United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service
The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest is seeking input from recreationists and community stakeholders as it works to develop a sustainable recreation program, specifically for its campgrounds, boat landings, trailheads, picnic areas and beaches.
The Forest has closed and/or reduced services at a small portion of recreation sites since 2015 in an effort to reduce operation and maintenance costs and balance the recreation budget.
Prior to 2015, the Forest continued to invest in the entire suite of recreation assets, however it can no longer afford to finance aging facilities, underused picnic areas, campsites and recreation areas.
The funding the Forest receives for the recreation program has remained relatively the same however, the costs to operate and maintain the sites and the amount of backlogged maintenance that continues to accrue on the aging infrastructure has made the program no longer sustainable.
To build a sustainable recreation program, the Forest is completing a process called Recreation Site Analysis.
The Recreation Site Analysis is being conducted from a forest-wide perspective taking into consideration what is best for the Forest Service, local communities and the local economy.
Community engagement is essential for creating a sustainable recreation program. The Forest wants to tap into the enormous energy and creativity of people in the communities surrounding the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest who care for and value the many benefits it provides.
The Forest wants your input to help plan and implement innovative solutions and to determine the most suitable activities, investments and locations; and how they complement other offerings on private and public land.
The input received will be reviewed by the Forest and used to develop a draft proposal for the best use of current and future resources. The Forest anticipates sharing a draft proposal in spring 2018.
The Forest acknowledges that this is not an easy task, the input received combined with the Forest’s internal analysis and the outcome, will come with tough tradeoffs.
The initial comment period is from November 1 through December 31. The Forest will also be using comments submitted in the past as part of this process.
The Forest has developed an online interactive map where visitors can click on specific receation sites and provide a comment on how the site is used and why it is important.
Comments may also be submitted by clicking here and filling out the form.
If you have questions or would like to share your comments with the Forest Service please contact the Public Affairs Officer at 715-362-1354 or email CNNFAdmin@fs.fed.us. You may also stop in any one of the Forest’s Offices.