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County Good Neighbor Authority (GNA) Program

Under the federal Good Neighbor Authority, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service is authorized to enter into cooperative agreements with states so that states may perform forest management activities on national forest lands. Wisconsin DNR has entered into a GNA agreement with the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. The DNR is authorized to contract with counties to assist with forest management activities on national forest lands.

The focus of the GNA Program is to assist in implementation of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest (CNNF) Forest Plan, which will provide:

  • forest products to the local economy;
  • collaboration between federal, state and county forest managers; and
  • improved health and resiliency of forestlands and watersheds within Wisconsin.

Cooperation between the DNR and participating counties will be documented in a County GNA Program contract, pursuant to s. 28.15(3), Wis. Stats [exit DNR]. County participants will implement the federal GNA agreement entered into by the DNR and the USDA Forest Service. Under the County GNA Program, participating counties will be reimbursed for all authorized expenses through the state forestry funds.

Who can apply

Counties having lands enrolled under the County Forest Law (ss. 28.10 and 28.11, Wis. Stats. [exit DNR]) that have a professional forester on staff.


To participate in the program, a county must have:

  • established and enrolled lands as county forests under ss. 28.10 and 28.11, Wis. Stats.;
  • a forester on staff, as defined by s. NR 1.21(2)(e), Wis. Admin. Code. [exit DNR]; and
  • entered into a GNA memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the DNR prior to signing a contract.


Application materials may be submitted at any time during the year.

Applications submitted by all eligible counties will be evaluated for cost, nature and location of work to be accomplished by the county and overall county GNA funding available at the time of award.

The DNR shall award a county GNA contract in a manner that optimizes the amount of work that can be accomplished by the combined efforts of all contributing entities under a GNA agreement entered into by DNR and USDA Forest Service.

How to apply

Follow the steps below to apply.

  1. An eligible and interested county must submit a GNA Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) [PDF] to the Wisconsin DNR for approval. The MOA must first be approved by the county board. Route the MOA for DNR approval through the local DNR national forest liaison.
  2. Work with the local DNR national forest liaison to complete and submit a County Good Neighbor Authority (GNA) Program Contract [PDF]. To streamline this part of the program, the DNR has created a combined application and grant contract document, including a specific work plan (addendum).

Applications must indicate:

  • the proposed amount of time to be committed to accomplishing authorized activities;
  • the county or counties in which the county staff are willing to complete work;
  • the types of activities the county is willing to complete; and
  • a corresponding budget.

Submit your completed application/contract to your local DNR national forest liaison or the DNR GNA operations leader.

Grant related statues and administrative codes