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
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 grantsGlossary of Terms

Acquisition Cost

is the fair market value of the property as determined by department appraisal guidelines, except as provided in s. 23.0917(7)(b) to (d), Stats., plus reasonable costs related to the purchase of the property including; appraisal fee, land survey, relocation costs, title evidence, recording fees, initial posting of signage limited to $1000, attorney fees limited to $1000, historical, cultural, and environmental assessments.

Acquisition Project

is a grant project which includes the purchase of land. The land can be one or more parcels of land that are contiguous or in close proximity which include features or outdoor recreational opportunities that are eligible for grants.

ADA = Americans with Disabilities Act

signed into law on July 26, 1990, is a wide-ranging civil rights law that prohibits, under certain circumstances, discrimination based on disability.

ADLP = Acquisition or Development of Local Parks

is a subprogram of the Stewardship Program to acquire and develop property for nature-based outdoor recreation.

ADR = Acquisition of Development Rights

is a subprogram of the Stewardship Program where a voluntary land protection program enacted by a governmental unit or non-profit organization that compensates landowners for limiting future development on their land.

Baseline Document

an inventory of the features of a property including reports, maps, photographs, and other materials that provides an accurate representation of the property at the time an easement is executed to protect it.

Basic Facilities

the minimum improvement necessary to enable people to make use of recreation sites with minimum maintenance.

BRRTS = Bureau of Remediation and Redevelopment Tracking System

a database which houses the identification of contaminated sites in the State of Wisconsin.

CRA = Civil Rights Act

enacted July 2, 1964 is a landmark piece of civil rights legislation in the United States that outlawed major forms of discrimination against racial, ethnic, religious minorities, and women.

Community Gardening

a noncommercial activity in an urban community involving the raising of vegetables, fruits, flowers, and herbs for personal consumption or use.

CORP = Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan

the document prepared and adopted by governmental units that summarize planning efforts for recreation, open space preservation, and resource protection.

Conservation Easement

a holder's nonpossessory interest in real property imposing any limitation or affirmative obligation the purpose of which includes retaining or protecting natural, scenic or open space values of real property, assuring the availability of real property for agricultural, forest, recreational or open space use, protecting natural resources, maintaining or enhancing air or water quality, preserving a burial site, or preserving the historical, architectural, archaeological or cultural aspects of real property.

Cooperative Agreement

an agreement between a conservation organization and nonprofit organization under s. 23.197(4)(b), Stats, setting forth the obligations of each.

CSS = Community Services Specialist

Department staff specializing in grant funding.

Current Owner

is the owner who has the title of the property who sells the property to the sponsor.

Dedicated Match

is the sponsors matching funds. These funds are dedicated or restricted by the donor or funding source to be used exclusively for a particular parcel.

Dedicated State Natural Area

is land accepted and recorded for dedication under the Wisconsin natural areas heritage program as provided under s. 23.29(16), Stats.

DNR = Department of Natural Resources

is an agency within the State of Wisconsin. Referred to as "the department."

Department Appraisal Guidelines

are the department procedures by which contracted appraisers are required to assess the fair market value of a property where the title is to be acquired in fee simple or easement with funds.

Designated State Natural Area

is a natural area designated as a state natural area under s. 23.28(1), Stats.

Development project

is the construction, renovation, or modification of structures, utilities, facilities, landscaping, or restoration or enhancement of natural communities and other department-approved improvements for the purposes of nature-based outdoor recreation.

Development rights

are the rights of a landowner to develop their property as allowed under state and local laws and ordinances.

Diversified Recreational Trail

A project intended to benefit both nonmotorized recreational trail use and motorized recreational trail use. This category includes projects where motorized use is permitted, but is not the predominant beneficiary. This category includes projects where motorized and nonmotorized uses are separated by season, such as equestrian use in summer and snowmobile use in winter.


is a certain right to use the property of another without possessing the property.

EA = Environmental Assessmentis

an assessment of a site to identify potential or known areas of environmental contamination.

Fair Market Value

is the dollar value assigned to a property by a department-approved appraisal conducted in accordance with department appraisal guidelines for the grant.

FY = Fiscal Year

is the period beginning on July 1st of one year and ending on June 30th of the following calendar year.

Force Account

is the performance of a development or maintenance project with the forces and resources of the sponsor, including labor, equipment, and materials.

