DNR Land Sales could affect access to trout waters

Dear Wisconsin TU Member or Friend:


The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has released a list of 118 parcels of land which are currently being reviewed for possible sale. These parcels are being considered due to a state law which requires the Natural Resources Board to make 10,000 acres of non-project land available for sale no later than June 30, 2017. Lands currently proposed for sale are located in 40 counties, and tally approximately 8,300 acres. Of the lands identified, 5,387 acres are proposed for sale to the public. 2,575 acres are proposed for sale to Wisconsin’s counties, or other units of government. Finally, 325.5 acres are proposed for sale to Wisconsin Tribal Nations.


To be plain, the law involved and the disposition of State-owned land is the subject of great debate. That debate is not intended to be solved by this e-mail however, and our members are, as always, free to their opinions.


Several of the parcels proposed for sale, however, pose great concern to Wisconsin Trout Unlimited. First, several spring pond parcels in Langlade County have been proposed for sale. Langlade County has the world’s greatest concentration of spring ponds, and such ponds are destination fisheries for numerous anglers. Such ponds also provide a uniquely accessible opportunity for handicapped anglers.


Next, lands bordering trout streams in Oconto and Marinette Counties have also been identified for sale. Several of these properties have received stream improvements paid for with trout stamp funds, and with monies from Trout Unlimited.


All properties proposed for sale can be viewed at:



Each of the above properties is a part of Wisconsin’s incredibly vibrant trout fishing economy. Recent studies by the American Sportfishing Association, for example, indicate that recreational angling results in an over $2.2 BILLION annual economic impact in Wisconsin, supporting over 21,000 jobs, and resulting in over $145 MILLION in local and state taxes.

Wisconsin Trout Unlimited strongly supports the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources retaining ownership of the subject parcels. Such parcels are important pieces of Wisconsin’s trout and angling economy, and key pieces of Wisconsin’s coldwater resources.

As such, we ask that you contact: DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp, the DNR fish management team, and your legislators , and ask them to remove these parcels from consideration for sale. Be sure to stress the economic importance of these parcels, as well as their significant value as parts of Wisconsin’s coldwater resources.

When contacting DNR representatives, please use the following contact information:


Cathy Stepp DNRSecretary@wisconsin.gov 608-266-2121

Paul Cunningham Paul.Cunningham@wisconsin.gov 608-267-7502

Michael Vogelsang Michael.Vogelsang@wisconsin.gov 715-352-5211 ext. 239

Doug Haag douglasj.haag@wisconsin.gov 608-266-2136


To contact your legislators, use the link below:




As always, please be polite, be concise, and thank the individuals you speak to for their time and service. Please keep in mind that you represent Wisconsin TU, and all those who have done so much work on its behalf.


Thank you for all that you do for Wisconsin TU.


Linn Beck

WITU State Council Chair