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DNR and Stewardship Grant lands
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For information on the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program, see our list of contacts.

Knowles-Nelson Stewardship ProgramHistory

Established in 1989, the Stewardship Program is Wisconsin's most significant legislative land conservation program in the last 30 years. This program was the result of a legislative review of the Department of Natural Resources' efforts to acquire and protect recreational and environmentally sensitive lands. Their review suggested a strong need to continue the land acquisition program to complete acquisition in existing projects, to protect additional environmentally and scenically sensitive land, and to create additional recreation opportunities.

In 1993, the Stewardship Program was renamed the Warren Knowles-Gaylord Nelson Stewardship program after two of Wisconsin's most revered conservation leaders, Warren Knowles (governor 1965-1971) and Gaylord Nelson (governor 1959-1963, U.S. Senator 1964-1981).

The Stewardship Program started as a 10-year, $250,000,000 program with funding for department acquisition grants to non-profit conservation organizations and communities and funds for conservation development. The program has been revised several times since 1989.

The conservation and recreation goals of the Stewardship Program are achieved through the acquisition of land and easements, development of recreational facilities, and restoration of wildlife habitat.

The program has been an outstanding success. Perhaps we can provide no greater gift to the citizens of the 21st century for the places we save today will be a permanent and lasting investment in their future. We invite you to join in this endeavor.

Last revised: Monday January 14 2013