April 28, 2022

Today, the Governor’s office announced that he had signed AB 909 (now Act 230) with changes to the Managed Forest Law program.  Act 230, makes a number of changes to the Managed Forest Land (MFL) program, including modifying the 20-acre eligibility threshold by allowing two noncontiguous 10-acre parcels to qualify for enrollment into the program, creating an exception to the prohibition on buildings and improvements on MFL parcels, and requiring the DNR to promulgate separate rules specifically for property owners with more than 1,000 acres enrolled in the MFL program.  The WI Legislative Council’s Amendment memo describes the change made to the bill before passage.

The WWOA Board of Directors has submitted testimony for the Assembly Committee on Forestry on Forestry, Parks and Outdoor Recreation Public Hearing on February 2, 2022 regarding Assembly Bill 909 on proposed changes to the Managed Forest Law program.

Read the WWOA Board’s testimony HERE.


WI DNR notes 2021 Wisconsin Act 230 Makes Changes To Managed Forest Law Program

The legal requirements of the Managed Forest Law program have changed, allowing additional flexibilities to landowners and clarifying the administration of the program by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Governor Evers signed 2021 Wisconsin Act 230 into law on April 8, 2022, putting the following changes to chapter 77, Wis. Stats. into effect:

The 20-acre minimum enrollment requirement may now be comprised of two 10-acre portions that are not contiguous to each other if they are on a tract of land under the same ownership*
Buildings and improvements on Managed Forest Law property are allowed if used exclusively for storage*
Additions to existing parcels of any size are allowed if certain eligibility requirements are met*
Leasing on Managed Forest Law land is clearly allowed
Voluntary withdrawal from the Managed Forest Law program is exempt from tax or fee for a public purpose to a city, village or town that is the taxing jurisdiction
*Changes effective as of April 16, 2016

The act also clarifies:

The instances when the DNR is or is not required to assess a withdrawal tax and fee
The DNR’s authority to provide flexibility for large ownerships (1,000 acres or more) of Managed Forest Law land, allowing for alternative management plan requirements
What constitutes a material change to the terms of the order
Read the updated statute, chapter 77, Wis. Stats., on the Wisconsin Legislature’s website.