MADISON — With about 5.7 million acres of public land to explore, Wisconsin provides numerous opportunities for outdoor recreation to residents and visitors alike.
National Public Lands Day, occurring on Sept. 24 this year, is an ideal time to get outside, with cooler autumn temperatures, fall color and events occurring on several public lands across the state. Those interested can also give back to a favorite public land through hands-on volunteer work. Celebrated across the country, National Public Lands Day is a coordinated display of appreciation for the lands that belong to all citizens. For more information about National Public Lands Day and events in Wisconsin, visit www.publiclandsday.org (exit DNR).
National Public Lands Day is also a good opportunity to visit a state wildlife area, which are managed for hunting and trapping and also allow a variety of other types of recreation. This year, several properties are celebrating significant anniversaries marking decades of conservation efforts, including Crex Meadows, Deppe, Fish Lake, Kissick Swamp, Miscauno, Mud Lake (Door County), Nichols Creek, Swan Lake and Tiffany wildlife areas.
Whether you plan to explore one of these historic wildlife areas or visit a local favorite, you can find more information at dnr.wi.gov, keyword “wildlife areas.”
Those that want to play a direct role in managing habitat and wildlife on state lands can also sponsor a state wildlife area through the new Adopt a Fish or Wildlife Area program. With over 200 properties eligible for sponsorship, this program gives sponsors a unique opportunity to enhance fish and wildlife areas through such hands-on work as habitat restoration, invasive species removal, surveys and more. To learn more or apply, visit dnr.wi.gov, keyword “volunteer.”
Public Access Lands Atlas
People in search of public hunting and trapping grounds this fall are reminded to check out the department’s Public Access Lands atlas. The atlas includes all DNR properties, as well as nearly all federal and county-owned lands. Maps are available to download and print free of charge from a home computer. For more information, search keyword “atlas.”