LRP - Licenses

LRP - Regulations

LRP - Permits

Recreation - Statewide

Recreation - Trapping

Recreation - Fishing

Recreation - Hunting

Env. Protection - Management

Env. Protection - Emergency

Env. Protection - Resources

To sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences, please enter your contact information below.

Stewardship program logo
for a grant
DNR and Stewardship Grant lands
Related links
Contact information
For information on the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program, see our list of contacts.

Knowles-Nelson Stewardship ProgramGeneral land acquisition

The general land acquisition component of the Stewardship Program is the backbone of Wisconsin's public lands program. It provides the funds for all Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources land acquisition not funded specifically by other Stewardship Program components. This mandate is extensive and includes acquisition in 547 existing state parks and trails, flowages, fishery, wildlife, state forest, and rivers projects.


Wisconsin DNR, by statute, gives priority to the following purposes:

  • acquisition of land that preserves or enhances the state's water resources, including land in and for the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway; land abutting wild rivers, wild lakes, and land along the shores of the Great Lakes;
  • acquisition of land for the stream bank protection program;
  • acquisition of land for habitat areas and fisheries;
  • acquisition of land for natural areas; and
  • acquisition of land in the middle Kettle Moraine.

Stewardship acquisition strategy

Wisconsin DNR, with the advice and consent of the Natural Resources Board, periodically updates its land acquisition strategy based on evolving needs and opportunities. The two previous plans approved by the Natural Resources Board were the "Five Year Land Acquisition Plan" (approved in May, 1996) and the "Land Legacy Report Implementation Priorities" (approved in March, 2004).

The board approved the "DNR Land Acquisition Strategy for the Stewardship Program [PDF]" in December 2010 to guide DNR-led land acquisition for the period 2010-2019, with specific acquisition targets and allocation methodology for the first five years.

The strategy consists of four components.

  1. A description of the vision, goals, and objectives we seek to accomplish in our land acquisition.
  2. A summary of trends that affect what types of lands we can and should focus on, as well as the success that we and our partners will have in acquiring land to meet recreation and conservation goals.
  3. A system for allocating funds to programs to acquire lands within existing acquisition projects and new opportunities that may emerge. Also included are criteria to identify priorities at both property and parcel levels.
  4. A description of performance targets generally describing where acquisitions are intended to be focused.
Last revised: Monday January 14 2013