scoring criteria after these categories to ensure we are putting forward highly competitive projects. While completing your application, be sure to describe your property’s assets as they relate to these criteria.

Forest Legacy Program National Scoring Guidance [PDF]

Last revised: Friday February 02 2018