IX,1 Jurisdiction on rivers and lakes; navigable waters. Section 1. The state shall have concurrent jurisdiction on all rivers and lakes bordering on this state so far as such rivers or lakes shall form a common boundary to the state and any other state or territory now or hereafter to be formed, and bounded by the same; and the river Mississippi and the navigable waters leading into the Mississippi and St. Lawrence, and the carrying places between the same, shall be common highways and forever free, as well to the inhabitants of the state as to the citizens of the United States, without any tax, impost or duty therefor.

The boating registration law does not violate this section. State v. Jackman, 60 Wis. 2d 700, 211 N.W.2d 480.

There is no constitutional barrier to the application of s. 30.18, regulating diversion of water, to nonnavigable waters. Omernik v. State, 64 Wis. 2d 6, 218 N.W.2d 734.

The term "forever free" does not refer to physical obstructions but to political regulations that would hamper the freedom of commerce. Capt. Soma Boat Line v. Wisconsin Dells, 79 Wis. 2d 10, 255 N.W.2d 441.

A fisherman who violated Minnesota and Wisconsin fishing laws while standing on the Minnesota bank of the Mississippi was subject to Wisconsin prosecution. State v. Nelson, 92 Wis. 2d 855, 285 N.W.2d 924 (Ct. App. 1979)

An ordinance that provided for exclusive temporary use of a portion of a lake for public water exhibition licensees did not offend the public trust doctrine. State v. Village of Lake Delton, 93 Wis. 2d 78, 286 N.W.2d 622 (Ct. App. 1979).

It is appropriate to extend the public trust doctrine to include navigable waters and the shores appurtenant to ensure public access and free use of the waters. State v. Town of Linn, 205 Wis. 2d 426, 556 N.W.2d 394 (Ct. App. 1996), 95-3242.

A cause of action cannot be based only on a general allegation of a violation of the public trust doctrine. Borsellino v. DNR, 2000 WI App 27, 232 Wis. 2d 430, 605 N.W.2d 255, 99-1220.

Portages have lost the protection of the public trust doctrine under this section. 75 Atty. Gen. 89.

The "Invisible Lien": Public Trust Doctrine Impact on Real Estate Development in Wisconsin. Harrington. Wis. Law. May 1996.

IX,2 Territorial property. Section 2. The title to all lands and other property which have accrued to the territory of Wisconsin by grant, gift, purchase, forfeiture, escheat or otherwise shall vest in the state of Wisconsin.

IX,3 Ultimate property in lands; escheats. Section 3. The people of the state, in their right of sovereignty, are declared to possess the ultimate property in and to all lands within the jurisdiction of the state; and all lands the title to which shall fail from a defect of heirs shall revert or escheat to the people.
Wisconsin Constitution updated by the Legislative Reference Bureau. Published April 4, 2024. Click for the Coverage of Annotations for the Annotated Constitution. Report errors at 608.504.5801 or lrb.legal@legis.wisconsin.gov.