Fringe Benefits

are the employer's costs for an employee's social security, life and health insurance, unemployment insurance, worker's compensation insurance, retirement and authorized absences such as annual, sick, court or military leave. These costs must be equitably distributed to all employee labor activities.

Grant Agreement

is an unrecorded contract between a sponsor and the department setting forth the obligations of each party.

Grant Contract

is a recorded contract between a sponsor and the department setting forth the obligations of each party.

HA = Habitat Area

is a project that addresses the important habitat needs of wildlife in the state as specified in NR 51.45(1)(a), of the Wisconsin Administrative Code.

Habitat Restoration Project

is the implementation of a specific activity or set of activities to restore or enhance wildlife or fish habitat, natural communities or shorelines.

Indirect Costs

are those ordinary operating expenses of the sponsor not directly related to a specific stewardship project.

IRS = Internal Revenue Service

is the United States Internal Revenue Service.

JFC = Joint Finance Committee

The Joint Committee on Finance is a statutory, 16-member standing committee of the Wisconsin Legislature. The Committee's primary responsibility is to serve as the principal legislative committee charged with the review of all state appropriations and revenues.

LMP = Land Management Plan

is a plan approved by the department detailing how property acquired by a nonprofit conservation organization or a conservation organization with grants under this chapter shall be managed, maintained, and used by the public.

Land Management Practice

is a practice, technique, or measure approved by the department that is determined to be an effective, practicable means of protecting, restoring, or enhancing wildlife or fish habitat.


means any individual, partnership, corporation, city, village, town, county, tribe, nonprofit organization, taxing authority or other person holding title to the land by title in fee simple.

Legacy Community

the sponsor has signed the Wisconsin Green Tier Legacy Community Charter before the current grant application deadline of May 1st, and agrees to take actions to achieve superior environmental performance in the areas of water resources management and/or sustainability practices and to share the results of their Green Tier Legacy efforts.

Letter of Retroactivity

is a letter from the department allowing the sponsor to purchase the project property before the grant applications deadline. However it is important to note that this letter does not guarantee the sponsor will be awarded a grant.

LUG = Local Unit of Governments

is a town, village, city, county, tribe, or the Kickapoo reserve management board.

LWCF = Land & Water Conservation Fund

is a federal program enacted in 1965, to provide funds and matching grants to federal, state, and local governments for the acquisition of land and water, and easements on land and water for the benefit of all Americans.

Motorized Recreational Trail

is a trail that allows for motorized uses such as ATV, UTV, and snowmobiles.

Motorized Diverse Recreational Trail

a project primarily intended to benefit more than one mode of motorized recreational use, such as: motorcycle and ATV use; or ATV use in summer and snowmobile use in winter. A project may be classified in this category if the project also benefits some nonmotorized uses (it is not necessary to exclude nonmotorized uses), but the primary intent must be for the benefit of motorized use.

NPS = National Park Service

is an office established in 1916 of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

NA = Natural Area

an area of land or water which has educational or scientific value or is important as a reservoir of the state's genetic or biologic diversity and includes any buffer area necessary to protect the area's natural values. Frequently, "natural areas" are important as a reserve for native biotic communities.

NEPA = National Environmental Policy Act

Signed into law on January 1, 1970. Acknowledging the decades of environmental neglect that had significantly degraded the nation's landscape and damaged the human environment, the law was established to foster and promote the general welfare, to create and maintain conditions under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony, and fulfill the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations of Americans.

NHPA = National Historic Preservation Act

is legislation intended to preserve historic and archaeological sites in the United States. The act created the National Register of Historic Places, the list of National Historic Landmarks, and the State Historic Preservation Offices.

NBOA = Nature-based Outdoor Activities

there are 5 NBOAs which are identified by the Natural Resources Board (NRB). They are hunting, trapping, fishing, hiking, and cross-county skiing.

NBOR = Nature-based Outdoor Recreation

are activities where the primary focus or purpose is the appreciation or enjoyment of nature. These activities may include but are not limited to hiking, bicycling, wildlife or nature observation, camping, nature study, fishing, hunting, trapping, public shooting range, boating, picnicking, cross-country skiing, canoeing, and multi-use trail activities.

NHI = Natural Heritage Inventory

is a database containing the location and biological status of each natural community and rare species that has been inventoried and evaluated by the natural heritage inventory program.

