MFL Changes for those Enrolling in 2017

If you are working on an application to enroll in the MFL effective January 1, 2017, you need to review the provisions listed below, per DNR interim guidance.  Please note that the MFL application deadline is June 1 for an effective date of January 1, 2017.

Minimum Acreage:
Act 358 increases the required minimum acreage to 20 acres per MFL parcel for all 2017 and future entries. Parcels that do not meet the 20 acre requirement are not eligible for enrollment. If you own contiguous land to the parcel you planned to enroll, you might still be able to enroll if you increase the acreages in your application.  Check with your consulting forester or DNR forester to see if this option might be feasible for you.
Landowners seeking to renew their land in the program may be eligible for a one‐time opportunity to do so without having to satisfy the 20 acre requirement.

Buildings and Improvements:
Act 358 prohibits the enrollment of a parcel in MFL if there is a building or improvement associated with a building located on that parcel. You will need to remove a minimum of 1 acre for buildings from your MFL application.  This change applies to all 2017 and future entries. An improvement is defined as any accessory building, structure, or fixture that is built or placed on the parcel for its benefit or landscaping done on the parcel. This means buildings or improvements of any kind (with or without living space) and structures associated with them are

prohibited. Improvement does not include any of the following:
– Public or private road
– Railroad or utility right‐of‐way
– Fence, unless the fence prevents the free and open movement of wild animals
– Culverts
– Bridges
– Hunting blinds
– Structures and fixtures needed for sound forestry practices
Examples of structures and fixtures needed for sound forestry practices may include such things as roads, skid trails, landings, deer exclosures, clear‐span bridges; it does not include buildings such as storage facilities for tools, equipment, ATVs, etc.

Act 358 requires land designated as MFL open (to public recreation) to be accessible to the public on foot by public road or from other land open to public access. Other lands open to the public may include: public land (state, county, federal), open MFL, FCL land and/or land accessible by easement. This applies to all current and future entries. Land designated as MFL closed is not subject to the access requirement. Land surrounded entirely by MFL closed or non‐MFL lands owned by the same owner are eligible to be designated as MFL open because s. NR 46.20(2), Wis. Adm. Code. indicates that the public has the right to cross those lands to access the open land.
MFL Lands surrounded by land not owned by that owner but which are accessible to the public by an easement or by other means may be eligible to be designated as MFL open.
The access to the open land must be signed according to s. NR 46.21(c), Wis. Adm. Code if the access is through MFL closed land, non‐MFL land and/or by easement.

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