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Forestry GIS Data

Copyright and acceptable use: Users are responsible for reviewing copyright and acceptable use conditions to ensure appropriate use of this data and to avoid copyright infringement. DNR Legal Notices are also available to view.

Copies of the DNR Forestry Geographic Information System library datasets are available to the public via free download. Some data themes can be downloaded in shapefile format. All relevant documentation and Federal Geographic Data Committee compliant metadata are packaged with the GIS data as a WinZip file.

    Data format

    DNR forestry GIS library data is available in the format, geographic extent and georeferencing system in which the data is maintained and used on the DNR computer network. Vector data (point, line or polygon data) will be provided in ArcView shapefile format. Raster data are provided in ArcInfo grid format and image data provided in .tif format.

    DNR staff are not available to convert forestry GIS library data to other formats as part of a data request.

    Georeferencing system

    Data are provided in the DNR's standard georeferencing system - Wisconsin Transverse Mercator based on the 1991 adjustment to the North American Datum of 1983 (WTM83/91). Conversion of forestry GIS library data from WTM83/91 to other georeferencing systems can be carried out using commercially available GIS software.

    DNR staff are not available to carry out these conversions as part of a forestry GIS library data request.

    Download instructions

    1. Right click on the hyperlink.
    2. Choose "Save target as"
    3. Browse to place you want to save the data
    4. Follow the prompts for filename and click "save".

    County forest data sets

    County forests include all county lands entered and participating under chapter 77 Wis. Stats. on October 2, 1963 and all county lands designated as county forests by the county board or the forestry committee and entered under the county forest law and designated as "county forest lands" or "county special use lands." The GIS representation of Wisconsin’s county forests layer is dissolved from a stand (forest management) layer used in the Wisconsin Forest Inventory and Reporting System (WisFIRS). Download this dataset [.zip].

    Dispatch groups data sets

    A dispatch group is a collection of DNR Division of Forestry Fire Response Units containing the ranger stations that are dispatched out of a common location for the fire suppression. There are currently seven dispatch groups within the state of Wisconsin. Download this dataset [.zip].

    Fire occurrence data sets

    The Bureau of Forest Protection has compiled historical fire report data into a single database. Currently, this database consists of the years 1982 - current (updated annually each spring for the previous complete year).

    The location information collected for this shapefile varies depending on collection year. For years prior to 2004, location was determined by the public land survey system (PLSS) quarter-quarter section polygon centroids (center of the QQ section). For years from 2004 and later, lat/long coordinates were used for locating occurrence points.

    Please read the accompanying disclaimer and data dictionary for more important information about this dataset. Download this dataset [.zip].

    Fire response units

    Fire response units designated by the DNR Forest Protection Bureau. A fire response unit is the area and equipment for which the personnel at a ranger station are responsible. Download this dataset [.zip].

    Fire protection areas

    Areas of the state are designated in an effort to divide the responsibility of fire suppression. The intensive and extensive areas are at a higher natural risk for fires and the DNR has the statutory responsibility for fire suppression. The distinctions between intensive and extensive areas are defined in Administrative code (NR30). Download this dataset [.zip].

    State forest invasive plant inventory

    During the 2006 and 2007 field seasons, the DNR Division of Forestry coordinated a survey of invasive plant species on priority sites in Wisconsin’s northern state forests for the following purposes:

    • collection of information on the ecology of invasive plants;
    • mapping of current existence and extent of invasive plant infestations within the state forests;
    • establishing of a baseline GIS database to aid in the development of invasive plant management goals and objectives;
    • increasing of departmental and public awareness of invasive plant issues; and
    • creation of support for management and prevention programs.

    Each state forest identified a list of priority search areas for invasive plant surveys. Priority areas included corridors along roads and trails, homesteads, boat landings, river ways, timber sales, gravel pits, recreational sites and campgrounds. Download this dataset [.7z].

    Tax Law (point)

    Tax Law point is a generalized point representation of lands enrolled in the Managed Forest and Forest Crop Law programs, collectively referred to as Tax Law. Points are located at the center of each 40-acre quarter-quarter section in which land is enrolled (according to the Public Land Survey System). Acreage enrolled from fractional or government lots are located either to the most approximate quarter-quarter, quarter or section as possible. Download this dataset [.zip].

    Community tree canopy

    Raw tree canopy data for every municipality and urban area in the state can be accessed in multiple ways.

    1. Download the full statewide raster file [.zip].
    2. Add image service to project in ArcGIS and download a TIFF extract (instructions below):
      1. Add the image service to ArcMap from the GIS Servers.
      2. Zoom in to 1:18,000
      3. Right click on image service in Table of Contents
      4. Choose Data / Export Data
      5. Settings:
        1. Extent: Data Frame (Current)
        2. Choose an output location
        3. Give it a name
        4. Compression Type: LZW
        5. Click Save
        6. Choose No to promoting the pixel depth.
    3. Contact the DNR for customized data or with any questions.