Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

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Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Building.jpg
Headquarters in Madison
Agency overview
Formed 1967
Jurisdiction Wisconsin
Headquarters Madison, Wisconsin
Agency executive
Website [1]

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) is an agency of the state of Wisconsin. Its purpose is to preserve, protect, manage, and maintain the natural resources of the state.[1] The Wisconsin Natural Resources Board has the authority to set policy for the DNR and to recommend regulations for approval by the state legislature and the Governor.[2] It administers all state parks, forests, trails, wildlife areas, and natural areas. The central office of the WDNR is located in downtown Madison, near the state capitol.


The DNR was created by the state legislature in 1967. It is led by the DNR secretary. Current secretary Cathy Stepp was appointed to the post by governor Scott Walker in 2011.[3]

The agency made national headlines in 2013 after it was criticized for an armed raid on a no-kill animal shelter in which agents seized and subsequently euthanized a fawn that was being housed at the shelter.[4][5] The Wisconsin DNR later claimed on its Facebook page that its conservation wardens had executed a search warrant on the animal shelter property after shelter staff would not voluntarily comply with directives to turn over the illegally-held deer. [6][better source needed] It is illegal to possess captive wild animals in Wisconsin without a license. [7][non-primary source needed]

Conservation Warden Service[edit]

Established in 1879, the Wisconsin Conservation Warden Service is tasked with handling law enforcement duties for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. It was reported in late-2016 that Wisconsin Conservation Wardens would be taking over all law enforcement duties for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, which would mean phasing out Park Ranger and Forest Ranger staff. [8]

Green Tier Program[edit]

The Green Tier Program, set up by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources provides state businesses with the opportunity to bring economics and the environment together.[9] As of December 2015, over 90 corporations and companies are Green Tier participants, including 3M, ABB Inc., Frito-Lay, and Roundy's Supermarkets, Inc.[10] Green Tier includes multiple new charters which includes Legacy Communities - a Smart Growth partnership with an aim to assist communities to develop sustainability strategies at the local level.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ About the DNR: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Overview - WDNR
  2. ^ DNR, Wisconsin Natural Resources Board, about
  3. ^ The Secretary of Natural Resources - WDNR
  4. ^ Walsh, Michael (August 1, 2013). "Government agents search animal shelter, kill baby deer named 'Giggles'". Daily News. Retrieved August 7, 2013. Armed government agents raided an animal shelter and executed a baby deer. 
  5. ^ Starnes, Todd (August 2, 2013). "Agents Raid Animal Shelter, Kill Deer Named "Giggles"". Fox News. Retrieved August 7, 2013. the state Department of Natural Resources raided the facility with armed agents 
  6. ^ https://www.facebook.com/WIDNR/posts/587689161295289
  7. ^ https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/169/04
  8. ^ http://outdoornews.com/2016/11/30/wisconsin-conservation-wardens-forest-rangers-see-big-changes-dnr-alignment/
  9. ^ Green Tier: An Overview of Performance-Based Environmental Management. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Published March, 2006. http://dnr.wi.gov/org/caer/cea/environmental/documents/description.pdf. Retrieved 2009-5-20
  10. ^ http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/GreenTier/Participants/
  11. ^ http://greentiercommunities.org/

External links[edit]