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Explore outdoors
find great places to go and things to do
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nature programs and events calendar
Public access lands
parks, forests, wildlife, fisheries, natural areas, trails and flowages
State park system
find a park, forest, recreation area or trail
Contact information
For information on the SCORP planning project, contact:
John Pohlman
SCORP project manager

Wisconsin Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP)

Jonathan P. Ela Unit of the Bailey's Harbor Boreal Forest State Natural Area

Jonathan P. Ela Unit of the Bailey's Harbor Boreal Forest State Natural Area along the Lake Michigan shoreline.

Planning update

The department released a draft version of the 2019-2023 Wisconsin SCORP on December 4, 2018 and sought public review and input on the document until January 4, 2019. Over 300 comments were received and the department is thankful to all the people that submitted their perspectives and suggestions.

Department staff are currently reviewing the public comments and will revise the document as needed. Department administration will forward the document to the Governor to then submit it to the National Park Service for their approval. The final, approved version of the SCORP will be posted on this website and an email will be sent to everyone that has signed up to receive updates.


SCORPs are intended to evaluate outdoor recreation supply, demand, trends and issues. They are used to set forth ideas about recreation's future role in the state and serve as the blueprint by providing broad guidance to governments at all levels, communities, businesses and organizations on recreation needs and opportunities.

States are required to complete SCORPs every five years to be eligible for participation in the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) State Assistance Program. Describing the supply and demand for outdoor recreation in the state as well as describing the criteria and system to distribute LWCF funds are required components of the SCORP. States have the flexibility to incorporate other topics in their SCORP that will help provide a better understanding of the needs and priorities unique to their outdoor recreation resources.

Primary actions for the 2019-2023 Wisconsin SCORP include:

  • collect data on Wisconsinites' participation in outdoor recreation;
  • conduct initial research on the efficacy and costs of different techniques to gather data on visitors (e.g., numbers, activities pursued, visitation patterns and satisfaction) to public lands.
  • update data on the supply of outdoor recreation opportunities, with a focus on properties open to the public for nature-based outdoor recreation; and
  • develop priorities for future recreation funding.

Land and Water Conservation Fund

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) was enacted by Congress in 1965 "to strengthen the health and vitality of the citizens of the United States" through the acquisition and development of outdoor recreation resources and facilities. States are allocated funds as matching (50%) grants for the acquisition and development of public outdoor recreation sites and facilities.

In FY2017 Wisconsin is expected to receive about $1.7 million from the LWCF, half of which will be passed to counties and local units of government through a competitive grant process. LWCF grants have been used in the past to help fund a diversity of local and state projects including the following recent awards:

  • $205,000 for interpretive exhibits at the Horicon Marsh International Education Center;
  • $250,000 for the City of Kenosha to develop Simmons Island Park;
  • $250,000 for improvements at the Homestead Campground at Wyalusing State Park;
  • $120,000 for the Town of Bass Lake to acquire Grindstone Beach Park; and
  • $26,000 for Fond du Lac County to resurface the Wild Goose Trail.

To date in Wisconsin, a total of over $76 million dollars of LWCF grants have been awarded to local communities and the state government for planning, acquisition and development projects that provide outdoor recreation throughout the state.

Contact information
For information on the SCORP planning project, contact:
John Pohlman
SCORP project manager
WI Dept. of Natural Resources
P.O. Box 7921
Madison WI 53707-7921

LWCF logoThe preparation of this plan is financed in part through a planning grant from the National Park Service, Land & Water Conservation Fund [exit DNR].

Last revised: Thursday January 10 2019