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Proposed DNR Program Guidance

NRB Meeting

The Wisconsin DNR creates and revises program guidance to aid in the consistent implementation of statutes and codes.

Program guidance is formal written direction to DNR staff that explains how to approach making decisions when there are not specific details in the law. Department programs use different formats to document guidance, including operational handbooks, manual codes and written directives from managers to staff. Program guidance can include recommended actions or suggested permit conditions when certain factors or criteria are present. Program guidance may also clarify implementation of legal authority or guide decision-making where legal authority allows discretion in decisions.

2017 Wisconsin Act 369

2017 Wisconsin Act 369 [exit DNR], enacted on December 15, 2018, modified state law relating to state agency guidance documents. Per this act and s. 227.112, Wis. Stats. [exit DNR], the DNR must republish all existing program guidance for public comment. Once finalized, all guidance must now contain a certification statement and remain available for public comment.

Because the DNR has posted program guidance for public comment on this webpage since 2013, we have separated out the types of documents available.

  • Guidance that are new or are being substantially revised are available for comment in one group.
  • Existing guidance that are being recertified are available for comment in a separate group.
  • Final, certified guidance are now on a separate page.

Opportunities for participation

We welcome your input on all program guidance. Here are some key facts about this public input process.

  • The comment period for proposed guidance is 21 days, unless modified for cause and approved by the governor.
  • Notice of proposed guidance will be posted on this site, as well as on the Administrative Register [exit DNR]. You may sign up to be notified by DNR when new or final guidance is available for comment.
  • All comments received will be considered.
  • Documents will be posted on the final program guidance page once completed. We strive to post the final guidance within 45 days of the expiration of the comment period.
  • The department will continue to accept public comments on all final guidance.
  • If you would like to request that the department consider updating an existing guidance, please contact the appropriate DNR program directly or email the DNR Secretary's Office.

New proposed program guidance open for public comment

There are no new proposed guidance documents open for public comment at this time.

Existing program guidance (being recertified) open for public comment

There are no existing proposed guidance documents open for public comment at this time.