Preserving State Parks

Preserving Our State Parks and Public Spaces

Imagine a Wisconsin without public parks, access to hunting grounds, family campsites, or your favorite fishing spot. For most of us it’s unthinkable. Yet, the places that define Wisconsin’s culture and drive its economy are coming under increased assault.

Wisconsin’s State Parks, in particular, act as the primary connection to the natural world for hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites. These shared public lands protect our water resources, air quality, encourage healthy lifestyles, and generates $1 billion in economic impact each year for the state.*

Despite these quantifiable positive impacts on Wisconsin’s economy, environment, and quality of life, these spaces are under siege.

Hunting and fishing in Wisconsin isn’t just about recreation. For thousands here, hunting and fishing are deeply embedded in their own identities and their family traditions – as well as acting as a source of sustainable food for their dinner tables Yet, there are efforts to continue to curtail access to public fishing and hunting spaces.

Access to public lands is fundamental to the health of the state’s economy. And more than that, its fundamental to our quality of life, our history, and our conservation legacy

The Solution

Courtesy Joshua Mayer

  • Restore public funding of Wisconsin State Parks. Well-funded, easily accessible, high quality state parks are an essential component of Wisconsin’s economy and quality of life.
  • The selling off or privatization of state parks must never be allowed. State parks are an essential part of Wisconsin’s economy, environment, and heritage – selling them to the highest bidder is a mistake.
  • Restore public access across railroad tracks where recreational opportunities are located. Access to publicly-owned hunting and fishing grounds should not be curtailed by railroads.

Our Land Matters

Our Health

  • Playing and exercising outdoors can reduce the risk of childhood obesity, ADHD, diabetes, and other health problems.
  • Our children’s health depends on places for them to play, to explore, to run, to get dirty, and to just be kids. Children now average more than 7½ hours on electronic devices per day. As television, video games, and computers pull children away from time in the outdoors, the need for easy access to protected outdoor places is more crucial than ever.
  • Hiking, hunting, fishing, skiing, running, biking, or even just sitting quietly – Wisconsin’s natural areas are important to nurturing our own physical and mental health.
  • A gym is no substitute for the great outdoors when it comes to stretching your legs, filling your lungs with fresh air, and clearing your head.

Our Water, Air, and Soil

  • Our drinking water depends on protecting land around rivers, lakes, and streams to prevent contamination and pollution.
  • Protected lands reduce congestion and smog. We rely on public lands to help preserve the soil and vegetation that naturally purify our air and water

*Economic Impacts of the Wisconsin State Park System: Connections to Gateway Communities, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, 2013