NRB = Natural Resources Board

is a group appointed by the Governor to advise the department on stewardship policy.

Non-motorized Recreational Trail

is a trail that only allows non-motorized uses such as walking, equestrian, biking, skating, and cross-country skiing.

Nonmotorized Diverse Recreational Trail

a project primarily intended to benefit more than one mode of nonmotorized recreational trail use such as: walking, bicycling, and skating; both pedestrian and equestrian use; or pedestrian use in summer and cross-country ski use in winter.

NCO = Nonprofit Conservation Organization

an organization whose bylaws, charter or incorporation papers reflect as a purpose of the organization the acquisition of property for conservation purposes.


is a tract of land which is being conveyed by one deed.

Primary Purpose

the recreational or conservation purpose for which the property is being acquired or developed for

Project Period

is the length of time specified in a grant agreement or grant contract during which all work shall be accomplished and expenses incurred in order to be eligible for reimbursement.


is land or rights in land.

Public Access

as a condition of the grant contract, a sponsor acquiring property through title in fee simple with a grant shall ensure that the property is available for public access as provided in s. 23.0916, Stats.

RTP = Recreational Trails Program

is a financial assistance program of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The RTP provides funds to the States to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for motorized and nonmotorized recreational trail uses.


is one of the 5 department administrative areas within the state.

Residual Value

is any fair market value from an approved property donation that is not utilized as sponsor match in a grant application that may be used for sponsor match in subsequent grant applications.

Reversionary Interest

is the right of the department to assume ownership of a property acquired with a grant as specified in the grant contract.

SCORP = Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan

is the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan prepared by the department.

SHPO = State Historic Preservation Office

an office under the Wisconsin Historical Society which assists communities, organizations, agencies, and individuals identify and protect archaeological sites, burial places, and historic properties in Wisconsin.


all land purchased with funds from the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship program must be posted as stated in s. 23.09165, Stats.

Smart Growth Plan

is a comprehensive land use plan compliant with s. 66.1001, Stats., and has been adopted by ordinance.


is the city, village, town, tribe, county, nonprofit conservation organization, conservation organization, lake sanitary district as defined in s. 30.50(4g), Stats., public inland lake protection and rehabilitation district, or Kickapoo reserve management board that is applying for or has received a grant under this chapter.

Sponsor Match

is that portion of the acquisition or development cost which is not funded by the state. Eligible sources of sponsor match may include cash from the sponsor; funds generated by local or federal governments; grants or contributions from foundations, businesses, private individuals or nonprofit organizations; property contributions from a third party if the contribution is made within 3 years of the acquisition of the property, and is considered by the department to be eligible for a stewardship grant from the same program as the property being purchased, and was not originally purchased in whole or in part with state funds; property acquired by the sponsor within 3 years of the acquisition if the property was not purchased with state funds; and property value donated by the property owner.

Stewardship Program

a grant program administered by the department to provide an adequate and flexible system for the protection, development, and use of forests, fish and game, lakes, streams, plant life, flowers, and other outdoor resources in this state.

SAC = Stewardship Advisory Council

is a group appointed by the department secretary to advise the department on stewardship matters. The council shall consist of users of the stewardship grant program and other citizens.

Shoreline Enhancement
is a development or habitat restoration project that serves public recreation or resources conservation purposes and is dependent on being on a shoreline.

is a federally recognized tribe or band of tribe in this state.

THPO = Tribal Historic Preservation Officer

are officially designated by a federally-recognized Indian tribe to direct a program approved by the National Park Service and the THPO must have assumed some or all of the functions of State Historic Preservation Officers on Tribal lands.

Urban Area

is any area that is within or is characteristic of a city or village.

UGS = Urban Green Space

is open natural space within or in proximity to urban development that has scenic, ecological, or natural values. Urban Green Space is a subprogram of the Stewardship Program.

UR = Urban Rivers

is a river within a proximity to an urban area. Urban Rivers is a subprogram of the Stewardship program.

WEPA = Wisconsin Environmental Policy Act

a state law designed to encourage environmentally sensitive decision making by state agencies. Signed into law in 1972, WEPA spells out the state's environmental policy and requires the DNR and other state agencies to consider the environmental effects of their actions to the extent possible under their other statutory authorities.

Last revised: Monday November 25 2019