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Wisconsin DNR: Celebrate National Public Lands Day

Saturday is National Public Lands Day and National Hunting and Fishing Day.
Published: Sep. 26, 2020 at 8:08 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is celebrating National Public Lands day by encouraging residents to explore the great outdoors.

“It’s a great day for us to be able to raise awareness of what the great outdoors in Wisconsin has to offer,” said Keith Warnke, a division administrator with the Wisconsin DNR.

Wisconsin is home to 49 state parks, 15 state forests, 44 state trails, 84,000 miles or rivers and streams, and roughly 15,000 lakes.

The economic impact of outdoor recreation accounts for $3 billion in the state. Fishing along supports 30,000 jobs and annually provides $196 million in local and state tax revenues.

The Wisconsin DNR has noticed more people are enjoying state parks than compared to last summer, as visits were up nearly 22%. Park rangers also report an increase in the use of state trails.

“This summer and this year, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in use of state parks,” said Warnke. “We’ve seen a real increase in hunting and angling license sales. People have really been taking advantage of this time and the great outdoors in Wisconsin to get outside.”

License sales for hunting and fishing are also notably in much higher demand than 2019.

According to the DNR, fishing licenses outpaced the previous year’s sales by nearly 70,000. Sales of first time Wisconsin fishing license buyers nearly doubled this spring with over more than 20,000 sold.

Archery and Crossbow license sales this fall are up 24% compared to 2019 at the same time. Gun deer license sales are also up by 12 percent.

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