New WI DNR map shows 1.1 million private acres open to public.

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by Dan, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. Dan

    Dan Senior Member

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    Madison—More than one million private acres classified as open for public use under a landowner-incentive program are easier for outdoor enthusiasts to find thanks to a new online state mapping tool unveiled today by Governor Scott Walker. Earlier this year, the Governor directed the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to develop a mapping system as a short-term solution, while a more comprehensive mapping application is developed by the department.

    “The Managed Forest Law (MFL) is a valuable program for the overall health and productivity of our forests,” said Governor Walker. “MFL land plays an important role in Wisconsin’s timber industry, the tourism industry, and in our state’s rich hunting heritage. Lands enrolled as ‘open’ in this program must be accessible. The mapping tool will raise awareness about specific parcels of land that are open to the public.”

    Created by the DNR, the web-based mapping tool will help users find privately owned land open for specific recreational activities under the Managed Forest Law. This law is a landowner-incentive program that incorporates sustainable forest practices, such as timber harvesting, wildlife management, water quality and recreation—while improving public access to these lands.

    “We understand some of the MFL land parcels are hard to find,” said DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp. “This new tool was developed in response to immediate concerns that some of the lands are hard to find, especially for the upcoming hunting season. We have been working on a more detailed system that will digitize the tens of thousands of maps associated with the tax law programs. However, because of the size of that project, we wanted to take action now to provide better information in the interim.”

    To access the mapping tool which also includes lands enrolled under the Forest Crop Law, visit the DNR web site at dnr.wi.gov, and type “MFL open land” in the Search or Keywords field.


    Here's the direct link. http://dnrmaps.wi.gov/opfl/

    I found an 80 at our cabin that I knew was in a trust, but did not know it was open land for public use. Its landlocked on all sides by private land, but our land borders it so we have access to it.

    Hopefully some of you guys can find some land for hunting near you that you never knew existed. Good luck and let me know if this map helps you!
     
  2. Dan

    Dan Senior Member

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    After a bit more looking, I've found some land within a short drive from home that I never knew was open. One particular piece looks very interesting. May have to check it out Friday during the day.
     
  3. TheTrailerHunter55

    TheTrailerHunter55 Newb

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    lucky for you that that piece is landlocked from all sides but you have access to it!
     
  4. Sadlk

    Sadlk Weekend Warrior

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    Thanks for the info!
     
  5. ajohnson03

    ajohnson03 Newb

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    Very cool - thanks! This was already in place, now they just have a map right?
     
  6. mitchp21

    mitchp21 Weekend Warrior

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    Kinda wish this land wouldn't have become publicized.. MFL land was bow hunters paradise because most people were too lazy to look it up and find it on a plat map.. now its easily accessible.. gonna have to stick to private land now
     
  7. crxwolski

    crxwolski Weekend Warrior

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    My parents almost went this way (MLF) for a nice tax break. They have 200 acreas but just the thought of somebody that you don't know walking around on your land is weird to them.
     
  8. ttraveler

    ttraveler Weekend Warrior

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    Thanks, Dan. Looks like a great resource.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
  9. 400excracer

    400excracer Weekend Warrior

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    I saw this yesterday too. I think it is a great resource for those who dont have their own land. It was almost impossible to find these lands and even now it will take a little work to figure out exactly what land is in the program. Most people still wont know anything about it and many of those that do know wont take the time to find out what land is really available. Cudos to Governor Walker for making this happen!
     
  10. Dan

    Dan Senior Member

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    I agree. This program has been around for a long time, but few people knew about it. Even now, I don't think you're going to see a massive amount of people using these lands. Generally, these are small tracts of land that still will take some legwork to find and I believe people will stick to the larger public land tracts.

    This is just a preliminary map that outlines where these properties are. Governor Walker wanted this map put out in time for hunting season this year, so people could start using these resources. There's a lot more work that is being done to make a more detailed map marking the property boundaries.
     
  11. GregH

    GregH Grizzled Veteran

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    Why are we not out hunting?
     
  12. Dan

    Dan Senior Member

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    Correct. The MFL program has been around for awhile. There's a lot of it around our cabin that my cousins have used to hunt for many years.
     
  13. Dan

    Dan Senior Member

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    Would love to be. Obligations to my wife and kids have me home. I'll hunt Saturday-Monday morning and then Thursday-Sunday next weekend.
     
  14. 130Woodman

    130Woodman Grizzled Veteran

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    My place is in MFL but it's closed. The maps were available before the big media storm but people just didn't know where to look. I've found a ton of land to hunt by checking the tax records. It is nice that they put all in one place makes it much easier.
     
  15. GregH

    GregH Grizzled Veteran

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    At least you have a reason! I'm just being lazy. Just saw a nice 8 point dogging a doe across my front yard!
     
  16. rsf31tmp

    rsf31tmp Die Hard Bowhunter

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    does Illinois have a map like this? Believe me, I will be looking! Just wondering if someone already knew of it?
     
  17. Dan

    Dan Senior Member

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    Sure, a few more people will use these lands, but like I said earlier they are not going to become flooded with bowhunters.

    Lets do a little math. There are approximately 240,000 archery licenses sold in WI. Lets say 5% (12,000) of those license holders started using these MFL lands. (I highly doubt that many people will) Divide that 1.1 million acres of land among those 12,000 people and that's 92 acres per person. That's far from crowded.
     
  18. Dan

    Dan Senior Member

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    That's the beautiful thing about hunting, do it when you feel like it. Like you Greg, I have done a lot of work on our land this year and I can tell you its very enjoyable. Hell, its almost as fun as the hunting itself.
     
  19. GregH

    GregH Grizzled Veteran

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    Absolutely right!
     
  20. brucelanthier

    brucelanthier Grizzled Veteran

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    Unless you can promise me that no one will shoot my deer then that is still way to crowded. How am I supposed to kill big bucks with all of those people causing problems?
     

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