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Tax Law Lands Open to Public Recreation

Wisconsin's forest tax laws encourage sustainable forest management on private lands by providing a property tax incentive to landowners. Some of these privately held forest lands also allow for public access for recreation. To legally access these lands for the authorized recreational uses, you need to know which program the land is enrolled in.

Consult the Hunting on Tax Law Land FAQ [PDF] for more information.

Managed Forest Law

Lands enrolled under Managed Forest Law as "open" to public access allow for hunting, fishing, hiking, sight-seeing and cross-country skiing.

Forest Crop Law

Lands enrolled under Forest Crop Law allow for public hunting and fishing.

Both tax laws require that all hunting and fishing follow the DNR hunting and fishing seasons and regulations.

View lands open to public recreation

To view the open tax law lands, you can use the Private Forest Lands Open for Public Recreation web mapping application.

You can also use the open land lists; the MFL and FCL open land lists currently reflect lands open for the 2024 calendar year (these lists show legal descriptions only). You may need to reference county plat books to identify ownership boundaries, roads, rivers, lakes and other physical land features. Plat books can be purchased from your county clerk, directly from the publisher or are available at public libraries.

2024 MFL and FCL open land lists

Contact information

DNR tax law forestry specialists can answer questions about MFL and FCL programs. You can use the Forestry Assistance Locator to find the DNR tax law forestry specialist(s) who has responsibility for each county.

If you are a landowner who owns MFL-closed lands, non-MFL lands or non-FCL lands and you suspect the public is trespassing on your property, contact the local sheriff’s department or other local law enforcement agency. Conservation wardens do not have the authority to investigate trespassing complaints.