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".
27.01(6)(L) (L) The state park in the town of Belmont, Lafayette County, as “First Capitol State Park", except that this paragraph does not apply after February 28, 1994, if the state park has been transferred to the historical society under 1993 Wisconsin Act 16, section 9142 (1e).
27.01(6)(m) (m) The state park in the town of Superior, Douglas County, as “Pattison State Park".
27.01(6)(n) (n) The state park in Jefferson County, as “Aztalan State Park".
27.01(6)(o) (o) The state park in Oconto County, as “Copper Culture Mounds State Park".
27.01(6)(p) (p) The state park in the town of Clifton, Pierce County, as “Kinnickinnic State Park".
27.01(7) (7)Vehicle admission; receipt; requirement; fees.
27.01(7)(a)(a) Definitions. In this subsection:
27.01(7)(a)1. 1. “Motor bus" has the meaning specified under s. 340.01 (31).
27.01(7)(a)1m. 1m. “Service member" means a person who is serving on active duty in the U.S. armed forces.
27.01(7)(a)2. 2. “Vehicle" means an automobile, motor truck, motor delivery wagon, motor bus, motorcycle or other similar motor vehicle.
27.01(7)(a)3. 3. “Vehicle admission area" means the Bong area lands acquired under s. 23.09 (13), the Wisconsin Dells natural area, the Point Beach state forest, recreational areas in other state forests designated as such by the department, designated use zones within recreation areas established under s. 23.091 (3), and any state park or roadside park except those specified in par. (c) 5.
27.01(7)(b) (b) Vehicle admission receipt; requirement. Except as provided under par. (c), no person may operate a vehicle in a vehicle admission area unless the vehicle has a vehicle admission receipt affixed to it or otherwise displayed as provided under par. (e).
27.01(7)(c) (c) Vehicle admission receipt; exemptions. No vehicle admission receipt is required for any of the following:
27.01(7)(c)1. 1. Any vehicle in a vehicle admission area between November 1 and March 31, except as the department provides by rule.
27.01(7)(c)1m. 1m. Any vehicle, except a motor bus, that is in a vehicle admission area on Veterans Day or during the 3-day weekend that includes Memorial Day and that is occupied by a person who produces evidence that shows that he or she is a state resident and a service member.
27.01(7)(c)2. 2. Any vehicle operated by an employee, agent or officer of the state, the United States or a local unit of government while in the performance of official duties.
27.01(7)(c)3. 3. Any vehicle when furnishing services or supplies.
27.01(7)(c)4. 4. Any vehicle traveling on a public highway in a state park or state forest.
27.01(7)(c)5. 5. Any vehicle within state parks or state park areas designated by the department.
27.01(7)(c)6. 6. Any vehicle, except a motor bus, occupied by a person holding a senior citizen recreation card issued under s. 29.624 or an annual disabled veteran recreation card issued under s. 29.236.
27.01(7)(c)7. 7. Any vehicle, except a motor bus, occupied by a person who is at least 18 years of age and who holds a conservation patron license issued under s. 29.235.
27.01(7)(c)8. 8. Any vehicle towed behind or carried on another vehicle. The department may issue a special permit for a towed or carried vehicle in order to determine compliance with and facilitate enforcement of the vehicle admission receipt requirement.
27.01(7)(c)9. 9. Any school bus as defined in s. 340.01 (56).
27.01(7)(c)10. 10. Any motor vehicle operated for the purpose of transporting pupils to or from curricular or extracurricular activities of a public or private school, a tribal school as defined in s. 115.001 (15m), or a home-based private educational program under s. 118.15 (4) or for the purpose of transporting students to or from an outdoor academic class given by an accredited college or university in this state. The operator of a motor vehicle transporting pupils or students under this subdivision shall possess and exhibit for inspection a written authorization from an administrator of the school, home-based private educational program, or college or university indicating that admission to the vehicle admission area is part of an official school, home-based private educational program, or college or university function and indicating the date for which the authorization is applicable. A separate authorization is required for each date on which the motor vehicle is admitted to the vehicle admission area under this subdivision.
27.01(7)(c)11. 11. Any vehicle, except a motor bus, occupied by a state resident who produces evidence that shows that he or she is a veteran, as defined in 38 USC 101, and is receiving disability compensation benefits under 38 USC 1101 to 1163 as individually unemployable under 38 USC 1502 or for disabilities that result in a disability rating that is 70 percent or greater under 38 USC 1114.
27.01(7)(c)12. 12. Any vehicle, except a motor bus, occupied by a state resident who produces evidence that shows that he or she was a member of the U.S. armed services and was held as a prisoner of war during a war period, as defined in s. 45.01 (13), or while in service in a crisis zone, as defined in s. 45.01 (11).
27.01(7)(d) (d) Issuance of vehicle admission receipts. An annual vehicle admission receipt shall be issued by the department and is valid for the calendar year for which it is issued. An annual vehicle admission receipt may not be issued by the department for a motor bus. A daily vehicle admission receipt shall be issued by the department, shall state the date for which it is issued and is effective only for the date issued.
27.01(7)(e) (e) Displaying the vehicle admission receipt.
27.01(7)(e)1. 1. The annual vehicle admission receipt and the daily vehicle admission receipt shall be affixed by its own adhesive to the interior surface of the lower left-hand corner of the windshield of the vehicle or shall be displayed as authorized under a rule promulgated under subd. 2.
2021-22 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2023 Wis. Act 93 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on April 4, 2024. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after April 4, 2024, are designated by NOTES. (Published 4-4-24)