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about the programs that provide a healthy Wisconsin shoreland, a system of native plants and trees thriving in and around the shallow water.
resources provided by local communities that offer zoning ordinances to guide development near navigable lakes and rivers.

Did You Know?
Lakes and rivers belong to the state's citizens. See: The Public Trust Doctrine.
The number of homes on lakes of all sizes increased 216 percent from the 1960s to 1995.
See: Development Trends in Northern Wisconsin.

As northern lakes are developed...
Songbirds decrease and grackles, cowbirds and other common species increase.
Green frog populations decrease.
Musky, trout and bluegill populations decrease.
See: Preserving Fish and Wildlife Habitat.

Contact information
Visit our Wisconsin Shoreland Zoning Contacts page to find out who to contact regarding your property.

Safeguarding our shorelands Rules and zoning case law summary


This list will be periodically updated to include new decisions in zoning cases handed down by the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. However, it may be several months before the summary of a new decision is added. To assist you in determining the timeliness of the various sections in this zoning case law publication, each page has the date of the last update in the bottom left corner.

Please keep in mind that any decision that is summarized in this publication may have been overruled or modified by subsequent court decisions that have not yet been added to this publication.

Disclaimer of Liability and Disclaimer of Warranty

Although the summaries found in this publication have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, no warranty, expressed or implied, is made regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of any information contained in this publication. To be certain of the accuracy of summaries or quotations contained in this publication, please consult the official case law reporters that are cited for each decision that is listed.

Neither the State of Wisconsin, the Department of Natural Resources nor any of the department's employees shall be held liable for any improper or incorrect use of the information contained in this publication. In no event shall the State of Wisconsin, the department or the department's employees be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, exemplary or consequential damages however caused and on any theory of liability, whether in contract, strict liability or tort (including negligence or otherwise) arising in any way out of the use of this publication.

Contact information
For more information about this page, please contact:
Shoreland policy coordinator
Bureau of Watershed Management
Last revised: Friday October 09 2015