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Property master planning
planning resource management and facility development
Public access lands
parks, forests, wildlife, fisheries, natural areas, trails, wild rivers and flowages
Explore Outdoors
locate a great place to recreate
Contact information
For information on the Recreation Opportunities Analysis project, contact:
Cameron Bump
park and recreation specialist
715-839-2786

 

Recreation opportunities analysis

Recreational bike ride

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' mission includes providing a healthy, sustainable environment in which a full range of outdoor opportunities may be enjoyed by all people. To better understand existing outdoor-based recreation opportunities and future recreation needs in each region of the state, the department conducted the study known as the Recreation Opportunities Analysis (ROA). The study involved collecting and analyzing information from the public, local governments, recreation groups, and department property managers. The ROA identifies future needs to provide high-quality recreation experiences and the role that department properties can help to meet those needs. The ROA is intended to be a resource during department property planning processes.

Recreation Opportunity Analysis
Recreation Opportunity Analysis – entire document [PDF]
Title, Table of contents [PDF]
Executive Summary [PDF]
Introduction [PDF]
Chapter 1 – Northwoods Region [PDF]
Chapter 2 – Upper Lake Michigan Coastal Region [PDF]
Chapter 3 – Great Northwest Region [PDF]
Chapter 4 – Lake Winnebago Region [PDF]
Chapter 5 – Mississippi River Corridor Region [PDF]
Chapter 6 – Western Sands Region [PDF]
Chapter 7 – Lower Lake Michigan Region [PDF]
Chapter 8 – Southern Gateways Region [PDF]
Appendix 1: Descriptions of recreation activities [PDF]
Appendix 2: Recreation compatibility [PDF]
Appendix 3: Land in Wisconsin open to the public for outdoor recreation [PDF]
Appendix 4: Statewide Stakeholder Team members [PDF]
Appendix 5: Descriptions of Department of Natural Resources properties by Region [PDF]
Region map

General Information

Goals

hunting the big buckThe goals of the Recreation Opportunities Analysis are to:

  • ensure that DNR resources are focused on providing recreational opportunities in the most appropriate places;
  • identify highest priority future recreational needs in each planning region and the department properties that are best suited to meet these priorities;
  • provide information on the full spectrum of outdoor recreation in each region to the department's master planning process, and further, provide information and guidance that enables the master planning process to identify which roads on DNR properties should be open to motorized vehicles;
  • use the best available information to identify existing recreation opportunities and future needs and priorities in each region of the state; and
  • ensure there is ample opportunity for public and stakeholder input in selecting priorities.
Products

UTV ridingOur study of recreation opportunities in Wisconsin is divided into eight regional chapters. These chapters describe existing recreation opportunities, future needs and priorities, and the potential role of state-owned lands in helping meet these priorities. The chapters also provide guidance to the department’s master planning process on a wide variety of recreation needs, including opportunities for incorporating new recreation uses and motorized access.

Process

rock climingThe department started by engaging representatives of statewide stakeholder groups from a variety of recreation interests. This group helped the department develop a set of recreation goals and objectives and develop criteria to identify appropriate locations for recreational activities. The criteria includes attributes and conditions needed to provide a high-quality recreational experience, identify the potential impacts of those activities and determine appropriate geographic distribution of opportunities.

Next, the department engaged with the public, recreation providers, business and environmental groups and department property managers. For purposes of this study, the department used eight regions [PDF] developed by previous recreation studies. The department completed draft chapters reflecting the information gathered from the public, recreation use groups, and department staff. These chapters were made available for public review. After making edits, the chapters were finalized by the department.

Connection to other projects

This analysis is being conducted concurrently with a legislatively-mandated DNR project to inventory and map all roads on department properties. The results of this road inventory project will help inform the Recreation Opportunities Analysis.

Also concurrent with this analysis is the development of the 2017-2022 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP).

The department will be using the results of the Recreation Opportunities Analysis to help inform the development of department master plans across the state.


Region Information

Northwoods Region

The following maps have been prepared to provide background information. They are based on the best information that the department could gather at this time.

Upper Lake Michigan Coastal Region

The following maps have been prepared to provide background information. They are based on the best information that the department could gather at this time.

Great Northwest Region

The following maps have been prepared to provide background information. They are based on the best information that the department could gather at this time.

Mississippi River Corridor Region

The following maps have been prepared to provide background information. They are based on the best information that the department could gather at this time.

Western Sands Region

The following maps have been prepared to provide background information. They are based on the best information that the department could gather at this time.

Lake Winnebago Waters Region

The following maps have been prepared to provide background information. They are based on the best information that the department could gather at this time.

Lower Lake Michigan Coastal Region

The following maps have been prepared to provide background information. They are based on the best information that the department could gather at this time.

Southern Gateways Region

The following maps have been prepared to provide background information. They are based on the best information that the department could gather at this time.



Last revised: Thursday May 23 2019