DNR launches new website to help find recreation areas - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

DNR launches new website to help find recreation areas

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - The DNR launched a new web site today, and the objective is simple. It's all about recreation and helping you find new places to go.

An online map highlights areas across the state where private landowners have agreed to allow the public to use their land in exchange for tax breaks.

"They tend to be high quality lands, but they also tend to be isolated," said Northland Adventures host Dave Carlson.

More than 1 million privately-owned acres are available for public use through a statewide program.

"We've had a computerized listing just of legal descriptions, and then a person would have to take the legal description listing and match it up with a plat book. Now with a new web-based mapping tool, it identifies those parcels where there is land that is open for access," said Wisconsin DNR Forester Steve Edge.

To help people better understand where the land is, the DNR is introducing a new web site.

"These lands, at least the ones I've encountered over the years, they're not marked with signs. So you've got to have a good feel for what a 40 acre site looks like, or an 80," Carlson said.

The land can be used by anyone for recreational purposes without having to ask for permission, meaning some land might see increased traffic.

"There may be an increase on some particular parcels, and that's just part of the program. They understood when they signed up and they get the annual tax break on the property," said Edge.

The web site does have a drawback. Land is highlighted in 40 acre blocks. However, that doesn't mean the entire 40 is available for use.

"If a person is looking for these properties, give a call to the local DNR forester and get some additional information just to be on the safe side," Edge said.

If you'd like to see the map for yourself, click here.

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