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Contact: Savannah Ernzen, DNR Property Planner or 608-266-2130

DNR Seeking Public Comment For The North Central Forest Regional Master Plan

Initial Comment Period Open Through Aug. 15, 2022

The tree-lined shoreline of one of the many lakes in the Prairie River Fisheries Area. One of several lakes in the Prairie River Fishery Area in Gleason, Wis. The public can now comment on the initial North Central forest regional plan through Aug. 15. Photo credit: Wisconsin DNR

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is seeking public comments today on the North Central Regional Master Plan for properties it manages in the North Central Forest Ecological Landscape. The initial public comment period is open through Aug. 15, 2022.

The public can learn about – and share perspectives on – the DNR’s regional master planning process for properties in the North Central Forest region through upcoming open house public meetings, the DNR’s website and input forms. Following the close of the comment period, department staff will summarize the comments received and post them on the project’s webpage.   

The North Central Forest region includes portions of the following 20 counties: Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Chippewa, Clark, Douglas, Florence, Forest, Iron, Langlade, Lincoln, Marinette, Oconto, Oneida, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Taylor, Vilas and Washburn. DNR properties in the region include state parks, trails, natural areas, wildlife areas, fishery areas and state forests. This regional plan also includes the Turtle Flambeau Scenic Waters Area, Brunet Island State Park, Kimberly Clark Wildlife Area and the Upper Wolf River Fishery Area.


A regional master plan, guided by Chapter NR 44 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code (NR 44), establishes the level and type of resource management and public use permitted on department-managed properties. Under the regional master planning process, department staff will develop a plan for department properties located within the region. 

Most of the DNR-managed lands in this region will have new master plans developed as part of this planning process. Existing plans for properties in the region that are already compliant with Chapter NR 44 will be referenced during the planning process. The DNR will evaluate whether any updates need to be made to these existing plans. The DNR will include any necessary updates in the regional plan that is to be developed.

Members of the public are invited to learn more about the North Central Forest Region, engage in the DNR’s planning process and to share their thoughts on the future use and management of DNR properties in the region by visiting the DNR’s North Central Forest Regional Master Plan webpage or by attending a public open house meeting hosted by the department. 

In addition to attending a public meeting, the public is encouraged to submit comments and questions through the DNR's online public input form, a downloadable hard-copy input form, or by U.S. mail, email or phone. Submit comments by Aug. 15 to:

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources c/o Savannah Ernzen, DNR property planner P.O. Box 7921 Madison, WI 53707-7921 or 608-381-4336.

North Central Forest Regional Master Plan Public Meetings

5 – 7:30 p.m. July 26, 2022
Nicolet College Lakeside Center
1st floor commons area
5355 College Drive, Rhinelander, WI 54501
DNR staff will give a short presentation at 5:30 p.m.

5 – 7:30 p.m. July 27, 2022
Barry Wehmiller Learning Center
165 County Highway F, Phillips, WI 54555
DNR staff will give a short presentation at 5:30 p.m.


NOTE: A recorded version of the presentation that will be given at these meetings will be posted on the DNR's North Central Forest Regional Master Plan webpage on July 26. Both meetings will cover the same material and attendance at both is not necessary.