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Stewardship program logo
Apply (LUG)
for grants eligible for local units of government.
Apply (NCO)
for grants eligible for nonprofit conservation organizations.
Stewardship Grant lands.
Contact information
For more information, see:
Stewardship grant contact list

Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program grantsCounty Forest Land Acquisition Program

The Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program is the name for a family of funds supporting natural resource protection and nature-based outdoor recreation in Wisconsin.

Some Stewardship funds are available as grants to local governments and nonprofit conservation organizations (known as LUGs and NCOs). Brief information about each subprogram is below. For detailed information about applying for any one of these grant programs, follow links below to application materials and contact grant staff in your region of the state. Stewardship grants can be grouped, generally, into two categories:

Grants to purchase land or conservation easements

Grants to purchase land or fund recreational development on public lands

County Forest Land Acquisition

See section 23.0953 (2) (a), Wis. Stats. and ch. NR 51, subch. XVII, Wis. Adm. Code

Who can apply

Who can apply

Counties must have lands entered under the County Forest Program (s. 28.11, Wis. Stats.)


Eligible projects

Fee simple acquisition of lands that meet the requirements for entry into county forest as stipulated in s. 28.11(4), Wis. Stats.


Program purpose

To expand nature-based recreational opportunities by adding to lands in the county forest system.


Program priorities

Program priorities can be found in ch. NR 51.960, Wis. Adm. Code [exit DNR].

Grants awarded

Funding allocated each year to this grant program varies. Grants are awarded for up to 50 percent of acquisition costs. Counties must match at least 50 percent of project costs with non-state funds.

How to apply

How to apply

See County forest land acquisition grants


Application deadlines

Applications for county forest grants are accepted year-round.

Applications submitted by May 1 will receive primary consideration and ranking for funding in the upcoming fiscal year. Applications submitted by October 15 will be considered in a secondary batch ranking and funding if funding allows. Applications submitted after October 15 will be ranked and funded as needed and as funding allows.

Last revised: Wednesday November 11 2015