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Privacy Notice

State of Wisconsin laws exist to ensure that government is open and that the public has a right to access appropriate records and information possessed by state government. At the same time, there are exceptions to the public's right to access public records provided by both state and federal laws. These exceptions include the privacy of individuals.

Information collected at this site becomes public record and may be subject to inspection and copying by the public, unless an exception in law exists. During your visit to the Department of Natural Resources website information that is not readily identifiable to an individual is automatically collected and stored. This information is used solely to improve our web services. For more detail on our privacy policy, please see the expanded statement following.

Information collected and how it is used

If you do nothing during your visit to the department's webpages but browse or download information, the department automatically collects ("logs") the following information about your visit:

  1. The internet protocol address and domain name used but not the email address. The internet protocol address is a numerical identifier assigned either to your internet service provider or directly to your computer. The internet protocol address is used to direct internet traffic to your computer;
  2. The type of browser and operating system you used and your connection speed;
  3. The date and time you visited this site;
  4. The webpages or services you accessed at this site;and
  5. The website you visited prior to coming to this website.

These web site logs are continually analyzed to help improve the content, our web services and to help us understand how people are using our services. Website logs are not personally identifiable, are not linked to the individuals that browse the department's webpages.

If you participate in a survey or send an email, the following additional information will be collected:

  1. Email correspondence: The email address and contents of the email;
  2. Surveys: Any information you volunteered in response to a survey.

The information collected in an email or survey is not limited to text characters. It also includes attachments -- the audio, video and graphic files you send. Emailed information is retained in accordance with Wisconsin open records law.

Staff responds to email appropriately with requested information; to address a technical issue; to further improve our website; or to forward the email to another agency for appropriate action. Survey information is used for the purpose designated.

Personal information and choice

Personal identifiable information is information about an individual that is readily identifiable to that specific individual. Personal information includes personal identifiers such as your name, date of birth, Social Security Administration account number, street address, telephone number, internet protocol address and email address. The state collects no personal identifiable information unless you voluntarily participate in an online activity that asks for this information (i.e. sending an email, participating in a survey, completing an application form).

If personal information is requested on the website or volunteered by the user, state law and the federal Privacy Act of 1974 may protect it. However, information provided is public record which may be subject to public inspection and copying if not protected by federal or state law.

Users are cautioned that the collection of personal information requested from or volunteered by children online or by email may be indistinguishable and may also be subject to public access.

Public disclosure

In the state of Wisconsin, laws exist to ensure that government is open and that the public has a right to access appropriate records and information possessed by state government. At the same time, there are exceptions to the public's right to access public records that serve various needs: the privacy of individuals is included among these exceptions. Exceptions are provided by both state and federal laws. We strive to protect personally identifiable information by collecting only information necessary to deliver our services. All information collected at this site becomes public record that may be subject to inspection and copying by the public, unless an exemption in law exists.

In the event of a conflict between this privacy notice and the Wisconsin open records law or other law governing the disclosure of records, the Wisconsin open records law or other applicable law will control.

Access and correction of personal information

You may review any personal information the department collects about you. You may recommend changes to your personal information you believe in error by submitting a written request that credibly shows the error. If you believe that your personal information is being used for a purpose other than what was intended when submitted, you may contact us. In all cases, we will take reasonable steps to verify your identity before granting access or making corrections. See department contact information section.


The following provides information about cookies and how they are used.

What is a cookie?

A cookie is a small amount of data, which may include an anonymous unique identifier, that is sent to your browser from a website and may either be used only during your session (a "session cookie") or may be stored on your computer's hard drive (a "persistent cookie"). Cookies can contain data about user movement during the visit to the website. If your browser software is set to allow cookies, a website can send its own cookie to you. A website that sends cookies will only access those cookies it has sent, it cannot access cookies sent to you by other sites.

Why are cookies used on websites?

Cookies are one mechanism for maintaining continuity during a user's visit to a website. They allow data to be maintained for users' benefit as they navigate a site. This is referred to as "session" or "state management" cookie. These cookies go away when you terminate your visit to the website as they are maintained only in your browser's active memory during your session. Cookies may also be stored on your computer to so that your preferences can be recognized by the website on subsequent visits. A cookie may be used when an internet application login is required to save you time in entering your login information. They may store information on your unique identifier and your preferences in the areas of the website you have visited before. These cookies are stored on your computer's hard drive in a cookie folder designated for this purpose.

Choices about cookies

You may choose to alter your browser settings to accept all cookies, reject all cookies or notify you when a cookie is set. Browsers vary, so check the help menu of your browser to learn how to change your cookie preferences.

Department practices regarding cookies

The department uses very few cookies. If you choose to accept them, a session cookie may be used by the homepage features to rotate graphics and other variable information. A persistent cookie may be used, by a Geographical Information System (GIS) to assist the GIS in rendering maps or producing data for an area you may routinely study.


The Department of Natural Resources, as developer and manager of the department webpages, has taken several steps to safeguard the integrity of its telecommunications and computing infrastructure, including but not limited to authentication, monitoring, auditing and encryption. Security measures have been integrated into the design, implementation and day-to-day practices of the entire department operating environment as part of its continuing commitment to risk management.

This information should not be construed in any way as giving business, legal or other advice. This information should not be construed as warranting as fail-proof the security of information provided through department supported webpages.


The department webpages have links to other websites. These include links to websites operated by other government agencies and nonprofit organizations. When you link to another site, you are no longer on the department webpages and this privacy notice will not apply. When you link to another website, you are subject to the privacy policy of that new site.

Department contact information

Please email any comments about the department's webpages or about the information presented in this privacy notice.