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Toepel, M. G.; Kuehn, Hazel L. (ed.) / The Wisconsin Blue Book, 1958
(1958)

The state government: administrative branch,   pp. [323]-484 PDF (46.9 MB)


Page 355


CONSERVATION COMMISSION
to the park system was High Cliff State Forest Park in 1956. This
area contains about 290 acres with high limestone bluffs overlook-
ing Lake Winnebago, the major attraction.
  Attendance in state parks continues to increase and in 1956 for
the first time passed the 5,000,000 visitor count, an increase of
over 9 per cent above the 1954 attendance. Campers totaled 262,000
in 1956, a 49 per cent increase over 1954 causing additional empha-
sis to be put on expanding camping facilities. The special appro-
priation by the 1955 Legislature 'enabled some of the much needed
capital improvements to be made in the parks.
Functions:
   1. Acquires lands or waters suitable for state park purposes.
   2. Makes and carries out plans for the development of the state
      parks so that services and facilities will make the parks more
      attractive for public use.
   3. Makes surveys and investigations of sites considered poten-
      tially valuable for state parks.
   4. Maintains and protects existing parks and facilities thereon.
   5. Provides recreational opportunities for the state citizens in
      keeping with the concepts of state parks.
   (A list of state parks will be found in the statistical section of
this volume.)
   State Forests. The primary purpose of state forests is to pro-
 duce recurring forest crops for commercial use; however, under the
 "multiple use" management principle practiced in Wisconsin, sce-
 nic attractions, scientific and educational values, outdoor recreation,
 public hunting and fishing and watershed stabilization also are
 important aspects in the broader forestry program. Forest lands
 are basically composed of submarginal lands unsuited for agricul-
 ture due to low fertility, rough topography or poor drainage, but
 which will produce a timber crop and provide recreational oppor-
 tunities.
   The basic idea of "forest reserves" evolved around 1900 and
 was in reality the beginning of the state forest system of today.
 Acquisition of lands in 1906, by gift or purchase, formed the nu-
 cleus of the Brule River State Forest which was the initial step
 in this long-range program. In 1957 an area of over 54,000 acres
 was given to the state by the federal government and named Black
 River State Forest. The land formerly comprised the western sec-
 tion of the Central Wisconsin Conservation Area but now   has
 become the 8th state forest in Wisconsin. Since 1955, 6,300 addi-
 tional acres have been acquired for forestry purposes on the various
 properties.
   Recreational potential on the state forests has resulted in in-
 creased use by visitors and campers. Extensive lake and river front-
 age attract people in the summer for swimming, fishing and boat-
355


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