DNR seeking public comment for updated Natural Resources administrative rules

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced it will hold a public hearing on proposed permanent rules to revise chapters NR 1, 11, 45, 51, 115 and 116 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code, relating to a variety of DNR property management regulations. The public may submit comments on the proposed revisions through Dec. 10.

The rule updates for this package include important topics such as department fee structures, vehicle and boat use regulations, camping rules and hours of operation, technology regulations, rules relating to the possession of animals, general property use rules and property-specific rules. All rules under consideration in this rule package are specific to DNR-managed lands only and do not govern non-DNR lands.

The public may review the scope statement, rule package and plain language summary on the NR 45 rule webpage. The DNR encourages the public to learn more about the rule changes and provide comments by joining a virtual hearing on Tuesday, Dec. 5 at 4:30 p.m. via Zoom. Registration is required, and participants can register at any time until the hearing is concluded.

All comments on the proposed rule must be received on or before Dec. 10, 2023. Written comments may be submitted by U.S. mail or email and will have the same weight and effect as oral statements presented at the public hearing.

Submit written comments and any questions on the proposed rules to:

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Attn: Brigit Brown
P.O. Box 7921
101 S. Webster Street
Madison, WI 53707-7921
[email protected] or 608-219-1295

The rule is also available for review and comment on the Wisconsin State Legislature’s website.

The DNR creates and revises administrative rules to implement statutes enacted by the Wisconsin State Legislature. Administrative rules have the full force and effect of law. Chapter NR 45 and associated Rules 1, 11, 51, 115 and 116 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code govern how visitors may use state lands and provide the department authority to protect natural resources on these lands. No significant economic or fiscal impacts are anticipated.

These rules impose no compliance or reporting requirements nor any design or operational standards. In cases where a business or other organization chooses to apply to hold a special event, conduct commercial use or engage in other special property use on department lands, the economic impact is anticipated to be minimal because the total costs for an application can be controlled by the applicant and offset by revenues (to the applicant) for the use. For questions related to economic impact, contact Emma Esch, Small Business Regulatory Coordinator, at [email protected] or 608-266-1959.


For the hearing or visually impaired, non-English speakers or those with other personal circumstances which might make communication at the meeting/hearing difficult, DNR will, to the maximum extent possible and with reasonable advance notice, provide aids including an interpreter, or a non-English, large-print or recorded version of hearing documents. To access these resources, please contact the email address or phone number listed above as soon as possible.