27.01   State parks.
27.011   Copper Culture Mounds State Park.
27.014   Liability of vehicle owners.
27.016   State parks and forests grant program.
27.019   Rural planning.
27.02   County park commission, appointment, term, oath.
27.03   Organization.
27.04   Preliminary survey.
27.05   Powers of commission or general manager.
27.06   Mill-tax appropriation.
27.065   County parks and parkways.
27.067   Penalties for damages in county parks.
27.07   First class city option.
27.075   County exercise of municipal park powers.
27.08   City park board, powers.
27.09   City forester, duties; tree planting.
27.10   Taxation and finance.
27.11   Board of public land commissioners.
27.12   Nonliability.
27.13   Town and village parks.
27.14   Police protection.
27.15   Moneys for cities of the 1st class, how disbursed.
27.98   General penalty provision.
27.99   Parties to a violation.
Ch. 27 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See definitions in s. 24.01.
27.01 27.01 State parks.
27.01(1)(1)Purpose. It is declared to be the policy of the legislature to acquire, improve, preserve and administer a system of areas to be known as the state parks of Wisconsin. The purpose of the state parks is to provide areas for public recreation and for public education in conservation and nature study. An area may qualify as a state park by reason of its scenery, its plants and wildlife, or its historical, archaeological or geological interest. The department shall be responsible for the selection of a balanced system of state park areas and for the acquisition, development and administration of the state parks. No admission charge shall be made to any state park, except as provided in subs. (7) to (9).
27.01(2) (2)Powers of the department. In order to carry out the purposes of this section, the department shall have charge and supervision of the state park system. The department also may:
27.01(2)(a) (a) Acquire by purchase, lease or agreement lands or waters suitable for state park purposes and may acquire such lands and waters by condemnation after obtaining approval of the senate and assembly committees on natural resources. The power of condemnation may not be used for the purpose of establishing or extending a recreational trail; a bicycle way, as defined in s. 340.01 (5s); a bicycle lane, as defined in s. 340.01 (5e); or a pedestrian way, as defined in s. 346.02 (8) (a).
27.01(2)(b) (b) Classify state park areas as to their most logical employment and greatest usefulness as, for example, scenic, recreational or historical, and establish boundaries for each state park.
27.01(2)(c) (c) Make, and as rapidly as possible carry out, plans for the development of the state parks, including the layout and construction of roads, trails, camping and picnic areas, buildings, water and sewer and other sanitary installations, and the development of all other facilities considered necessary for the preservation of special features or the overall usefulness of any state park.
27.01(2)(d) (d) Enter into agreements with the federal government, the government of neighboring states, state departments, counties, towns, scientific societies, organizations, individuals or others on any subject considered of concern and benefit to the state parks. Operation of historic buildings, restorations, museums or remains within the boundaries of a state park or parks may be vested by such agreements in the historical society, which may charge a resident an admission fee and shall charge a nonresident an admission fee to such buildings, restorations, museums or remains in accordance with s. 44.02 (5) in order to defray in whole or in part the costs of operation of such sites.
27.01(2)(e) (e) Accept, in the name of the state, grants of land and bequests or donations of money for the state park system.
27.01(2)(f) (f) Grant concessions or franchises for the furnishing of supplies or facilities and services on the state parks considered necessary for the proper comfort of the public.
27.01(2)(g) (g) Lease parts or parcels of state park land or grant easements thereto.
27.01(2)(h) (h) Designate by appropriate name any state park not expressly named by the legislature.
27.01(2)(i) (i) Establish and operate in state parks such services and conveniences and install such facilities as will render such parks more attractive for public use and make reasonable charges for the use thereof.
27.01(2)(j) (j) Promulgate rules necessary to govern the conduct of state park visitors, and for the protection of state park property, or the use of facilities, including the use of boats and other watercraft on lakes or rivers within the limits of a state park, and the use of roads, trails or bridle paths.
27.01(2)(k) (k) Designate parking areas and regulate the use and movement of automobiles or other vehicles in the state parks.
27.01(2)(L) (L) Make surveys and investigations of sites considered potentially valuable for state parks.
27.01(2)(m) (m) Take such other action as may be deemed advisable for the administration, development, maintenance or protection of the state park system or any part or parts thereof.
27.01(3) (3)Transfer of state park land to municipalities. The department may not transfer the ownership of any state park or land within any state park to any county, city, village or town unless it receives the approval of the joint committee on finance regarding the appropriate level of reimbursement to be received by the state to reflect the state's cost in acquiring and developing the state park or land within the state park.
27.01(4) (4)Park managers. Park managers employed by the department shall have all the powers of state fire wardens as provided in ch. 26, and such powers shall apply to state parks.
27.01(5) (5)Roadside parks. All areas designated as roadside parks shall be a part of the state park system. Roadside parks will consist of naturally attractive parcels of land, 5 acres or more in size, immediately contiguous to a state trunk highway. Each such area shall carry a distinctive name and shall be managed and developed as a part of the state park system.
27.01(6) (6)Names. The state parks shall be designated as follows:
27.01(6)(a) (a) The state park in the town of St. Croix Falls, Polk County, as “Interstate Park".
27.01(6)(b) (b) The state park in the town of Gibraltar, Door County, as “Peninsula State Park".
27.01(6)(c) (c) The state park in the town of Nasewaupee, Door County, as “Potawatomi State Park".
27.01(6)(d) (d) The state park in the town of Wyalusing, Grant County, as “Wyalusing State Park".
27.01(6)(e) (e) The state park in the town of Baraboo, Sauk County, as “Devil's Lake State Park".
27.01(6)(f) (f) The state park in the town of Morse, Ashland County, as “Copper Falls State Park".
27.01(6)(g) (g) The state park in the town of Cassville, Grant County, as “Nelson Dewey State Park".
27.01(6)(h) (h) The state park in the town of Rib Mountain, Marathon County, as “Rib Mountain State Park".
27.01(6)(i) (i) The state park in the town of Trempealeau, Trempealeau County, as “Perrot State Park".
27.01(6)(j) (j) The state park in the town of Wilson, Sheboygan County, as “Terry Andrae State Park".
27.01(6)(k) (k) The state park in the town of Wyoming, Iowa County, as “Tower Hill State Park".
2021-22 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2023 Wis. Act 71 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on February 14, 2024. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after February 14, 2024, are designated by NOTES. (Published 2-14-24)